16 hours in the Twilight zone
Michele Carbone had been trying to fly from New Zealand to the US for a week and she did not give up after making worldwide news. Her first venture was last Monday when her flight had been cancelled due to Cyclone Gabrielle. So last Thursday she was ready to settle in for the long, long flight to NYC. The 16 hour trip is an accomplishment in itself. Just imagine flying from one side of the world covering about 10,000 miles on one tank of gas and no rest stops. Everybody got on board and the Air New Zealand plane left on time and everyone was settled for the trip either snoozing or watching movies or playing on their computers. They were already into their bored state after 8 hours of flying most passengers when they found out about the U-turn by watching the inflight screens tracking the plane’s journey, and that there was seemingly no general announcement over the public address system about the change of plans. They turned around only about 2000 miles from the California coast. “If you were to gather all the people from that plane in their room right now you’d find them boiling with annoyance and anger,” she said, saying that one fellow passenger was trying to reach a dying relative in Europe. However, Ms Carbone did say cabin crew were as helpful as they could be.
Another unnamed passenger told the Herald that she was alerted to the flight being turned around by her brother, who’d been tracking the flight online. “Crew then confirmed it for me when I went to the galley,” she said. “Some people are ticked off, but it’s not the crew’s fault. Most people can see they’ve been rebooked onto new flights.
The Air New Zealand flight was supposed to land at JFK in NYC when the airline received word that an electrical fire at New York’s Airport had led to Terminal 1 being closed. The airline said the decision was made for the plane to turn around and return to Auckland, the flight ended up landing in Auckland 16hr and 5min after departing. “Diverting to another U.S. port would have meant the aircraft would remain on the ground for several days, impacting a number of other scheduled services and customers,” an airline spokeswoman said.
JFK Terminal 1 remained closed Friday while crews repaired the issues caused by the electrical fire. The airline apologized to passengers and said those aboard the flight would be booked on the next available flights to New York. Air New Zealand can much more easily accommodate passengers at its biggest hub in terms of hotels, rebooking, crewing, and aircraft scheduling. While a 16 hour “flight to nowhere” seems wasteful, realistically the plane would have probably flown back empty from the United States as well, so I’m not sure this is actually worse environmentally than whatever the alternative would have been.
Hmm, was I gone?
The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.
I walked past a homeless guy with a sign that read, “One day, this could be you.” I put my money back in my pocket, just in case he’s right.
People who write “u” instead of “you.” What do you do with all the time you save?
In 20 years, I bet there’s going to be a college course called eye contact.
February 21st Birthdays
1997 – Sophie Turner, 1988 – Ellen Page, 1934 – Rue McClanahan, 1980 – Jennfier Love Hewitt
1955 – Kelsey Grammar, 1977 – Mike McIntyre, 1992 – Joe Alwyn, 1990 – Corbin Bleu