Posted by: chiarraigrrl | November 11, 2011

Diverted but not delayed… :)

Snowtober
Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunnygoth/with/6312598985/

Since no one at all has written about “Snowtober” (this is my favorite http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/a-smile-costs-nothing/), the Noreaster snowstorm that hit New York and parts of New England the weekend of the 29th of October, I thought I’d weigh in with my tale of my flight in to New York in a snowstorm. Oh yes.

It was pretty clear we were on a good flight to start with before we even boarded the plane at Dublin airport. Having gotten through U.S. Customs preclearance at Terminal 2 with no problem, we followed the signs toward our gate (423) when we were stopped en route by a glass sliding door that was locked between us and the escalator to our gate area – and so were the flight crew & captain of our flight. After a while they spotted a Dublin airport employee pacing at the top of the escalator and talking on her mobile, and when they gestured to indicate that they were crew and needed to get to their gate, she gave them a “five” hand signal. The captain turned around to the crew messin that it could be 5 hours… go back to your hotel, it’ll be five days… she could have been saying hello… It was pretty clear he knew the level of disorganization he was dealing with, and had a cool head and a good sense of humor about it, I was glad to see. (that said: *really*, Dublin airport? You can’t manage to have a gate open for a scheduled flight?? And you expect foreign companies to invest here? *sigh*)

We hadn’t heard anything about the storm prediction when we left Dublin, of course, and so were blithely heading for JFK in New York for a connection from there to Logan airport in Boston later that afternoon. There was thick cloud cover over New York when we approached, and the captain made an announcement that an early snowstorm had come in over the city. After circling JFK for about half an hour to 40 minutes, he made another announcement that we would be diverting to Boston’s Logan airport, and would make further plans from there. Naturally d’mammy and I were delighted at this news, having been headed for Boston anyway, and our glee may not have impressed some of our fellow passengers. Whoops.

We landed at Logan without incident and taxied to park near the shipping hangars until they could figure out what to do with us. Here I have to really hand it to the captain of our Delta flight, who updated us every few minutes on the latest situation. At one point he went on the P.A. to tell us that the official plan from Delta HQ in Atlanta was to try to refuel the plane and give JFK another go, but he said that he wasn’t sure how realistic that was within the three-hour time limit imposed by the Air Passengers Charter and his plan was to get us off that plane and into the terminal. Next thing we knew, the captain was back on the P.A. to say that we had gotten a gate at the international terminal and they were just getting things ready for us before we’d be able to get off the plane.

At this point I have to give huge credit to the staff at Logan airport. Our flight had been pre-cleared through U.S. Customs at Dublin Airport, so officially as far as customs was concerned we were a domestic flight (possibly the best thing they did in Terminal Two at Dublin airport. I’ve had U.S. Customs officials in *Dublin* tell me “welcome home”, which is awesome) and didn’t need to go through Customs in Boston. In order to let us in to the airport without making us go through Customs a second time, Logan staff made up a route for us to follow using back hallways so that we could go around U.S. Customs (they could just as easily have said too bad, you’ll have to go through again. I thought it was amazing that they went to all that trouble). Sure, it meant we had to wait on the plane for an extra few minutes – but it was well worth it, and was a great thing for them to do. We were able to go straight to the transfer desk, where Delta had collected all the luggage off the plane, and collect our bags quickly and easily.

All told, we were sitting in Dunkin Donuts with coffees and our luggage before our connecting flight was even due to depart from New York for Boston. A pretty good result, if you ask me…!

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Responses

  1. First I want to say thank you for mentioning my blog. And it is so nice to hear of a story where everyone seemed to care about your situation. Nice post.

    • Ah thanks missus – and my pleasure! I really enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for the comment! 🙂


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