Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blizzard!

Photo by Getty ImagesHey folks, sorry I missed my dispatch yesterday, but I was stranded on the runway at JFK in a massive blizzard - for ten hours! My flight from Puerto Rico landed in a nail-biting gauntlet of wind and blinding snow. Our captain and crew were just amazing. But once on the ground, we learned that the taxi-ways were closed due to the weather. So it was totally fine for us to risk our lives descending from thousands of feet in the air, but putt-putting our way over to the terminal is totally out of the question. Are kidding me?! Well they weren't kidding, and there we sat - all night. The snacks and booze ran out early, and max-capacity in the lavatories soon followed. But we sang some songs, exchanged travel/holiday stories, and were kept in good spirits by our tireless flight crew.

Earlier this morning we were finally able to get off of the plane and into the terminal, which is a bit like going from the frying pan into the flame. There are some more snacks and drinks, and the bathrooms are at least open. But there are thousands - thousands - of people stranded here. I saw an entire family sleeping on a pair of luggage racks that they had pushed together, and another guy was using his two suitcases as a make-shift mattress. Most people are simply spread out on the floor or in a much-coveted chair. Everyone seems pretty reasonable at the moment, but word is that some of us might not be going anywhere until Thursday... or beyond.

I just need to get to the Manhattan Club in NYC, where I will be spending New Year's Eve. They say I "might" be able to catch a cab some time on Wednesday. Are you kidding me?! So I went to the car rental counter to see if they had any cars, and to maybe get a good laugh. They actually did have a number of vehicles, but they wanted $5,000 each. I inquired about the seemingly inflated price, and they said that to dig out the car and to plow a path to the exit of the airport would require a crew to be pulled from runway duty. Furthermore, once I got to the exit of the airport all major roadways are closed due to the storm. So this is basically a $5,000 ride to nowhere. I thanked them politely and started counting the seconds until my cab on Wednesday.

Well, I have to run. The fellow I borrowed this laptop from is starting to give me the stink-eye. I told him I was with Homeland Security and that it was absolutely emergent that I file a report, but I don't think he's buying it any longer. I wonder if I can check my FaceBook fan page really quickly before he wrestles this thing away from me?

1 comment: