Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quite the trip

Quite the 2 day trip.

I was originally scheduled to arrive home at noon on Friday. I didn't arrive home until 4PM Monday.

My early morning flight from the out station that I as to fly on Friday, canceled Thursday night. No biggie as I was reassigned to fly the noon departure. I headed to the Casino as it's the only thing nearby.

Friday as I was getting ready to go the noon  flight canceled. My crew and I ventured out for food. Being in a “downtown” hotel in a small town meant limited options. The only grocery store was more of a beer and chips store. They had grocery in the name...but didn't even have bread.

Friday evening I saw I was scheduled to deadhead on the 6AM departure Saturday morning. I would be getting Junior Man pay which means 4 hours pay or 150% of what's flown...whatever is greater. About an hour after I checked...that flight canceled and I was again assigned to fly the noon departure. I headed to the casino.

Saturday morning I headed to the casino for the cheap breakfast buffet. Once back in the room the noon departure canceled. I headed to the airport anyway....to rent a car. At this point I would be paid 4 hours pay for the day plus all the per diem I was racking in (at $1.80 an hour).

My crew was getting cabin fever. I used one of my National Rent a Car free days to rent a car. I drove my crew around town for a bit before stopping at a Wal-Mart for supplies.

The Flight Attendant was driving the cart and throwing in groceries like we were going to be here for a week. She stopped and put a few things back...she was in her normal grocery routine.

Supplies in hand we went back to the hotel. I ate my apple and walnut salad and got bored. Headed to the casino again. I then ventured out and explored the town in the car. Not a whole lot to see.

Saturday evening I was assigned to deadhead on the noon flight on Sunday.

Sunday morning I packed my bags and left the hotel early as I had to return the car. While waiting at the return counter.....the noon flight canceled. I just laughed.

I was getting frustrated. I was going to head to my airline counter to look for options when I saw the hotel van outside. I just walked outside and got in. The van was there for another airline crew. Once on board....back to the hotel I went.

The hotel gave me the same room again. I slunk back to the room to see it was being cleaned. After about 15 minutes of waiting in the lobby it was done. My wife couldn't believe the cancellations. Even though I was originally supposed to work the weekend I had been approved to have the days off. We had no real plans, but did plan on doing something as a family.

I then hit up friends at other airlines for load factors for a way home. There were only two departures per day from the out station for my airline. It would be a two legger on any other airline.  All could get me on one leg, but the legs home were all full. I was stuck.

Sunday afternoon I was set to deadhead again on the 6AM flight Monday morning. That evening it canceled and I was assigned to dead head on the noon departure.

This morning I woke up and checked the flight status...still a go.

I headed to the casino for the cheap breakfast buffet.

A bit disillusioned I didn't bother checking the flight status.

Once back in the room I checked....still a go.

I met my crew and the crew that would be working the flight in the lobby. We were all ready to go...especially the other crew. They were to overnight somewhere warm and packed for it. They got stuck here Thursday night. The temp outside never got above 20.

The station, for reasons I do not understand, had not prepped the plane. No heat...and it was covered in snow that fell last night.

The temperature of the cabin was just 1 degree Celsius. A few of the soft drinks in the galley had exploded from the cold temp. The Captain was not happy.

He fired up the APU and turned on the heat. After 20 minutes the cabin was still just 10 degrees. Eventually it warmed up. The station removed the packed snow from the engine nacelles. Boarding started.

Deicing took a while as the snow was quite thick. An hour after scheduled departure time we were in the air.

Arrived in base to see a winter wonderland. My car was covered in snow and ice. I picked up my daughter from school. Her teacher just shook her head and said, “ I thought about you each time the news said flights were canceled.”

Once home I decided I needed to visit a doctor. While stuck I started having an issue with my back. An itch developed that turned into a small rash. The Doctor looked at my back for 2 seconds and let me know I have...............shingles. Nice eh? It's not common at all in those under 60.  I was given a prescription and told it should be gone in less than 10 days.

I contacted my union medical Doctor to confirm I'm safe to fly while on it as I have a just one day off. I'll decide tomorrow if I am going to up for it or not. I'm not contagious unless someone directly contacts my back....so no massages for me this week. Ha.

The trip was originally just a 7 hour 2 day trip. I was to be away from base for 25 hours. I ended up flying just 1 hour 40 minutes and being away from base for 102 hours and 35 minutes. Total pay including Junior Man will roughly $760 + $216 in per diem. I broke even at the casino so overall it's a lot of money. Not worth the frustration though.

Even my Captain whom has been here 15 years has never been stuck for that long before. Quite the trip indeed.

Still love my job.


  1. That sounds a lot like my weekend; it must be a weather thing. Friday AM, scheduled for a low speed, low stress non-urgent 50 mile trip to the nearest town. Light snow and nothing to be concerned about. Five miles from home, made a low speed slide into a ditch and a rock wall and could not get out, so walked five miles home without seeing another soul and the snow is increasing (Friday, 0910 local). Spent the weekend talking to AAA and other tow services, "sorry, the weather is too bad.) It is now 1430 on Tuesday and my truck is still parked in the ditch. Maybe they will get it out before dark, but they don't really want to try. Since Friday, we've set new records for low temps and 24 hour snowfall. Plenty of food, heat and power with stand by, just a little cabin fever. Books and the odd streaming movie help. I don't think the truck is a 'hull loss,' but the rock wall still prevents a good look. So is there a real difference? Yes. I'm retired so I did not get paid for my adventure.
    Glad that you made it home.

  2. Understood. Me too, but a little comes with the territory.

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