I don’t normally talk too much about my typical domestic travel. That is mostly because, thankfully, it’s often uneventful, so I don’t bother sharing too much here. My commentary on my typical travel is usually just of the 140 character variety on Twitter. Unfortunately, I’ve had a really bad run lately. Even with the recent FAA furloughs of the past week, I wasn’t directly affected since my delays have been caused by mechanical issues.
I linked my most recent stories above, but sadly my trip last week was again affected by a significant delay. This makes for 4 multi-hour delays in 7 days. Yikes.
I was flying to Los Angeles on Tuesday. My flight from Milwaukee to Chicago was delayed due to a mechanical issue with the CRJ. This combined with the FAA furloughs made for some pretty messed operations. It doesn’t take much for the short 67 mile flight between Milwaukee and Chicago to have issues. I had a confirmed upgraded seat on my onward flight to LAX, and with my recent issues, I was really hoping to make that flight in a wide seat.
Once at the Milwaukee airport, my options were to wait for my flight, and hope to make my connection. There is also an hourly bus that runs between airports. I would have to pay for that out of pocket. The days of United paying for this are long gone. I was leaning towards the bus, when I noticed that the next flight was showing as on time, so I decided to get on that flight. Assuming it was on time, I’d still make my connection. I had a while to wait, so I headed over to the Mitchell Gallery of Flight, which is one of several nice spots to pass the time in the Milwaukee airport.
I noticed several Skywest CRJ had landed, so I headed to the C concourse, where United currently departs from. Boarding had begun for my original flight. I waited at the counter, and thankfully there was still space on that flight. I lost my exit row seat, but I didn’t mind, since it looked like I’d make my connection. Once I got my boarding pass, I was one of the last to board (as I usually try to be anyway on CRJ), and the door was closed and soon we were off. We arrived at ORD near boarding time of my next flight. Unfortunately, we landed at runway 27R, which meant our taxi time would be almost at long as the 15 minute flight time. My flight to LAX was still showing on time. It would be tight, but I should make it.
I rushed to the gate for the LAX flight, and despite the United app and the airport monitors showing an on time departure, the door was closed, and the plan had not begun boarding. I’m glad I made it, but could have avoided some stress if I knew I didn’t need to rush to my gate. The delay rolled out every 15 minutes or so. Ultimately we departed about 2 and a half hours late. This was a mechanical issue that took a while to resolve. Very annoying, but better than the delays I experienced a few days prior.
The return trip had a departure delay too. This was due to the inbound flight coming in late, and may have been sequester related. I also was #1 on the upgrade list. with the cabin full. argh. This delay made my tight connection to Milwaukee even tighter. There were several others who also had close connections. The gate agent came on to announce that several of the European departures were being held for passengers on this flight. I don’t think I would be so fortunate, but I got off the plane about 25 minutes before departure time. I had to make the trek from C22 to F2A. I don’t normally take the shuttle on the tarmac at O’Hare, since I prefer to stretch my legs, but I figured it would save me some time. I was the only passenger on the bus, and got some nice views including the photo at the start of this post. I made it to my gate as boarding was finishing up. Go figure, with so many delays my commonly delayed hop home was on time.
We pushed back on time, and despite a long line of departing aircraft, we arrived in Milwaukee ahead of schedule. Now I’m really hoping to start a new trend. There’s only one way to go. We’ll find out soon. More short domestic hops this week. Hopefully I won’t have more stories to share from these trips.