Yesterday, I was presented with the opportunity to travel with my best friend and his Mom. His Mom is a flight attendent with American Airlines, so we got to travel for free. This was a flight from PHX-SAN.
American Airlines Flight 480
We arrived at the airport nice and early. We had already printed off our boarding passes previous to arriving at the airport. We passed through security like a breeze because we were all TSA-pre. We arrived at the gate around 45 minuted before we were scheduled to board so then we would time to get our seats (since we were flying non-rev) and to wander the terminal for a bit.
Havok Strikes PHX
As we were sitting at the gate waiting for our aircraft to be prepared, we saw this huge storm wall approaching us. Slowly buuldings and landmarks started to disappear until we could barely see the buildings across the runway. The airport was officially shut down as thunder and lighting started appearing right above us. Large amounts of downpour were occuring. All ground crew were ordered inside of the terminals and everything outside was abandoned. Luggage carts were rolling away in the wind and things were flying all over the place. The storm finally calmed down about 20 minutes after our departure time.
Delay, with a side of Delay
Once the storm finally blew over, we were cleared to board. I was lucky enough to score an emergency exit row with by best friend. I thought that it was going to be smooth sailing from there on out. Well, I guess I was mistaken. As we were taxing to the runway, our pilots informed us about a fluctuation in the oil temperature. We were going to have to go back to the gate until the issue was addressed. Even better, as we taxied back to the gate, all of the gates were taken. We then had to wait for a gate to clear up.
Once the issue was resolved, we were cleared to taxi. As we were in line to take-off, our crew had clocked out on their hours. We would now have to taxi back to the gate until we got a new crew. The pilots then informed us that a passenger had left the plane when we were solving the oild problem, which meant they had to re-calculate the aircraft statistics. We were later informed by a flight attendendent that the crew had already known they were going to clock out, and they agreed to return to San Diego anyways. He then informed us that the pilots were pretty much using both things as an excuse to go home. They had worked a full days shift already, and they were tired. I was ok with all of this until the Captain made an announcement saying that it was all of the passenger who got off’s fault that we were going back. I thought that was pretty childish of him to say. And what happened once we returned to the gate you may ask?
THE FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED! When the flight was finally cancelled, it was 8:30. Our scheduled departue time was 5:10. (We arrived at the airport at 2:30 BTW) We then had to go home and we did not get to spend some fun time at the beach. We weren’t able to re-book (due to scheduling conflicts)
I am not angry at American Airlines at all, because they couldn’t controll mother nature. Even though things did not end up how I hoped they would. I did end up getting to spend my whole afternoon at the airport.