They can’t control the weather!

As a business traveler weather delays are annoying especially if they lead to lost revenue, but that is no reason to take frustration out on gate agents.  If my flight is delayed I stay in the gate area just in case something happens, but I try to check the website and pay attention instead of hounding the gate agents.

Last night I landed in CVG 30 minutes late which was the time my scheduled flight to CLT was supposed to leave.  On deplaning the person meeting the flight to assist with connections stated all of us going to Charlotte and Chicago had missed our connection.  I thought that was funny since the website had just said the flight was delayed, but situations change quickly so I decided to see the red coat as instructed.  That guy looked in his computer and confirmed my flight was delayed.  He should tell that to the guy shouting Charlotte passengers needed rebooking.

I got to the gate and began waiting.  My flight was delayed while waiting for a first officer.  The FO was coming in from Grand Rapids and that flight wasn’t leaving any time soon.  The flight next to us was waiting for that plane, but then got another plane, then needed a flight attendant.  A captain was supposed to be flying in the back of the plane back to his home in Charlotte.  He wanted to get home so he got the paperwork to crew our flight.  I made a comment that it was weird seeing two 4-stripers.  A guy next to me in the boarding area asked me how I knew what the stripes meant.  If you fly enough you just know that most domestic flights are crewed by 1 person with four stripes and 1 person with three stripes.  Mainly I like to pay attention to how many female pilots there are.

We finally made it to Charlotte.  I had checked my bag (due to not wanting to mess with waiting for a gate-checked bag with a tight connection) so I waited for it at baggage claim.  While at baggage claim another kid from my flight who had been very mad with the gate agents made a comment I just had to react to.  He said “If we were waiting for a stewardess why couldn’t the second pilot just do it”.  Now maybe he’d been paying attention to the cross training at British Airways, but I doubted that so I quickly said “First of all, our flight was waiting for a first officer, not a flight attendant, that was the flight next to us.  Second, a pilot can’t just be a flight attendant.  That’s a huge step down on the pay scale”  Now I know my last sentence was an exaggeration, but this kid didn’t look like he was in the working world yet so I didn’t think he’d really understand anyway.

So to sum it up: airlines can’t control the weather.  Weather messes with flights and that leads to crew and equipment shortages.  It sucks, but the gate agents can’t change anything about it.