Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weather, NFL Owners, weather, weather and weather...

Well, the Memorial Day weekend with the trip to St Louis is over - what a wonderful weekend and like all wonderful weekends, they have to come to an end. I will say that the hospitality on Southwest, albeit timing a little off because of weather (see below), was great! Everyone was very friendly, the seats comfortable, and, the most important of all, we got to our destinations with our luggage!!

Before the weekend weather saga though, last week, for those that follow the National Football League, the owners held a two day meeting in Ft Lauderdale. Whenever the owners are in any town, there is always a very nice parade of expensive metal in town. This meeting was no different. While I was able to capture 5 of them in the camera lens, I did see about 4 others. The five that I was able to catch were:

Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys)

Dan Snyder (Washington Redskins)

Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts)

The Wilf family (Minnesota Vikings)

Alex Spanos (San Diego Chargers)

The weekend trip to St Louis started off on Thursday evening with an hour delayed flight due to weather. I will say that Southwest did keep us well informed of the delay, when boarding would start, etc. The flight itself was a very comfortable 2 1/2 hour flight and getting in later wasn't too much of an issue except for a 5 year old that fell asleep 1/2 hour before landing and was very difficult to wake up! After an amazing weekend, we ended up back at Lambert St Louis International airport for the return trip home on Tuesday. Again, the plane was late - this time 45 minutes because of bad weather when the flight left Houston, but the interesting part was after we took off. Two comfortable hours down to Florida and then the captain announced that we were going into a holding pattern over Fort Myers as weather (big storms!) had closed both Miami and Ft Lauderdale. We would have been happy to divert to West Palm Beach and get off and go home from there but no luck. After 30 minutes of the holding pattern, the captain announced we were going to land at Fort Myers for fuel as he was getting a little low and not knowing when Ft Lauderdale would open up again. So, a smooth landing onto runway 24 at Fort Myers and of course, you can imagine the volume of talking on the plane as everyone took out cell phones to let family, friends, offices know we were going to be late. After about 30 minutes on the ground at Fort Myers, the captain announced that we were cleared to go to Ft Lauderdale and off we went, followed by a US Airways A319 that had obviously suffered the same kind of delay as they landed behind us at Ft Lauderdale. So, finally, 3 hours late to the minute, we were heading off the plane, to the car and the wet road home to West Palm Beach.

One thing about both flights reinforced to me how much people totally ignore signs, warnings, verbal commands, etc, and I'm sure that all flight crew (cockpit and attendants) will agree! No matter when the seat belt sign was on, no matter how many times people were asked not to form a line at the front of the plane when the front lavatory was in use, no matter how many repeated announcements over the intercom, it is truly amazing how many people think it does not apply to them. You only have to look out of the window to see how threatening the weather is or how close we are to landing and there goes Joe or Sally Public traipsing up the aisle because they are more important than any safety sign/warning/announcement and are going to burst. There is already one case under investigation by the NTSB of warning signs and the outcome of them, yet most people do not think further than 2 seconds ahead. I really take my hats off to flight attendants who have to deal with these people - I can only imagine the comments/abuse/threats they get because someones bladder is about to burst - such a silly thing that can have such a potentially life changing outcome. Okay - I'm off my soap box now.

The weather in the south of Florida continues with rain, rain and more rain - I can only wonder the next time my camera lens will be pointed at aircraft. In the meantime, another week behind the camera lens over.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hi Mark,

I was directed to your blog by Rand's comment in his. Looks like a great spot to be returning to. I love the display this week with the 747 'smokin'!
I drive cars north and south for snowbirds and FLL is one of my favorite airports to fly into because of ease of access. Nice to know there are spots to watch A/C from. I'll have to use the Hibiscus spot next season when I am waiting for my client's arrival.
I completely embrace your comments about passengers. I have made a hobby of picking them out in the terminal before loading; Interesting how often I hit the mark. (I wonder what they say about me?)
Thanks for your efforts - I will enjoy watching