Thursday, July 13, 2006

Flying high

I am a moron.

I'm flying to New Jersey today, and while waiting in the airport I decided to go online and check the weather in Newark. I stumbled upon a new, very dangerous feature of the "Air Turbulence Potential" map.

My connection was through Salt Lake City. Note that pretty much the entire path from L.A. to SLC is marked "Moderate to Severe Turbulence". I'm not sure which is worse: coming across unexpected turbulence in the air, or seeing it quantified for you ahead of time so you can worry about it while still waiting in the airport.

I made it to Salt Lake (my knuckles did not). My flight to Newark was delayed for about an hour because of weather delays along the east coast. Fine. Leave it at that. But our flight attendant didn't stop there, she decided to elaborate. "Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the late departure caused by the rain, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes they're having on the east coast." Tornadoes? And we're flying TOWARDS them? Too Much Information.

Currently I am in a holding pattern 30,000 feet above Canada I think. We have an extra one hour of fuel to decide what to do. If there is a slight break in the storm, the pilot is going to try to gun it and drop down in the eye of the hurricane I guess. If not, it's off to Cincinnati where we'll either refuel and give it another go, or else spend the night in an airport hotel. Super.

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