The weather from Little Rock to Chicago was forecast as clear. When I boarded the plane in Little Rock, the trouble began.
The pilot advised the 100 plus passengers on the plane that there was a slight delay in Chicago, due to a back up of planes. We patiently sat on the hot plane in Little Rock, just waiting for the go ahead to take off. That go ahead came just an hour after our first warning of the back up.
We took off for the two hour flight. We were nearing Chicago and our pilot announced that we had to circle the airport. We circled and he cautioned us that our gas was getting low, and hopefully they would let us land soon.
We landed but we could not get up to the gate. We sat on the tarmac awaiting a spot at one of the gates. I glanced at my watch. I had a three hour window for my connecting flight, and two hours had already been used up. The gate episode was another 45 minute wait.
I hurried up to the representative and asked what gate was my connecting flight. As luck would have it, my flight was boarding. It was ten minutes late, but I could make it. I received the gate number and hurried to the other gate. I thought that this flight would probably be late, also.
I got to the gate and found out that my seat was given to another. I would have to go on stand by for the next flight.
The next flight came in, but there were others ahead of me on stand by. I did not get on this plane, and was refused by the busy attendant to be told where I was on the stand by list. A cute male reservationist gave in to my requests and told me that I was second on the list. I should get out on the next plane, which will be leaving in five hours.
The airport in Chicago was a mess. There were people laying and sitting on the floor. The rest rooms were dirty and some not working at all. The eateries were out of food. The airport was dirty and really a mess.
What caused this nightmare? A lightning storm had passed through the Chicago area. This storm had caused the airport radar to receive a hit. This hit had caused the radar to be down for about 30 minutes. This 30 minute time frame had caused all of the planes to be backed up. This back up of thirty minutes escalated into an hour then two hours. The rest was downhill.
I finally boarded my Pittsburgh flight, and arriving in Pittsburgh nearly 8 hours after my scheduled arrival time. It was a nightmare of a trip. I missed an important dinner meeting, a visit with an out of town relative, and my hotel room being given away.
It was truly a nightmare.