When air travel is good, it is very good. My flight from Philly to Indy last Thursday took off at 8:04 a.m. and by 10:20 a.m. I was in my sister-in-law’s minivan. But the trip home was not so wonderful. They dropped me off around 9:15 a.m. for a 10:45 a.m. flight — a wee bit early, but I figured I’d get a few things done. Little did I know I’d be in that terminal for almost 8 hours.
US Airways delayed our flight twice due to maintenance issues, then decided they couldn’t fly the plane, and canceled it. I am glad this was discovered before we were up in the air. But of course everyone on that flight had to be distributed to other flights, and the airline seems to have prioritized different people for the next Philly flight. In any case, I got put on an American Airlines 4:50 p.m. flight. We landed in Philly at 6:30 or so. I fetched my car from a different terminal than I’d departed from, drove home, and arrived around 7:30. Having taken off in the morning around 8:45 a.m., I am pretty sure I could have driven driveway to driveway in that time.
Making use of time in airports is hard. The afternoon was easier than the morning because I knew I had 4 hours to kill. In the morning we kept getting delayed 45 minutes at a time, so not enough time to really get going on anything. I made a few phone calls (though mostly to iron out logistics: my boys needed to be picked up at camp and my mom, who was watching the 2-year-old, didn’t have a car on Friday, so my husband came home early). I read some. I read some stuff online. I responded to emails and sent out interview requests. I got lunch. I walked the length of the terminal multiple times, getting up to 9000 steps by the time I got on the plane. I would have walked more but I had to lug my carry-on the whole time, which was a little tiring.
I could have sat still and worked more but by Friday afternoon I’m always in wind-down mode. I tried to edit Mosaic but I was having trouble concentrating. In some cases, having several hours of forced downtime would be great. When stuck in an airport on a Friday without a pressing project, it’s not such a great thing.
What do you do when you’ve got long transit delays?
Public Service Announcement: Over at the Papercraft Laboratory, Anandi (who posts here as ARC) reminds readers to back up the photos and videos on your mobile phone. I took a bit of time to do this last week, emailing about 100 items I wanted to save to myself. If you have more, this can be more complicated, but she has instructions. Phones get lost all the time. And unless they’re backed up, the photos and videos will be gone too.
Photo: I could have made serious progress by horse from Indy in the time it took to fly to Philly last week.