Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last Friday our son Ian was flying from Texas to Syracuse to spend our anniversary with us. He had a layover in JFK airport but was due in SYR a little before 2pm. I got there a bit ahead of time, a 3+ hour drive. I checked his flight on the arrivals board and it was listed as "On Time". Twenty minutes after the arrival time it was still listed as on time. I reasoned maybe that was touch down time and between taxiing to the terminal etc. he would be along any minute. Thirty minutes after arrival time it was still allegedly on time but still no Ian. Forty minutes after its scheduled time his flight was no longer on the board and there had been no announcements so I called his cell phone. He was still in JFK. The "On Time" flight had never left there.

What ensued after was almost 6 hours of the plane sitting in a queue to take off, returning to the terminal, repeat and finally having everyone get off to get a meal with the prospect of taking off later. After they had eaten they were finally told the flight was cancelled. In the end he rented a car, drove part way home while I drove the 3 hours plus back from Syracuse and he stopped to get a few hours sleep before driving the rest of the way. A very frustrating day for both of us.

The sole bright spot was that I had followed the advice I frequently give others and taken a camera, my Canon G11. I don't sit still well unless I'm at the computer editing photos so I spent a fair amount of the 6 hours I was at the airport wandering and looking for things to photograph between calls to Ian to see what was happening on his end. I came up with a few, all of which seem to work better as B&Ws. I think the one above is the best of the bunch, a small compensation for an otherwise frustrating day.

Fortunately he went back yesterday and all went smoothly. Had it been today the earthquake happened just as he would have been boarding and all the airports shut down to inspect runways for damage. He'd have been stuck in JFK again.

P.S. It was a very good visit. Thanks for coming Ian.

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