Friday, March 21, 2008


I just reached Newark Liberty International yesterday evening. Thanks to the Easter weekend there were tons and tons of travelers at Dallas, St. Louis and Newark.

My flight from Dallas to St. Louis was perfectly on time. Rather it was me who could screw it up by just missing the flight. I have usually just a single backpack on me (with no checked in baggage.) and so even a last moment dash to the gate is fine.

Seeing St. Louis will always have a special feeling. Am sure any person from Rolla will know what I am talking about here. It was just a stopover for me this time around instead of usually being the destination. But Lambert International will always bring back several memories. (Sanjeev will undoubtedly remember the Fall 07 pickups :))

I was in for a major mess up ahead now. My connecting flight to Newark was delayed and how. Whoever said that Indian Rail has delays hasn’t seen how delays affect the entire American system. My flight from St. Louis to Newark was delayed badly and the worst part was none of the staff and crew could tell me when it would be resolved. I usually carry several bollywood movies with me on my DELL whenever traveling to at least have something to watch rather than spending on pricey wi-fi services at airport lounges. (Bollywood stuff because each movie is about 3 odd hours long and so you have almost a solid playing time of 12-15 hrs with several movies)

I managed to catch the first half of Omkara before I finally boarded the flight to Newark. I thought that the worst was over but there are some ways of how these things keep spiraling out of control. My flight was then stranded on the runway. The captain switched the engines off and we were just sitting on the runway. It was sometime again before we finally were on our way to Newark.

On finally reaching Newark I saw that it was a total mess of things. Almost all flights arriving at Newark were delayed. I had a friend coming in from Greensboro, NC. Her situation was probably one of the worse ones. The flight previous to hers had been delayed and the crew over there as well had no clue when her flight would be scheduled.

The delays however were restricted just to the eastern zone (Newark, Cincinnati etc.). When I got off at Terminal A there was total chaos all around. It was like a sea of people. Most had no other choice but to wait it out. The numerous food joints weren’t complaining though. Even the pricey ones were crowded beyond the usual and people who would think several times about paying those exorbitant prices were lining up outside these joints.

Being the only one with a solid almost fully charged cell phone and full signal strength, I was by default in charge of ensuing a sort of co-ordination between the rest of us. (A special thanks to the inventor of the hands free without whom it would have been really slow as I had my hands full by now with other stuff.)

I have to say that patience is a virtue at these moments and could see several people who were quite pissed at the whole thing and were ready to fly off at the least of provocations. Now I hate to think about the state of those people who aren’t just delayed but also have misplaced baggage (I didn’t have both my bags when I landed in St. Louis the first time and I can imagine this scenario quite well.)

After quite a wait (while watching Chaalbaaz) we (Shubika, Moumita, myself) all finally met up and moved to the NJ Transit for Rutgers. I leave on Sunday back to Dallas and this time I have a stopover at Chicago. (The busiest airport in the US), and if I face delays of a major sort I have half a mind to take the CTA and go off to Loyola and then to Devon Avenue. (Btw I typed up the major part of this long post while I was waiting at Newark)

No comments: