I am home alone this holiday weekend, all thanks to JetBlue airlines. As flies to wanton boys, are we to the airline personnel.
I was supposed to fly to Tampa today to meet a friend after five years. I had booked myself on a direct JetBlue flight from Boston, a month back. But yesterday morning I received an email from JetBlue saying that my flight might get cancelled or delayed due to the impending hurricane, Arthur. I was given the option to reschedule at no additional cost. So I did. I re-booked myself on a flight with one stop, connecting in JFK, on the 2nd of July.
It was already noon and the flight was scheduled to leave from Boston at 2.43 p.m. I somehow managed to pack my bags and called a cab and reached Logan on time. I boarded the flight feeling happy and excited.
I had a 3.5 hours layover at JFK. The flight was scheduled to leave at 7.30 p.m. It got delayed first by an hour, then by another. I was getting impatient. So were the other passengers. Several JetBlue flights were delayed and some cancelled. I feared the worst. I was tired and hungry; all I wanted was to board flight 225 to Tampa. JetBlue officials announced the flight was coming in from Charlotte, NC and hence the delay. Passengers were assured the flight would leave as soon as it came in.
The flight arrived after midnight. We boarded at 12:45 a.m. The pilot announced that the aircraft would be taxiing for 30-60 minutes due to the backlog that was created. The aircraft taxied for 40 minutes, slowly. So slowly that it would put a snail to shame.
At 1.45 a.m. came the next announcement from the pilot: one of his colleagues on the flight had exceeded his 16-hour shift limit, which was against the federal regulations. He therefore would have to steer the plane back to the gate. And then came the bad news, the flight was cancelled. I am happy to know that JetBlue cares about their employees but what about their customers?
We deplaned. I was tired and angry like the others. We had to collect our baggage and had to re-book at JetBlue check-in counters. I stood in the serpentine line for three hours (2 a.m to 5 a.m.) The officials said that they couldn’t guarantee us a seat on the next flight to Tampa. I tried calling the customer service number several times, but to no avail.
The line wasn’t moving at all. I felt trapped and feared that I would never be able to leave the airport. I just wanted to get back home at that point. I hadn’t eaten for hours and had no more energy left to put up a fight. I took a cab to Penn station and bought a train ticket to Boston. I reached Boston today at 10.30 a.m. Cab + train fare = $245.
My husband is flying to Atlanta today to meet his friends. He had an evening Delta flight, which got delayed by few hours. He has now boarded the flight but there seems to be some kind of problem with the aircraft door and they are repairing it; that’s the latest update. I sincerely hope he doesn’t have to go through the same ordeal as I did.
On a lighter note, with all the time that I have now, I got to experiment in the kitchen today. I made chicken (murg) in a spinach (palak) gravy. I marinated the chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste, cajun spice, tandoori masala, yogurt, oil, garam masala, salt & pepper. Then I pan fried it. For the gravy, I blanched a packet of baby spinach and stirred it in with some onion, tomato/tomato paste, ginger, garlic and green chilies that I was frying in a skillet and then pureed it in a blender. Then I added in the chicken pieces to the gravy.
July 4, 2014 at 5:11 am
I hope u never have to go through all that mania again. Glad you found relief in food:-) I would hv done the same.
July 4, 2014 at 10:08 am
Thnaks Namrata. I have been planning this holiday for long and it just got wiped away 😦
July 4, 2014 at 3:22 pm
That was such a terrible experience,reminds me of my experience when my flight could not land in Heathrow and had to be diverted to Koln…all that apart the chicken curry looks sooo beautiful,love the unusual take on chicken,red chicken on a bed of green gravy.
July 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm
Such experiences can really make you wary of air travel.
Have always wanted to try the chicken and spinach combo and yesterday was just the right day! Thank you 🙂
July 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm
What an awful experience! The food looks absolutely delicious, I hope it brought some joy to a frustrating attempted holiday.
July 7, 2014 at 9:11 am
The food coupled with my morning runs did kind of help 🙂
July 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm
God, I am so sorry to hear about your flight problems. Airplanes are already miserable so I can definitely picture your frustration. Uuuughhhh!
Remember when you could just walk up to your flight and board? Sometime you could literally walk to the plans and board from the tarmac.
The good days right?
Snags in glad you survived it and made it back safely given the storm. And you made something wonderful with your time.
Goes to show, food cures everything 😁
July 10, 2014 at 10:24 am
Thank you! It was an awful experience for sure. But yes I am over it now and food does work as an analgesic.
July 20, 2014 at 10:06 am
Nice and simple recipe. Sorry about your airline troubles. Can’t believe it used to be the luxury form of travel once upon a time.
July 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm
There you nailed it, “once upon a time” sounds so apt in context to airlines and associated distress these days.