Alabama Christmas - Day 1

Our day flying out to Alabama was a long one. We rose at 3:30 am in San Jose in order to be on time for our 6:20 am flight. When we arrived the checkin counter line for Frontier and all other airlines was very long. It was not long after being in line that we heard an announcement that the flight was delayed.

The new time was 7:45. We were somewhat grateful that it was delayed since the line was so long. But after a little time in line, we realized that the line is taking longer than usual because the delay is requiring the counter to reroute people. If the delay didn’t happen, the line would likely travel faster and we would make our originally scheduled flight.

We also needed to be rescheduled in Denver because the delay would cause us to miss our transfer in Denver. When we arrived at the counter an hour later (6:30) we learned that our rescheduled flight would be leaving Denver at 2pm and we would arrive in Nashville at 6pm. Our original schedule was for us to arrive in Nashville at 2pm! A 4 hour delay.

We passed time by walking over to the indoor playground and letting Matthew run around at the playground. Boy was that a surreal experience. I was not in a playful mood, but here I was running around on a playground with my son. After a short while, I actually started to enjoy playing. Security was quick as there were not many people in line. This was a small section of the airport that I learned was nicknamed “Happy Hollow” by the security agents because of the low traffic and easy time they have working the area.

We settled in at the gate and waited for an announcement to board the plane. They new schedule was 7:45 and boarding time was approaching. There was a Togos selling muffins, bagels and juices, so we bought a couple things to eat. Matthew was having a real hard time, crying and fussing. The boarding time passed, so I asked the counter when we were boarding. They said they were waiting for the crew to arrive and didn’t know when that would be. Sounded crazy to me. They don’t know where their crew is and how long before they arrive?

At around 7:30 parents with children started heading for the gate for preboarding. We were all standing around waiting for the announcement to board. Surely it would be any minute since they were planning to leave at 7:45. They soon announced that the plane would be delayed another 30 minutes! So many of the parents in line just sat down on the floor. Matthew was now asleep, so we just sat where we were and placed him on a jacket on the floor.

30 minutes later they delay again, until finally they announce boarding at 9am! A cheer was heard throughout the gate.

At take off, we learned that the delay was due to ice on the wings. They could not take off with ice on the wings and they didn’t have any de-icing equipment to get the ice off. Frontier didn’t expect ice in San Jose, so they didn’t have any equipment at the airport to handle it. The other airlines also refused to help Frontier be loaning equipment. So basically, the aircraft sat in the sun until it melted off.

We flew through Denver, which was uneventful and we made it to Nashville with all our luggage. Later, we learned this was a real blessing because a couple days later the Denver airport was shut down due to snow and over 1500 people were stranded in the airport for more than a day. Denver airport is actually a very risky airport to fly in and out of during the winter. American Airlines through Dallas would probably be better in the future.


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