Ohio and Michigan fought over the Glass City in the 1830s. Ohio “won” when Congress decided the Buckeye state would keep Toledo and Michigan would receive the Upper Peninsula.
So when Jessica and Brian left Port Columbus (and Ohio) for the Detroit airport (and Michigan), how did they end up in Toledo?
“Sorry folks the weather suddenly got bad” as we were circling Detroit over and over and over again, the pilot announced when he told Jessica, Brian, and the other passengers of their new destination. “We’ll talk to you again upon landing.”
He sure did talk to us again when he landed. The pilot also got his boss, and his boss’s boss on the radio. Turns out, the pilot had just finished a 16-hour day, and he really wanted to get to his hotel room in the Detroit metropolitan area. Our airline did not normally run flights through the Toledo airport so we didn’t even get to pull up to a gate. The pilot was not in a mood to sit on the tarmac in Toledo. (Neither were his passengers.) Before we had much of a chance to complain, however, the pilot had radioed half of the Northwest supervisors asking for the chance to take off again.
The pilot eventually summed everything up for us. Company policy (if not federal regulations) mandate that planes must have 2400 feet visibility to land. Detroit had suddenly been covered with fog, and we had only 1100 feet visibility. We made two landing attempts at Detroit before we were redirected to Toledo. The National Weather Service expected five hours of the dense fog, but after about 30 minutes in Toledo the fog had appeared to lift enough for flights to get in and out of Detroit.
“Let’s just see how lucky we can get,” the pilot said.
It took another hour for the airline to arrange to get us additional fuel and to get all the proper clearances to leave.
So, after a 90-minute wait sitting on the plane, Jessica and Brian’s flight returned to the air and landed in Detroit at 11:05 p.m.
The pilot’s response?
“We barely made it,” he told the flight attendant.
Might want to keep those thoughts behind the sealed cockpit door next time. Now, to see about a new flight (the Dec. 26 flight to Scranton was cancelled). We also have to find a bed in a state that we’d rather not be in right now.