Look, I'm no expert on aviation or airport traffic but when the Boston Globe splays an above-the-fold headline like "Jets crash on Logan taxiway" and the airline in question turns out to be Delta, with which I've just had, shall we say, a rather inferior "user experience," I've got a bit to say. Briefly, perfectly good weather, before dark, and:
A large Delta jet preparing to take off at Logan International Airport for a trip to Amsterdam last night struck a smaller jet, slicing through its tail and leaving at least one passenger injured, authorities said.
Reading on we find that "two planes collided at New York’s Kennedy airport in April. One of the planes involved in that incident had just arrived in New York from Boston. That was also a Delta plane [that]...operates as Delta Connection, a regional partner contracted to fly certain flights."
Last weekend, returning from abroad, I attempted to fly back to Boston on a Delta Connection flight through JFK. I'm not a fussy passenger but I do think a few things make sense like:
1. Announcing the flight. No, I'm not being flip. Delta Connection was boarding THREE flights from the same gate and while they announced the Charlotte and Atlanta (forgive me if it was a different city but I think it was Atlanta) flights, Boston passengers never heard a call for theirs. Then as departure time drew near, we started asking and we suddenly were rushed to the head of the line.
2. Connecting the gate with the plane. Again, we're talking about an airline flying out of one of the world's premier airports. We walked down a rickety jetway, around a corner, down again, perhaps the equivalent of three or four city blocks, off of which there were various openings - sort of like a movie theatre - #1 for Harry Potter, etc. Finally there was a sullen attendant (I would have been more than sullen if I had that job) who pointed out the door. Into a bit of a torrential downpour. And the instructions to walk to the plane, which was another good city block or so away. Certainly a less customer-friendly approach than the one we'd had in the developing country that we'd just left.
3. Taking off. After more than an hour when we sat on the plane, we learned that we were returning to the gate where a "customer service representative" would tell us what was happening.
4. A customer service rep to tell us what was happening. There wasn't.
Sheer persistence (it's now 11 PM) on the part of perhaps 75 enraged passengers brings the rumor that the flight is cancelled (there's never an announcement) - and each of us individually is left to make new arrangements. Briefly, we were sent to an airport hotel (this took another hour), were given two meal vouchers (for dinner and breakfast - need I add that the hotel restaurant was closed by this point), and rebooked on a flight that would get us to Boston around noon the next day.
The meal vouchers were $6 each, not enough to cover the hotel breakfast.
The next morning's flight was postponed due to "technical problems."
And we finally landed around 2 PM the following day - but only because I insisted on being rebooked on a different flight. Why did I suspect that the "technical problems" on our plane might lead to another delay?
Delta. I posted to Facebook about this and got a bit of a dump from others about their Delta experience. My favorite from my friend, Rhodes: "As for myself, I swore off flying with Delta years ago."
My story is one of inconvenience and incompetence. What happened on the runway last night in Boston was dangerous. There needs to be a pretty large delta at Delta to get this airline right again.