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Reader's Forum
Weathering an airport problem
Article published on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012
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Editor:
I recently flew a non-stop (round trip) flight from Tampa, Florida to Las Vegas and I was amazed with the incompetence that I experienced on the airline. When the plane left Tampa and landed in Las Vegas, (around 4 1/2 hours later) the pilot was unable to bring his plane up to his assigned gate, due to another plane sitting at his assigned gate, because the ground crews were all inside of the airport terminal, awaiting the passing of some minor lightning flashes, that was seen within 8 miles of the airport that day. We were told that by our pilot.

All of the passengers (including me) had to sit in our seats (for about an hour and a half) before any of those ground crews decided to come out of the terminals again, and continue on with all of their ground crew jobs that day, and before any of us were ever allowed to exit that Southwest jet that day. Eight days later, on Aug. 22, my out-bound flight was scheduled to leave Las Vegas for Tampa at 10 a.m. in the morning, but the airlines wouldn’t let any of us board that out-bound flight of theirs that morning, due to all of their ground crews being, once again, inside of the terminals, due to it raining outside the terminal that morning, and due to some lightning flashes that was seen (again) by them within 5 to 8 miles of the airport that morning. As we were waiting the boarding of that plane that morning, (around 3 hours) I looked outside of those terminal windows, and I was amazed at what I was seeing outside. I saw some little luggage trailers outside that were stacked with luggage, all sitting out in the rain. Some of the luggage that was sitting on those “rained on” trailers outside were covered up with tarps, and some were not covered up with tarps. Needless to say, all of the passengers on that flight were very irritated that morning when they had seen what I had seen out of those windows, and when they had to sit in that Las Vegas airport for hours and hours that morning, awaiting their flight back to Tampa. 

No one likes to see his luggage outside getting “rained on,” and no one likes to wait for hours and hours in a terminal to board a plane, simply because some ground crews are afraid of a little bit of rain, or afraid of a few lightning flashes in the sky, that have been noticed (on their computers) 5-8 miles away from an airport.

I’m a Florida plumbing contractor, and I have been working out in the rain, and out in the lightning, and out in the wind, and out in the ice, and out in the snow, and out in the heat, and out in the mud, etc. etc., ever since that I have been working in the plumbing trade, (since 1963) and I have never been afraid to work in any of that stuff in all of my many years of working in the plumbing trade, so what’s wrong with all of those airline ground crews of today? Are they (and all of their bosses) a bunch of wimps and cowards today, or what?

Plumbers are known as problem solvers in this world, so (below) is my solution for the above weather problems that I encountered with the airlines recently.

Every airport in America needs to put a simple “carport covering” over all of their gates (and planes) at all of their terminals.

That way, all of the planes in America would be out of the rain, and out of the lightning, and out of all of the storms, etc., when they come into all of those gate ports or those plane ports to do all of their re-fueling and all of their loading and unloading of both passengers and luggage, etc., would they not?  If this country can put coverings over most all of their football fields, etc., then why don’t the people of this country get together and demand that coverings be placed over all of the airplanes that they have to board in this country? People hate sitting in jets for hours and hours on those airport tarmacs, and they hate sitting for hours and hours in some airport terminal, just because some ground crews are afraid to come out of those terminals and continue on with doing their jobs. So just think of how many millions of happy fliers there would be (again) here in America, if all of the airlines of America would all get together with one another, and start demanding (from all of those airport owners) some simple coverings over all of America’s airplanes (and gates) that are in this country, and around this world?  When I got back to Tampa, and went to baggage claim, I found that my suitcase was wet on its bottom side. Mine must have been one of those that I had seen out in the rain, there at Las Vegas. 

Glen Myers
Pinellas Park
Article published on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012
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