...so the plane (a Northwest puddle-jumper) left the gate 2 hours late from Detroit for the short flight to Omaha. Having left home in the UK at around 5am that morning I wasn't best pleased at the delay but at least we were now on our way. We taxied out to the end of the runway.We waited half an hour.We turned round and went back to the gate. Mechanical problems. Everyone off. Replacement equipment supplied an hour later. We boarded. We took off. 20 minutes in, announcement: "Warning lights are on... we have to land in Grand Rapids, Michigan". Where? We landed and stopped abruptly on the runway as fire trucks swooped in to look for smoke. There was none. But the plane could not be cleared for take off. We disembarked at the terminal and waited for more replacement equipment. Ever been to Grand Rapids? It has a an airport and a bowling alley. But no replacement equipment. By this time, darkness had descended on Michigan. We all lined up while the nice ladies from Northwest, Grand Rapids, re-booked us one by one and handed out hotel vouchers. That took another hour and it was 11pm when I finally rolled up at the Holiday Inn. I think. Hard to remember because I was only there for 5 hours before heading back to the airport for my American flight to... Chicago.I arrived in Omaha at 10am, 16 hours late.
So thanks, Northwest. After 20 years in the business, that was definitely the most frustrating journey I have ever experienced. And apologies to all citizens of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I'm sure it's a lovely place to raise a family.