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"Weather en route"

Andrew Freedman @ 2:43 PM

I should've known better than to book a 5:30 PM flight in August, smack in the middle of thunderstorm season. As a weather junkie I've known for years that thunderstorms are the top cause of air traffic delays, and it is best to fly early in order to avoid the P.M. atmospheric shenanigans. Yesterday, however, I attempted to fly during peak t-storm time from Boston to Washington Dulles on the quaint little upstart airline Independence Air. When I arrived at the gate (the lounge was comprised of journalists and congressmen heading home from the DNC Convention) I saw that the 2:30 flight to D.C. had yet to take off. The explanation: "weather en route."

Passengers looked perplexed. "What the heck does that mean?" one said. Think about that for a second: isn't there always "weather" en route? Unless Independence normally flies in a weather-free environment that they have miraculously created, they fly through the air and thus, weather. How about saying, "thunderstorms have closed Dulles airport for a time?" (For the record, they eventually got around to saying that, but after several announcements not fit for the meteorological ignorant).

Here's a brief dialogue of an encounter I enjoyed with an Independence Air employee:

Me: Any info on the 5:30?
Her: No, but when I have any information, I'll pick up this microphone (holding the microphone up so I can see it)... and make an announcement.
Me: Oh, thanks for showing me the microphone. I look forward to hearing it work.

My scheduled arrival time: 7:11. Actual: 10:45. Advantage: thunderstorms.

Oh, and that microphone worked beautifully when she announced that they had no idea what time the 5:30 would depart, due to "weather."

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