Ready For Takeoff
As an undergraduate in upstate New York, I got to know the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH) pretty well. When winter hits, in September or October, few flights leave on time. Small propeller planes, scheduled to go to LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), idle on runways; pilots and flight attendants wait for plow crews and deicers; and passengers try to pass the time.
Small-town Ithaca has a small-time airport, with a handful of gates and no bar. A convenience store, which mostly deals in novelty shirts and bumper stickers, has a refrigerator with a modest selection of bottled beer and cheap wine. Ah, to sit in a crowded waiting area with a Budweiser and a bag of Doritos!
Thousands of passengers are stranded today, in airports across the country. American Airlines has decided to ground hundreds of planes. At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and O'Hare International Airport (ORD), normally bustling hubs, desperate, thrifty, and powerless fliers wait for their flights; busy, enterprising, and self-important travelers harangue their travel agents.
We want to know what you do when your flight is delayed. Do you hit the bar? Do you go for a massage? Do you splurge for a hotel room? Do you commiserate with strangers? Are there certain airports at which you prefer to be stranded?
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