Happy Valentine's Day, EXers! I guess since it's 1:35 am here in DC, I'm actually a day late but, OH, what a day I had on Saturday (without a minute to get on EX, hence the late Valentine's Day wishes).
I had a short layover in Orange County, CA, last night and we flew out of Santa Ana at 8:20am, headed to San Francisco. We had only 53 minutes in San Fran to deplane the passengers and get ourselves to our next flight: a transcon from San Fran to Dulles Airport in DC. The manifest included 85 (yes, I said EIGHTY-FIVE!!) 8th graders (13/14 yrs old) on a field trip to DC. Well, I LOVE LOVE LOVE kids (heck, I had five of my own. Well, I still "have" them, but they are now between 28 and 37 years old.) but this was a younger than usual bunch and many of them had never flown before.
Ok, I'm taking too long to get to the point. Here's what happened: We flew 4hrs 45m across the country. The weather was BAD in DC. We (the crew) all knew it was going to be a bad bad bad landing. The winds were so high and the plane was rocking side to side as we approached the runway. The pilots suddenly aborted the landing, shooting back up into the sky. I was the Purser (the head flight attendant) and I can hear the kids (all 85 of them, seated in the very back of the airplane where turbulence is always worse, crying and yelling to each other. Air Traffic Control assigns our pilot a different runway where the winds might not be so strong and the visibility might be better. But, nope, our second attempt at landing is also aborted, with another sudden shot upward into the sky. Now I've done this before (actually many times) so I'm fine, in control and making announcements to calm the passengers. But these poor kids are totally freaking out by this time. It's like a virus; they are infecting each other with fear. But because everyone, including the flight attendants, are all still strapped in because of the severe turbulence, there is nothing I can do to calm these poor kids down.
Again...I'm taking too long to get to the point. The upshot: Our flight diverted to Richmond, VA, where we sat for three hours (FAA maximum) and then flew back to DC and made it down despite conditions that were still really windy and turbulent. Okay. Kids survived. But now...I get off the plane and the Crew Desk calls to tell me that I'm not legal to fly my next trip. The FAA mandates that flight attendants have a minimum of ten hours rest between trips. This whole crazy night of aborted landings would only give me about six hours until my next trip. Why do I care? Because my trip tomorrow (today, actually) was to San Diego for a 20 layover. I was going to take the train up to Oceanside (like I do whenever I can get a nice long layover in SAN) and spend the afternoon with Dale, eating chile rellenos at our FAVORITE restaurant, driving around, getting ice cream cones, visiting Hoggie, and sitting on the pier. I was even going to see if we could skype with Nancy (Youngatheart) this time. I haven't gotten to hang with Dale in several months. D$%&*^%&R%^*%*()*()^$$*&AMN IT. I am so disappointed, I could cry.
But I have no idea why it took me so long to tell this story. Sort of an anticlimactic ending. Sorry. I'm just so sad that I can't hang out with Dale tomorrow. We always have such a nice time. Phooey. I hate the Crew Desk.