Saturday night’s United flight 830 from Chicago O’Hare to Buffalo was delayed an hour, according to United, “due to crew positioning.”
United C Concourse, Chicago O’Hare
Instead of taking off at 9:25pm they took off at 10:28pm. That presented a problem because Buffalo airport would be closed when the plane got there.
As the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which runs the Buffalo airport, explained:
The early Sunday morning scheduled closing at the Buffalo International Airport was planned and communicated to all airlines and parties involved for the past several months. The closings are part of our ongoing runway improvement project that began in early June and is expected to finish in July.
United, apparently, didn’t realize that they were flying to an airport that would be closed. And when if they realized it before the plane got to Buffalo, they didn’t explain that to customers.
A passenger onboard relayed that as the flight approached Buffalo, the captain “sounded real unsure of himself, but he said we couldn’t land in Buffalo. Basically at that point he just told us the airport was closed.”
The Airbus A320 diverted to Rochester about 60 miles away. They had to wait briefly for workers to arrive back at the airport to let them of the plane.
United worked to put passengers in taxis home to Buffalo, but cabs were scarce. Passengers made it to Buffalo around 6 a.m. rather than midnight as scheduled.
There were probably 70 of us out there just standing for over an hour without a taxi at 3 o’clock in the morning in Rochester.
United, in it’s official statement, doesn’t dispute any of this. It seems they have a long way to go, operationally, to become the best airline in the world.
In the old NBC television series L.A. Law firm partner Stuart Markowitz defended a mohel who botched a bris. The plaintiff’s lawyer asks the mohel what he said after making his incision. The mohel replies, in a very Yiddish accent, “I might have said ‘oops’. United here, it seems, might have said ‘oops’…