RDU Terminal 2

RDU Terminal 2

Monday, April 20, 2015

Travel Story - Keep Calm and Carry On

Location: Flying from Raleigh-Durham to Chicago

Three interesting events happened on my flight today.  All were minor, but all could have escalated and/or caused disproportionate mental anguish.  The fact that they didn't was a testament to the crews involved.

Medical Event - About a third of the way through the flight the flight attendant came on and calmly asked that any doctors or nurses on the flight make their way to the back of the plane.  Apparently some passenger had a medical incident.  The issue was resolved quickly, and there was no need to make an emergency landing.

Bird Event - We were making our approach to O'Hare airport and were close enough to have the landing gear down.  We then pulled the gear up and climbed back up and started circling.  The change was done so smooth that I didn't realize it had happened.  The pilot came on announced that we had to divert from our approach due to birds on the runway, and that we were going to use a different runway.  Air Traffic Control quickly sorted out the issue and we landed ahead of schedule.

Pushback Event - After landing we stopped just short of the gate. The pilot came on announced that the gate was still occupied.  The plane there was being pushed when the tug's towbar broke.  The ground crew found another very quickly and got the plane pshed back.  We were able to maintain our early arrival.

The TakeawayThree events, none of which was a big deal - but they could have been, or at least seemed like it.  Instead, the various staff sorted out the issue and kept things moving. My personal takeaway was that it is not just how you handle an issue, but also how you appear to others.