The flight from New York to Chicago takes two hours in the air, and is on-time if it takes three hours from gate to gate. Yesterday my flight was not on time:
- Late crew arrival: boarding starts at the scheduled departure time.
- APU inoperative: mechanic inspection and sign off takes 40 minutes.
- JFK on a Friday evening: 55 minutes from push-back to take-off.
- ILS inoperative on one of O'Hare's runways: take a 10-minute holding loop over Michigan.
- Landing runway 9L: spend 17 minutes taxiing to the gate.
- Friday night at O'Hare: 35 minutes from gate arrival to bag delivery.
- Friday night at O'Hare: taxi line takes 20 minutes.
- Cabbie forgets the biggest traffic news in Chicago: miss two available exits because the Ohio ramp is closed.
Total time from leaving my hotel in New York to arriving at dinner an hour late: 8 hours, 28 minutes. (On average, my door-to-door time from New York is just over 5 hours.)
And none of it was American's fault, except for the bit about being one of 40 airlines to schedule a 5pm departure from Kennedy.
I chose the departure from JFK because, using miles, my options were limited, and spending 20 hours in my third-favorite city in the world seemed like a good end to the week. It wasn't until I tried to leave that random events started conspiring against me.
Still, it was a fun trip. I read four books entirely, got most of the way through one and started a sixth. And I had two new beers at Southampton Arms: Jones the Brewer's Abigail's Party Ale and a special pale whose name I forgot to write down, apparently.