Trip type: Personal/Business

Airline: Delta

Route: MSP-ATL

The more I fly, the more I’m subjected to hearing the same annoying phrases over and over again:

  1. Enjoy your flight! (Comment below if you have actually enjoyed a flight in the last year.)
  2. If there’s anything we can do to make your flight more comfortable, please let us know. (Ok, I’d like a wine IV and to not have to sit next to, um, anyone.)
  3. We apologize for the delay and will let you know more information as we receive it. (Sounds nice and reassuring but is sure to cause panic in 10 seconds flat.)
  4. We’ll just be sitting on the Tarmac for a bit until a gate/a de-icing machine/traffic control can accommodate us. (Shoot me now.)

And then there’s the phrase E and I heard this weekend on our flight to Atlanta: We’ve been put in a holding pattern.

Everything started smoothly enough…we had a 9am flight to Atlanta which departed on time and with little difficulty (although I was quickly reminded how slowly weekend flights board compared to my usual 6am Monday flights). We were just about to start descending for Atlanta when the announcement came:

“Ladies and gentlemen, due to bad weather in Atlanta, air traffic control has put us in a holding pattern for the next hour or so. Please remain seated during this time as the weather may cause unexpected turbulence. We’ll let you know if the situation changes.”

Um, ok. The iPad had plenty of battery so I wasn’t overly concerned for the moment. About a half hour later, we got the next update:

“There’s been a slight break in the weather so we’re going to try to land. Air traffic control thinks it can land three or four planes. Flight attendants, please prepare for landing.”

Well this looks promising! Then I see three enormous lightning bolts out of my window.

“Well, we clearly haven’t landed and it looks like we won’t soon…we’re headed back into the hold. Please remain seated.”

Sigh. When the updates get terse and to-the-point, you know everyone’s on her last nerve. Luckily, it wasn’t too much later until we got the final update:

“There’s been another break and we’ve been cleared for landing.”

Finally. We landed very fast but without much fanfare, and proceeded to have a great weekend in Atlanta (after years of flying through the Atlanta airport, I finally got to visit the Coca-Cola museum (highly recommended!)).

All of which brings me to my favorite saying; does anyone remember the “We love to fly and it shows” Delta ad campaign from way back? I sure do.