Returning home took some real effort, primarily by a petite, and high energy airline captain; along with the cabin crew. Severe weather forced Captain Jennifer to fly our loaded plane to Huntsville, Alabama, last night. The flight from Seattle to Atlanta began with a departure delay of two hours due to weather conditions in Atlanta which held up our “pick-up” aircraft.
A two-hour delay didn’t feel like a real inconvenience – just a later arrival home than originally planned. Lined up to board, the art installation at Terminal A was not only stunning, but a calming distraction as well.
It was a most beautiful day to fly!
Not long after takeoff, I gazed out the window hoping to see Mt. Ranier. I wasn’t sure the mountain would make an appearance as we flew through clouds headed for our cruising altitude.
And then……….there it was. Wrapped in clouds below, jutting up toward the brilliant blue sky. A WOW moment!
Cruising along in our metal tube, relaxed in my chair, the sights down below were like none I had seen before.
The Great Salt Lake and its environs were a color-filled scene below.
Next up was the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
The mountain views ended over western Colorado.
For the next hour or so, things were on track. As I try to always be connected when I fly, this flight was no exception. I brought up my app that lets me see my flight and its trajectory in the midst of all the adjacent flights. I noticed we were going a bit out of the way, and then the straight line of flight became a large oval. And another oval, and additional off-the-beaten-flight path routes appeared. Uh oh.
Severe storms in Atlanta were the cause. We were in a holding pattern. What transpired over the next hour or so of hopping and skipping through the sky, was an unplanned stop in Huntsville, Alabama. Atlanta’s airport was CLOSED, and we were low on fuel.
Sunset as seen from 32,000′ as we turned left for our layover in Huntsville.
Captain Jennifer kept us cheerfully and honestly informed through it all. The cabin crew agreed to extend their day. And so it came to pass, that we spent a couple of hours on the ground, refueled, and then flew for 30 minutes to Atlanta.
After deplaning, one normally takes the escalator to the tunnel to catch the plane train. At 2am the train had ceased to be in service, so the walking trek from Terminals C to B to A to T to baggage claim began. It was much needed exercise after having been seated for most of nine hours.
Another two hours and we pulled into the driveway – home – safe and sound.
Thanks be to God. And thanks be to Captain Jennifer and her most excellent flying skills.