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#950443 by Treelo
15 May 2019, 16:09
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All good things come to an end. Following a fabulous road trip around Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi and culminating in a week relaxing around a villa pool (and shopping for the present Mrs Treelo!!) it was time to make the journey to MCO for the flight home.
Driving to the airport through a violent thunderstorm, I remember thinking that this was the sort of weather that usually meant delays and cancellations – more of that later. Having checked in at the institution that is Disney Springs and having had stellar service from the ground crew there, we went straight through security at MCO and onwards to the Delta Sky Club. What a mistake that was! The place was absolutely heaving and people were scrimmaging to get seats. Luckily as we stepped out of the bar area (well it would have been rude not to have a last Michelob), a couple vacated their seats, which we quickly nabbed. Whipping out my laptop, I was relieved to find that the good old Manchester flight was still showing as ‘On Time’. Yaaaaay, result – more of that later.
It was then that we tuned in to the conversations going on around us – well, difficult not to, given the volume at which people were having to speak because of the noise created by the 1000s and 1000s of people in the lounge. The main thrust seemed to be flights being delayed or cancelled in and out of MCO because of the storm earlier. The noise just seemed to keep ramping up, so we decided to vacate the lounge and seek refuge somewhere else. We actually found a couple of seats way down the gate area and sat, with a sigh of relief at being out of the noise that was the Delta Sky Club.
It was now 3pm and boarding was due to commence at 4pm for a 5pm departure. Casting an eye to the gate, which was still showing VS76 as ‘On Time’, I noticed something was missing – an aircraft!! Whispers began to radiate from the passengers seated in and around that gate area who had been checking out social media that the incoming flight from Manchester had not landed at MCO but had indeed been diverted to Miami because of bad weather! Why on earth the gate info was still showing ‘On Time’ I have no idea. So much for the supercilious ‘at least my flight’s on time’ in the lounge!!
Anyway, long story short, time dragged on and I suspect that the number of times that anyone in a VS outfit who dared to come anywhere the gate was mobbed prompted an announcement about the flight status. Our aircraft was still in Miami and would be arriving at MCO for a takeoff of some time between 7pm and 8pm. She eventually arrived, was refuelled and cleaned, and we finally boarded into the calm serenity of the UC cabin
Were warmly welcomed on board (by name) by Steve – permission asked and given – who looked after us professionally and humorously throughout the flight. Nothing was too much trouble for the guy, who should feel very proud of the service he provided. Time for info to Crawley Towers.
The flight itself was OK, perhaps a little turbulent here and there, but nothing too bad. The food on the other hand was barely adequate. We both passed on the starters (we had had lunch earlier in Kissimmee) and went straight for the beef followed by raspberry cheesecake and mousse. The dessert was magnificent but the beef was tough as old boots. Why is it that the food offering ex-USA is never as palatable and the ex-UK variety? Well that’s my opinion for what it’s worth. I passed on cheese and port – I was driving home and had already had a couple of glasses of wine – but the present Mrs Treelo said they were both ‘fine’.
After dinner it was time for a nap, so I converted my bed and, unheard of for me, had a good 4 hours sleep, waking just as the breakfast service started. We were soon landing into a sunny Manchester, where the crew held back the Y cabin until PE and Upper had disembarked. Through security (machines) with no problem and luggage came off the carousel within the first 15 or so bags. Result!
So all in all a perfectly acceptable flight, enhanced by the effervescent Steve, adequate food offering and priority baggage working well at MAN.
#950452 by David
16 May 2019, 07:36
Hi Treelo

I know what you mean about the food on return. Don’t know if it’s because I’ve eaten all day, am tired or just dreading the trip back home but it never seems to be as nice as the outbound food.

I wonder if it’s the evening departure and because your on your way home, you know it’s really midnight and too late to be eating ?

David
#950469 by buns
17 May 2019, 05:08
Treelo

Thanks for the TR

The prospect of the return of our (now) sunny trip to Florida does not hold such a great prospect.

We too have experienced a crowded Delta Sky Room due to delayed departures and although the seating is sometimes sparse, we have alwYs found some kid, willing soul to accommodate us :-D :-D

Thanks once again and we hope our return is less stressful

buns
#950471 by hiljil
17 May 2019, 07:35
Thank you for your TR.
Driving to the airport through a violent thunderstorm would not be a good start for me, never mind the prospect of returning home , and then the delay and crowded lounge ... but at least there were positives on your actual flight so that ,hopefully , the euphoria of your wonderful road trip didn’t get diminished.
#950474 by Treelo
17 May 2019, 11:10
buns wrote:
Thanks once again and we hope our return is less stressful

buns


So do I, buns. This trip was all about delays. Over 3 hours to get through customs and security into Atlanta and then over 5 hrs delay 10 days later for our flight from ATL to MCO because of storms between Jacksonville and Orlando!! Oh and with that lot behind us, a violent rain storm on our way to the supermarket this morning. Hey ho. :D
#950479 by honey lamb
17 May 2019, 21:11
On our first trip to MCO in the Dark Ages when Are John was nobbut a lad, we arrived in that fair airport (on a domestic flight from DCA) just as a thunderstorm was starting. In fact we were the last flight to land and all the others were being diverted according to the captain. We all disembarked smugly knowing that at least we had arrived but had not reckoned with the ramp being closed so we had to wait in the baggage reclaim area until the storm passed. One lady had a major hissy fit about it as she claimed that this would never have happened in Philadelphia in a storm but even Aer John at 13 understood the logic of it even if she didn't. At one point we were told we could leave our bags and check in to hotels etc and come back to reclaim them before midnight but as it was our first trip there (and indeed to America) we didn't know how far we had to go so elected to stay (as did most people).

It was two and a half hours before the ramp opened and we were able to claim our bags! There's not a lot you can do in a baggage claim area for that length of time - especially in 2001 when we didn't have smart phones to while away the time and the only entertainment was a lady and her hissy fit and also the kind of siege mentality bonding that happens in such situations!
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