I flew here today. Another eventful flying experience.
Air traffic control rerouted us due to thunderstorms between Chicago and New York. No problem. Just fly around the city and come in from the north side. No rain in NYC. Not a problem at all. Except that moments before the wheels of our airplane touched the ground, the pilot suddently surged forward and jerked us back into the air, flying over the runway instead of landing on it.
I nervously glanced at the passengers around me as they nervously glanced at me. We all nervously glanced without speaking. After about 2 minutes of flying over New York City, the pilot said over the speaker,
"Sorry about that, folks. We had to, uh, abort landing at the last minute. There was a plane sitting in the middle of the runway."
WHAT! There was an AIRPLANE sitting in the middle of the runway and we almost landed into it!? We gasped. We raised our eyebrows and looked at each other. I smiled in disbelief, a bad habit of emotional displacement. I thought to myself,
"Thanks, Air Traffic Control, for a bunch of nothin'."
I imagined it was a terrorist plot. They all had somehow maneuvered planes to sit on runways so that the flying planes couldn't land, anywhere...and the flying planes all just flew and flew until they ran out of gas and crashed into buildings and oceans.
We continued to circle the city, and a cell phone rang behind me. The cell phone belonged to a man who looked stoned. Why did he have his cell phone on? Didn't that interfere with communication and whatnot? Surely, he wouldn't answer it. Not after we almost rammed into a sitting plane.
The woman across the aisle from me looked at the man sitting behind me, then looked at me and said, "He ANSWERED his phone! I can't BELIEVE he would ANSWER his phone!" She gaped at the man with a look of disgust.
A guy a few rows back hollered out, "Hey, man, I don't think that's the best time for that right now!"
The pilot lowered the plane for a second attempt at landing. We bowed our heads and closed our eyes. I made peace with God in case it was the end.
Obviously, it wasn't. We bumpily landed and screeched to a stop.
Welcome to New York City, where airplanes like to sit still on runways reserved for other planes' landings.