Friday morning the hurricane past us off the coast of northern Florida. When I went outside in the morning, it was bright blue out with some high clouds. It was neat to see the clouds because if you followed them for their length, you could see that they were in a swirly, rotational pattern due to the hurricane action. 10 miles away the clouds over the beach were dark and nasty. By the time I got back from dropping the boys at their schools, it had cleared and during the day, we got nothing more than some overcast weather- no rain and very little wind.
A had to head to work on Friday. He made it up there and his trips were all in the midwest so he didn't have to fly through nasty weather. But he was still effected. The insurance companies that cover the airlines don't really want to have to replace millions of dollars of equipment due to hurricane damage, so they make the airlines relocate all of the planes out of harms way. *Several times when A was an instructor and bad weather was coming, the flight instructors had to move all the company planes away from the Florida coast locations. The usual spot was Dothan, Alabama. Who knows why. Several times we heard stories from the large group of instructors stuck there with nothing to do but wait out the hurricane at a bar and the giant party it became. Having passed through the bucolic town of Dothan, which appeared to be nothing more than a giant highway truck stop full of strip malls and fast food restaurants (a friend of mine from Dothan later confirmed that yes, that really was all there is to the town...) I can see why the bar was the popular attraction. *
So anyhoo, A's company had to move it's masses of planes away from their east coast base and relocate them in Tennessee and Texas to wait out the storm. And then had to put up the flight crews who had to fly those planes in hotels. A had one overnight canceled and ended up staying in Texas with hundreds of other company pilots who were stranded. Every time I talked to him, it sounded like a party- We're going to the pool, we're going to a restaurant, oh hey, so and so showed up here too. Sounded (insert sarcasm here) like they were all trying to make the best of the situation. I hope he was able to enjoy it though because the payback is going to be a bitch.
The trade off is that A had his day off rolled and now has to ferry a plane back to Newark before he can come home. And he's due in 3 minutes AFTER a flight for home leaves. If it's not completely oversold with stranded passengers and other jumpseaters. The airport is going to be a mess today with all of the different airlines trying to get their planes back into position and getting all the passengers from the 18,000 canceled flights to their eventual destinations. I don't think I envy either A or the airlines trying to get this all straightened out.