Tampa to LGA | Delta #2715 | Seat 13C (01/13/10)

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This chilly Tampa morning started out well, and it ended well too. But in between was a surprise.

Shane and I got our car service at 5am, got to the airport in a half hour, breezed through security, short line at Starbucks and even had time to charge laptop batteries before boarding. I was relieved that everything was going so smoothly as I foolishly planned meetings starting a half hour after landing and running straight through the day. We boarded early, pulled away from the gate, and then stopped on the tarmac.

It turns out that the wings were covered with frost and Tampa doesn’t have de-icing equipment. The pilot comes on and alerts us that we can’t take off due to frost, there is no equipment to de-ice, and so the idea is to park the plane with the wings pointed to the sun and wait for the sun to rise and melt the ice. Are you kidding me? It was 6:50 and sunrise is around 7:25, plus melting time, and damn we were delayed. I knew it would be a while when the flight attendants started serving water and coffee. You know when they bring the coffee pot out that you are sitting for a while.

Ok, it wasn’t’t the pilot’s fault, nor Delta’s. So we sat and waited. And waited. And then the sun came up. And that is when I got nervous. Because the pilot came out to look out the window to see if the frost was dissipating. Ummm, is it just me or shouldn’t there be a more technical method of assessing our readiness to takeoff? I mean, I trust the pilot and all, but looking out the window? I wasn’t particularly confident in that plan.

Anyway, around 8am we were cleared for takeoff and off we went. The flight was pleasant and the crew very attentive. And, kudos to Delta for the frequent announcements and sincere hospitality while we waited. I missed my first two appointments but that happens and I fit them both in later in the day.

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