From the “It Could Be Worse” Files

On a flight out of Denver this week, i was once again listening to the air traffic control (ATC) radio chatter.  And despite some re-routing, extra driving and a much-later-than-planned arrival at my destination due to weather, i was glad not to be flying on a different flight traveling in the same air space.

Pilot: Requesting permission to divert into Denver.

ATC: Granted.  Do you need assistance with routing?

Pilot: I could use the waypoints on the standard approach from current position.

The ATC staffer provided guidance, and then the chatter returned to other flights going in, out and through the Denver air space.  A few moments later, the same pilot called in again, reporting location and requesting instructions.

ATC: Can you provide any additional information on the reason for diversion?

Pilot: Ahhh, we’ve got problems with the lavatories on board.  None of ’em are working.  We really need to land… get these things pumped out.


Finally, homeward bound, i am just one more airport away from where my car is parked, although there’s a 90 minute drive from there to the homestead – i have had nothing but diversions, ATC delays due to weather and the like on a two day business trip. 

i’m adept at getting gate agents to turn me over to other airlines, so it seems i will get home tonight, just around midnight instead of 10:00 pm as originally planned…  but to get this, i had to snag a seat in the back of a really old MD88.



Seat 37A is technically a window seat, although the only thing visible is a giant motherfucking turbine engine.  Fortunately, it didn’t decide to disintegrate along the way, spewing pieces of propeller, as it was literally about 8″ from  my left ear… 

Noting also the proximity to the lavatories, i was once again reminded of the diverted flight into Denver, and smiled, knowing that it really could have been much worse…

7 thoughts on “From the “It Could Be Worse” Files

  1. I’ve sat in that seat – thank God for my iPod –

    I was in DC a few weeks ago for an off-site. I drove and my colleagues flew. We left the conference center at the same time and I got home 2 hours before they did and it’s an 8 hour drive.

    Air travel these days may be safe, but it sure does suck……

  2. You didn’t fall asleep on the flight did you? You heard about that woman who fell asleep on the Dallas to L.A. flight. She woke up with gentleman’s relish in her hair.

  3. They trap people in planes on the runway for hours and don’t worry a bit about the lavs but the minute it is their problem too – they land. Interesting.

  4. kyknoord – if the passengers had been ‘holding’ then perhaps they wouldn’t have had to divert.

    nm – maybe, but they had to scat when things got messy…

    umdalum – iPod saved my brain. mostly.

    uncle keith – hmmm… there was an odd substance in my hair, tasted vaguely of apple jelly.

    annie – there was the horrible flight a couple years back where the poo was streaming into the aisles. i think that triggered all that meaningless and unenforceable “passenger rights” legislation. i’ll take a noisy engine any day.

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