Many thanks to all of you that helped out earlier today with my attempt to get my brother down to TPA in the next couple of days. Never in my life have I seen such a frequent change in inventory. There were at least ten tickets I was in the process of booking, only to get an error on the final page each time. Simply insane. To my friends that work in inventory management — you’re all getting a big bucket of coal from me this year (I’m kidding, I realize you had nothing to do with it). 😉
Anyway, let’s start with the good news. I found a flight for my brother for $225 all-in, much better than the average fare of $500+ I was seeing. The bad news is that the flight is at 5:59AM. Even worse news is that it requires a connection at Dulles. Even worse is that it’s out of White Plains. If that’s not enough, let’s go with the absolute worst news — the connection in Dulles is only 45 minutes.
Connecting from the “A” concourse at IAD to the “C” concourse is tough enough in 45 minutes thanks to gate checked bags and the incompetent outsourced agents working the “A” gates.
But now let’s talk about the real problem. Any frequent traveler knows to check the status of the inbound flight when there’s bad weather, since flight delays don’t always post in advance but it can be easy to predict if you know where your aircraft is coming from. I think it’s safe to assume his crew is overnighting in White Plains and is coming in from Dulles, which leaves three options. Either it’s the crew that was supposed to work the 8:10AM IAD-HPN flight yesterday (which was canceled, so not it), or the crew that was supposed to work the 5:22PM IAD-HPN flight (makes perfect sense since it leaves an 11 hour overnight for them), or the crew that was supposed to work the 9:55PM IAD-HPN flight, which was also canceled (but that’s not it since it leaves less than minimum crew rest time).
So great, his inbound crew is likely the only one that made it to White Plains. Guess that makes it our lucky day, right? Well, apparently not. Instead of their flight making it to White Plains at 6:59PM yesterday, it arrived 3hr21min late. That leaves them about 7hr30min on the ground. While I’m not familiar with Colgan’s contracts, that’s below minimum crew rest time at almost any airline. In other words, there’s probably going to be a crew delay causing my brother to misconnect at IAD, and since the two other IAD-TPA flights that day are sold out….
OK, nevermind, let’s be optimistic!