DTW Storm Experiences on 5/23

 
Old May 24, 04, 2:05 pm
  #1  
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DTW Storm Experiences on 5/23

I never made it to DTW last night because my flight was cancelled, but I am curious how others made out, given the thunderstorms that shut the airport on Sunday evening....it appears the flight I was to connect to left on-time, so I am curious if the affects of the storms was as bad as reported to us pax stuck in YYZ

This is what happened to me - this reads like a baaaad trip report

1) checked in at YYZ for my flight to EWR on CO. Flight is delayed, FIMed to NW to go home via DTW
2) flight from YYZ to DTW boards on-time, then is delayed as YYZ airport closes due to thunderstorm.
3) flight is delayed again as YYZ opens, but DTW closes - and remains closed for over an hour
4) I usually sing praises for NW staff anywhere, but the NW gate crew at YYZ was totally out of it - took one agent 90 minutes to work through 5 people in the line inquiring about missed connections and re-route options. I actually ended up walking two pax to the DL counter next to us myself to show them they had a non-stop option back to ATL which the agent insisted didn't exist.
5) after 90 minutes milling around the terminal, re-board (dodging the gate screener a second time)
6) DTW opens, but YYZ closes again
7) after another 30 minutes, YYZ opens, but DTW closes again
8) after over 3 total hours of waiting, our crew runs out of duty time and the flight cancels, and I end up overnighting with the folks...and flying home this morning via CO.
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Old May 24, 04, 3:44 pm
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Did not experience 5/23, but in DTW on 5/21. 1:30 flight to BUF cancelled due to severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Next flight at 3:20 also cancelled. Got out on the 5:18 (which left late), but many people trying to get into very few seats. I agree with you, the GAs were pretty much useless, and the only true service received was from the folks at the World Club. They were able to put me into a First Class seat, even when GA told me there were no seats available on the flight I took. I have had a few bad weather experiences at DTW, and ever time, the annual membership for the World Club pays for itself! :-:
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Old May 24, 04, 3:46 pm
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Connection thru DTW cancelled 5/24

My connection through DTW was cancelled because the plane never made it out of DTW on 5/23. The good news is that they were able to put me on another direct flight (CO) that got in earlier than the original NW. The bad news is that I needed the connection through DTW to get me enough miles to get me to silver for the first time. Now I'll have to wait until July to get the miles I need. Oh well.
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Old May 24, 04, 3:46 pm
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I always call the elite line at the first hint of trouble...
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Old May 24, 04, 3:48 pm
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At the CLE mini-hub

I was flying Southwest BWI-CLE around 7 p.m. and we circled CLE for about 15min before landing. There was no rain or lightning in CLE, and it's usually not very congested, so I wondered what was going on.

As we taxied to the gate, I counted six NW planes on the ground there, which seemed like a high number since DTW + MSP + MEM only equals a max of 3 planes at any given time. Then I noticed a Spirit plane (probably DTW-bound and diverted) and a Trans-Meridian Airlines plane (probably TOL-bound and diverted).

Needless to say, the driving conditions from CLE to Ann Arbor were sub-optimal after Toledo, but I was glad not to be sitting on a runway somewhere. (Incidentally, the NW BWI-DTW flight scheduled to depart around the same time ended up arriving at DTW four hours late.)
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Old May 24, 04, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by doglover
I always call the elite line at the first hint of trouble...
I agree...this worked for me, as everything was eventually taken care of over the phone without standing in line. This elite feature alone is worth the price of admission. I was probably in bed before the last person in line at the gate was rebooked.

I will say that Elite agents at NW and DL are much nicer to deal with than CO's, although since my ticket was international this time, I was able to speak to the Int'l Elite desk at CO and it wasn't so bad. They took care of me, once they finished arguing with NW about who had control over my Eticket
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Old May 24, 04, 4:36 pm
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We waited out three DTW ground stops on Friday afternoon, some of it at the airport in LEX, and much too much of it on a CRJ.

It actually worked out fairly well - we did miss a Friday evening meeting we'd planned on, but because we'd called the elite line and gotten ourselves protected (in F, Go NW!) on the last flight out, at least we ended up not having to overnight at DTW and miss our Saturday morning meeting too.

Funny note: the flight we'd originally been scheduled on was cancelled, so our flight was really full. There was a bit of confusion at the last minute when they had to deboard some stand-bys because at the real last second, the connecting pax whose seats they had, showed up. The pertinent thing for us was that the stand-by guys had originally had F seats on the late flight, but had traded them off for seats on the earlier flight that eventually got cancelled, which makes me think two of those seats were the ones we were sitting in. At least the guys were together, their company would pretty clearly be picking up their hotel bills - and it was their decision to switch flights, so they were all fairly cheerful about it, but they did have to take some razzing from their colleague in 1C.

This is an interesting scenario. Are you paying attention? There will be a quiz! Lots of us will jump at the chance to take an earlier flight, and mostly it works fine. But there are infinite permutations.

Today, we directly benefitted from a delay. Had another bloody CRJ connection to get home through DTW (about once a year I have a brainfart and let Lex book us on a trip which involves CRJs). My bad shoulder went worse in PVD this morning, so I thought the better part of valor would be to wait ~2 extra hours for the ARJ.

But we got to DTW on time, and when we went to the Worldclub to see what seats were open on 3pm Avro, the agent said that the earlier ARJ had been delayed by a mechanical, and we still might make it... we went *swoosh*, made the plane, and the FA knew all about bad shoulders, so a good seat and a couple of stiff muscle relaxants had me nearly pain-free by the time we got home, hours earlier than scheduled.

Bless that agent!

Last edited by GG; May 24, 04 at 7:03 pm Reason: spleling - and moer spellnig
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Old May 24, 04, 4:59 pm
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Cancelled/delayed flights were not the only events at DTW yesterday. Local news reports said the construction (expansion with new gates) on Concourse B of the McNamara terminal was also damaged by the storms, as were two planes nearby.
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Old May 24, 04, 5:56 pm
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Never fear

Originally Posted by fortuna
My connection through DTW was cancelled because the plane never made it out of DTW on 5/23. The good news is that they were able to put me on another direct flight (CO) that got in earlier than the original NW. The bad news is that I needed the connection through DTW to get me enough miles to get me to silver for the first time. Now I'll have to wait until July to get the miles I need. Oh well.
Send a letter or email to the World Perks department. They are ALWAYS willing correct your account so the mileage reflects that of your original itinerary. So... for your July flight you'll be silver.
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Old May 24, 04, 6:16 pm
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Flight from(into) HELL

I fly over 75k miles a year. Not much gets me excited when flying. On 5/21 flying from LaGuardia to Detroit at 12:40pm, I felt lucky to be here. The
National Weather Service had reported severe thunderstorms with 2 inch hail and possible tornadic activity. When did I find this out?....after things started getting hairy outside of Detroit at 28k feet. I was listening to NWS broadcasts onboard after the Pilot said we may go to Milwaukee, our alternate. We didn't. We flew right thru it all, causing structural damage to the 757. The choices made by the flight crew were entirely unsafe. We wound up flying towards Fort Wayne, then up to Lansing , then Back towards DTW at 7000ft and 328kts. I'll be waiting with interest to see the NTSB report when it is filed.
I can only hope the gentlemen up front at the helm learned a little something about this encounter with severe weather and turbulence. I know myself and my fellow passengers aboard NWA1195 will never forget it.

As for my retrun trip, well, that was last night during the new batch of storms. This time, the crew made the correct decisions. Unfortunately, the weather had already cancelled the 712pm flight to LGA AND the JFK flight. Both loads of passengers combined with our flight at 8:59 to get what few standby seats were left. Felt bad for the gate agent at A-12 last night who had to deal with all of that, but she sure did her job well.

Last edited by nytracon; May 24, 04 at 6:21 pm
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Old May 24, 04, 8:27 pm
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I was at DTW last night. At one point, I couldn't even see out of the window from the gate. The incoming plane that I suppose to take had to land in Cleveland....i think.....so my flight got cancelled

I felt so bad for those incoming pax that were stuck on the runway because the ground crews cannot get to work due to lightening. They must had stayed on the runway for at least 1 hr or 2

Last edited by 007; May 24, 04 at 8:32 pm
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Old May 25, 04, 8:50 am
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Thanks for the input, Kenny. I'll try that. ^
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