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14 Emotions Experienced While Awaiting My Flight’s Departure

Scene: LAX
Plane: United Flight 867 LAX-JFK
Seat: 2C
Time: 12:38pm PDT

Joy! We pull away from the gate 10 minutes early. I’m going home!

Concern: Why did we pull off the taxiway?

Slight annoyance: Engine light was on briefly, need to check it.

Optimism: Maintenance can diagnose remotely. Shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll be on our way shortly.

Disappointment: Maintenance doesn’t like what it sees, we’re heading back to the gate.

Level-headedness: Snacks are passed out at the gate and we can walk around a bit.

Brightened: We see the issue and we’ll be on our way in 25-30 minutes.

Relief: We’re on our way in 15 minutes, not 30!

Exasperation: A plane directly behind us it stuck on the jetway because the tow they were using to move it has broken.

Hopeful: They move that plane after 15 minutes and we pull back.

Utter confusion: Why are we pulling off the taxiway again? Oh, because the “necessary paperwork” hasn’t arrived.

Understanding: They announce that we are not waiting for a guy on a horse to bring the “necessary paperwork”, rather it will be emailed to the cockpit and printed out there.

Despondent: Pilots tell us they have never waited this long (20 minutes) for paperwork.

Sheer happiness: 2 hours late, we take off.

To their credit the crew was wonderful during the delay; and to our credit, I didn’t hear any whining on the plane.

Who SHOULD be whining is anyone who actually paid the $4k first-class fare United used to charge for their First Class PS service to LA. The recliner seats are actually quite comfortable (despite how much everyone whines about them), the staff has been great, the food is standard United fare, and several of the seats are broken. It’s about what I expect from United. Glad they’re replacing all of this and installing lie-flats up front. If I had a rec room, I’d love these seats for my pretend home theater I don’t have.

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