Northwest Airlines, DC to Little Rock, about three years ago was the most horrible flight I’ve ever taken. We had a layover in Charlotte, which wasn’t bad, but the weather was not cooperating in Little Rock, so we were changed to land in Memphis. This was okay, except for the Charlotte delays.
We boarded the plane. It was about 4pm by that time, and we had been waiting in the Charlotte airport for a while, but unable to go get anything to eat because they kept saying that we would board at any moment and we should not leave the gate. Trying to get home after a long business trip, we listened to them and didn’t move, but we should have.
After sitting on the tarmac for about 2 hours, I begged the flight attendant to please allow us to get something to drink. They refused, saying that “we would need it for the flight and they couldn’t use all the drinks before we left”. I told them that this would be my only drink, coke at that. I told her that I didn’t know what difference it made – she could either give me mine then or give it to me later. Since we had been sitting there for 2 hours without food or water, my blood sugar was getting really low, and I was getting really aggravated. I then asked her if we could please get off the plane to go get something to drink. She said we couldn’t because “we might leave any minute”. I laughed, since it was storming.
About 5 minutes later, a couple of flight attendants who had left the plane got back on the plane, with pizza for themselves. I asked the one again if I could please get something to eat or drink. She looked at me, with her pizza box in her hand, and said no.
To top it all off, there was a little girl sitting next to me, flying alone. She was a young teen, and she was now going to be stuck in Memphis instead of getting to go to Little Rock to get home. She lived in a small town somewhere in northwestern Arkansas, so getting from Memphis to there would not be easy, especially at midnight. I asked the same helpful flight attendant to please make sure that the girl was taken care of. She just looked at me again and walked off.
When we got off in Memphis, the flight attendants just waltzed away, leaving us there with a scared girl that we had never met before in our lives. I was dumfounded. A couple next to us lived not too far away from the girl’s hometown, and they called her parents to arrange for them to drive her home. They saved her from being stuck in a strange city, without any assistance, 4 hours from home.
As we walked out of the gate area and outside, I saw the lazy flight attendants sitting on a bench waiting for a bus to take them to their cozy airport. We were going to the rental car agency, as we had rented a car while we were in Charlotte. Thankfully, it was an agency that stayed open late at night, or we would have been out of luck. I just looked at the flight attendants and told them that I have never seen anyone abandon a child like that. The one looked up at me and didn’t even say a word.
I have not flown Northwest Airlines since. I avoid it if at all possible.