I learned enough about weather during my flying career to know that when it’s over 90 degrees one day, and the forecast for the next day is for a temperature drop of over 20 degrees, a pretty impressive cold front is coming and there is potential for some “interesting” weather. Yesterday, there was a pretty massive front heading towards the east coast which was generating storms up and down the eastern part of the country. Last night, flights in and out of DCA were being impacted even though there’s no storm over the airport at the moment I arrived.

Originally confirmed at 6PM, I phoned my company travel agent earlier in the day to move me to the 4PM flight as I was working hard to finish up meetings, and get to the airport early, hoping to beat the storms out. In hindsight, I probably should have tried to SDC onto something even earlier, but I had skipped breakfast, it was then 2PM, and I was…in a word…hungry. While lunching, I could hear various announcements about delayed flights, and the concourse was starting to take on that look that concourses get on busy Thursday afternoons with storms around. I got a phone call and an email from Delta that my flight was delayed. First by 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, then 50 minutes.

I then retreated to the Delta Sky Club to find a relatively calm oasis away from the gates. Frankly, considering how things were starting to look downstairs, I was surprised at how quiet it was. I checked in, and asked the agent to take a look at my reservation as I was still getting delay notices for both my new flight and the old one. Turns out that that company travel agent didn’t quite cancel my original booking at 6PM and I was showing confirmed at 4PM, and on standby for the 6PM. The agent cleaned up my reservation and printed a new boarding card for me just in case. She confirmed I was on the upgrade list but it “didn’t look good.”

I retreated to the relative serenity of the Sky Club bar where I could keep an eye on the departure board and one of these.

I Support Delta Employees' Profit Sharing Checks :)

I Support Delta Employees’ Profit Sharing Checks 🙂

OK…I’m kidding about that, but having access to the Sky Club yesterday was no joke. The relative quiet of the club did not last long as a line of delayed flight refugees began forming at the door, attempting to make alternative arrangements. Unlike the throngs downstairs, I was able to enjoy relative peace and quiet while I waited for my flight, get a little work done, and then relax for a few minutes. My reasons for ensuring that I have lounge access remain:

  • Getting away from the gate
  • Personalized attention from experienced agents when needed
  • A place to get work done (include power outlets and wi-fi here too)
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Clean restrooms

That’s well worth a membership fee, or in my case, an annual fee for the Delta Reserve Card. YMMV. And by the way, my upgrade cleared too.

-MJ, September 13, 2013