Thursday, February 7, 2008

Riders on the Storm

We were in the air while the tornadoes wrought their havoc on the people of Tennessee and Mississippi. Northwest Airlines hops from Baton Rouge to Memphis when they take you back to Newark, and we took off on time even though the skies were ominous. When it came time to land, the pilot warned us that the Control Tower was closed at Memphis and we'd have to land in Jackson to take on fuel. Northwest Airlines has consistently worsened in service, topping the charts in delayed flights. On our way in, we were nearly 2 hours late, and they've taken on the reproachable habit of charging you for snacks and anything besides water or juice.
Coupled with the current TSA regulation that you cannot bring outside liquids on board a plane, I'm sure it's been a nice financial windfall for the airlines and the overpriced shops in the airports. We landed late but our connection was late too, so we grabbed a BBQ sandwich (even at the airport, Barbecue is excellent in Memphis) and trotted to our gate. There was a slight delay as they cleaned the plane, but we took off without incident. Sarah noticed the light show out the left side window before the pilot mentioned it, and I took a short video of the lightning storm. I've only seen lightning from a plane once before, so it was nice to watch.

When we landed, a fellow passenger told us that she was scared because they had herded people at Memphis airport into tornado shelters before the flight. We had no idea the weather had been that bad! I'm not sure I could have flown after that. When the news of the devastation across Tennessee made the news, I was surprised and glad that our flight only had a little turbulence.

My mother blamed herself for not lighting a candle that night since she was out having dinner with "the girls." Thankfully the candle she lit for my outgoing flight must have had some magic leftover...

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