Doug Robinson: Got an hour? Ask someone about their flight

Published: Monday, April 8 2013 8:35 p.m. MDT

(I would love to tell you why it is OK to fly to Atlanta with bad fuel thingamabobs, and not to Amsterdam, but I have no clue.)

Pilot announcement: "We just realized that since we are flying to Atlanta, we have too much fuel. The plane will be too heavy to land, so we have to drain 10,000 gallons of gas. We are trying to find someone to come drain it."

(Robinson, are you making this up? No.)

Pilot announcement: "We found someone to drain it. We're just waiting for them to get here."

Pilot announcement: "Ok, the fuel has been drained. We're just waiting for someone to install the fuel slip."

(At this point, we suspect they were out on the street asking passers-by if they knew how to fix a whatchamacallit, a fuel thingie.)

Pilot announcement: "We're just waiting for the paperwork to get done."

Pilot announcement: "We got the paperwork done. However, it looks like the work was done incorrectly. So we're going to have to get someone back down here to redo the fuel slip."

Pilot announcement after the plane finally departs and lands in Atlanta: "We have another plane here (to take them to Amsterdam). However, the crew is not here."

What, nobody thought to call a pilot?

Passengers reschedule connecting flights during a two-hour wait at the gate, which proved to be a pointless exercise. In Amsterdam, Preston and Patrick discovered their reservations had been canceled. They made their own arrangements for another flight on Kenyan Air. The departure of that flight was — you guessed it — delayed.

What else could go wrong? Plenty, but thanks for asking. They arrived in Nairobi, but Preston's luggage didn't — for two days. What was scheduled to be 24 hours of travel was actually 40.

Two days before their return flight, Preston and Patrick checked their return reservations online. Surprise! — no reservation. They made new reservations.

Looking back, Preston says: "Delta was very unapologetic. They just shrugged off the whole thing."

Delta did offer a $100 credit toward a future flight — on Delta of course. "I'd rather pay $100 not to fly Delta," says Patrick.

Email: drob@desnews.com

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