Traveling to/from Hawaii can be a big pain in the ass. Having to get off the plane after you have already gotten on it? Even a bigger pain in the ass. It is perhaps one of the most annoying features of traveling I have experienced. Twice. Both times going to Hawaii.
I have to wonder what kind of special checks / balances a plane traveling to Hawaii must go through. Did they forget to put in extra fuel? Do they stash a few parachutes for the pilots that didn't quite make it there? Naive to these issues, I just get to sit here and stew and contemplate the greater "good" that will come out of this: I will arrive safely at my destination hopefully only 2 hours late (or so they guess). But those 2 hours in Hawaii mean the difference between no traffic and traffic, which is the most important feature of scheduling an arriving flight to Honolulu as far as I am concerned.
In the future I will not have so many beers the night before getting on a plane (Thanks, B! Durham was kick ass!) AND / OR not leave on a 6:15am flight from the east coast when I haven't slept the whole week. These are valuable lessons learned in a life that seems to short to spend sitting in airport. Ah well. Just a part of traveling to the Big Rock in the sea.
UPDATE #1 (12pm): Two hours have now come and gone; they said it will be another 90 minutes. The altimeter/ barometer are leaking and / or not aligned. From Wikipedia:
A pressure altimeter (also called barometric altimeter) is the traditional altimeter found in most aircraft. In it, an aneroid barometer measures the air pressure from a static port outside the aircraft. Air pressure decreases with an increase of altitude — about one millibar (0.03 inches of mercury) per 27 feet (8.23 m) near sea level.
They are currently "trouble-shooting" by taping said static port with bright yellow tape and attaching another port to what I guess is a pressure gauge of some sort. Continental has given us free food vouchers, coupons for up to 25% off your next flight, free drink vouchers, and they are having a raffle to give away 5, $100 vouchers before we get back on the plane. It's just like the circus! But without cotton candy, elephants, or most notably, children laughing.
UPDATE #2 (2pm): "Mechanics don't know what is wrong. They're going to keep trouble- shooting. Another update in an hour...looking into getting a new plane." I am preparing myself for a night in Houston. I think it is time for a drink.
UPDATE #3 (2:30pm): I WON!!!! I was one of the 5 lucky bastards who won a travel certificate!!! Forget the circus, this is just like VEGAS!!!
UPDATE #4 (4:20pm): The rush from winning the travel certificate wore off very quickly. But luckily, now I can relax. They got us a new plane with a new altimeter and I should be home by 8:30 Honolulu time. I will use my drink voucher to drink a bloody mary or a red wine and pass the hell out. This is the last update. Deadwood in Houston, signing OFF!!