Saturday, July 28, 2018

Star-Telegram Actually Answers A Question I Asked

A couple days ago I blogged that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Was Unable To Answer Why Boondoggle Bridges Take So Long To Build.

In this Saturday morning's Star-Telegram, on the front page, top of the fold, I saw another headline question asked...

When your plane lands at DFW Airport, why does it take so long to get to the gate?

Once again I found myself hopeful the Star-Telegram was going to answer a question I recently found myself asking.

This time the Star-Telegram did not disappoint me, sort of.

My last two times landing at DFW I have found myself annoyed at how long it took to get to the gate after touchdown.

Last Saturday was the longest taxi ride yet. I was beginning to think the pilot was lost on the tarmac. I only had 55 minutes to make my connection to Wichita Falls. When the pilot finally parked the plane at the gate, and after the 10 or 15 minutes it took to finally get off the plane, I hurried to the SkyLink to make my way to Terminal B, Gate 38.

Upon entering Terminal B I heard the loudspeaker loudly speaking "Flight 3715 to Wichita Falls is now boarding at Gate B38. That's Bravo 38".

I did not remember hearing this type announcement before upon entering a terminal. And so I picked up my pace. I got to the Gate B38 to find everyone already on board. I handed the check-in person my boarding pass, and then boarded. Less than ten minutes later we were in the air.

I had 55 minutes to make this connection. And managed to get there with only ten minutes to spare. This tells me we took around a half hour between touchdown and parking at the gate.

This article in the Star-Telegram explains why it takes so long to get the gate, what with the planes having to taxi across active landing zones, waiting for an all clear to proceed, so that question did get answered. Along with an upcoming solution.

But, the article claimed the taxi time is usually between 5 to 10 minutes.

A taxi ride on the DFW tarmac has never been as short as 5 to 10 minutes in my experience. Maybe I just have bad luck.

The return last May to DFW was particularly annoying. After the long tarmac taxi ride, when we reached the gate, the pilot soon announced something along the line of "We seem to have caught the ground crew by surprise. We are bugging them to hurry up."

I recollect thinking the "bugging them" verbiage was amusing. And likely not officially approved pilot-speak.

About 20 minutes went by and then the pilot again apologized for the delay. The elderly man sitting next to me was getting nervous. I soon found out his nervousness was due to needing to make a connection to Abilene. And time was running out. And that this was the first time he had flown anywhere since the Vietnam War. I had plenty of time, so I told him I would help him get to his connection, if we ever got off the plane.

Landing at other airports I have never experienced the long waits I have experienced at DFW, after the plane docks.

And the only other airport at which I have experienced an ultra long taxi ride over the tarmac, was at the Denver airport, flying United. The tarmac taxi ride was long, but at a much faster speed than that which the DFW airport allows its pilots to taxi.

This morning David, Theo and Ruby's mama texted me from Reagan International in Washington, D.C., verbalizing what a terrible airport the one named after Reagan is. I do not know what, precisely, my little sister finds annoying about the D.C. airport.

My mom called me last night, asking me to come back to Arizona as soon as possible. I do not see that happening for more reasons than just that I do not like flying...

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