On Saturday the 16th, I was flying home from Lansing, MI to JFK via Detroit DTW. I'm sure that most people will remember that day as less than ideal, weather wise. My flight from LAN to DTW was fine, a tad bit late as the incoming aircraft had to have a flat tire changed out.
I knew that the weather in NYC was going to get worse by the minute, so I attempted to switch to a 1:35pm flight to JFK (Delta Connection CRJ-900) from my 3:30 flight, but was unsuccessful. A little while later, my JFK flight gets delayed by about an hour as the traffic is becoming more and more backed up, and then a ground stop put in place until at least 4:30pm. At this point, LGA had no delays, and I was able to secure a seat (for no fee!) on a 3:30 to LGA (MD-88). We load up, ready to go, but we don't. A few minutes go by, and a maintenance guy starts crawling along the floor of the flight deck...never a good sign! The only other time I've been on an MD-88, we had to return to LGA because the air conditioner broke down after takeoff....and it was 105' out (this was July 5 last year). Turns out that the adjustment knob on the pilots seat sheared off and they would have to swap out the entire seat, delay of at least an hour! Deplaning time.
I talk to the very nice gate agent who got me on that flight in the first place to put me back on the original JFK flight, which was about to start boarding before the ground stop was lifted. She was able to do so, we board and push back. We taxi out and hold short of the runway, and then the pilot says this: "In the most ridiculous delay every handed down to me by ATC, we will have a 5 hour delay, minimum." AGH! We wen't right back to the gate and the flight was cancelled. Before we even get back to the gate, I got on the phone with Delta and switched BACK to a 5:40 LGA flight, another MD-88.
This flight actually pushed back and left on time, just minutes after the other LGA flight that I transferred off of. Smooth flight for about 20 minutes, and then we entered the storm system, zero visibility. This storm was a beast, putting down dozens of tornadoes across the country. Very turbulent, flight attendants stopped trying to serve drinks just after my row, 16. Then, about 35-40 minutes into the flight, BANG!!! Lightning strike! Scared the crap out of everyone. Pilots never made an announcement about it, as they more than likely had their hands full. A little while later after some major bumping around, we landed at LGA in driving rain and gusty winds. The LGA flight that I was previously on actually attempted to land before us, aborted the landing, and got in about 30 minutes behind us. All in all, a crazy day. Here are the few pictures that I managed. First RJ is from Lansing, the rest are from DTW. Sorry about the little dots in the pics, those are all over the windows at DTW.