Snowed in… In Dallas?

Friday 12th February 2010

After spending a week at our head office in Austin I was getting pretty cocky about the fact that I was flying back to the UK via Dallas Fort Worth, a lot of my colleagues where heading back home to the East Coast or flying out of the USA via East Coast airports and the snow in that area was biblical. Oh yeah, I was full of it, making out that I had thought ahead and pointing out that it never really snows in Dallas even though I’d only chosen that route as it meant spending less time on small short-haul flights and more time on the bigger trans-Atlantic flight  with more legroom and better in-flight entertainment.

All was well when I left Austin Airport at around noon on Thursday 11th February, but imagine my surprise when we landed at Dallas to find this scene waiting for me:

Yes, that’s snow, actually quite a lot of snow and they’re not all that used to weather like this in Dallas, in fact pretty much everyone was walking around awestruck, totally in shock of this strange white stuff that was falling from the sky! In fact it kept falling, thick and fast…

Still, my BA 777 was on stand and waiting, the snow ploughs had cleared the runway and it looked as if by some miracle I was going to get out of there without any delays. Oh, wishful thinking! It seems as if fate was out to get me after all. BA used to have a contract with Delta to de-ice their aircraft at Dallas Fort Worth but when delta pulled out of DFW they switch to using UPS, so no problem then, off to the UPS hangar to get de-iced… Erm, no. seems like the local UPS manager decided to renege on the deal and refused to de-ice the plane. What followed was a wild goose chase around the airport apron in a desperate bid to get the plane de-iced and take off. After 5 hours we were still iced up and the flight deck had to give up as they couldn’t risk extending their active duty time any further. To be fair, BA did take care of us and put us up in a local hotel with a very amusing name:

24 hours later, the UPS site manager at DFW was out of a job and we were back on the plane. Apart from a few grumpy old men there was great comradery on board that flight, after all we had all been at the bar in the Gaylord Texan most of the night! BA did a fantastic job given the circumstances and they got us out of DFW before they eventually shut the airport on Friday evening. Yes, it meant getting home 24 hours late and that was a tough pill to swallow but it could have been a lot worse. Of course, it also meant that I was able to snap a few shots of Dallas after 9 inches of snow had fallen that night, that is the most snow Dallas has seen since records began!


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