Monday, September 18th, 2023: Since I was traveling with 5 checked large suitcases, thankfully, Christina drove me to TPA in her pickup truck to take DL 1099 TPA – ATL, connecting to DL 116 non-stop from ATL to STR (Stuttgart). It’s supposed to be a relaxing, about nine-hour flight and, by far, THE most practical and easiest way to get to Stuttgart. As it often happens when you travel, the pilot on the TPA – ATL DL 1099 flight came out of the cockpit and announced that we are unable to take off because of a warning light in the cockpit that the portside emergency slide over the wing was inoperable. Nothing wrong with the plane being able to fly, but the FAA, of course, requires, understandably, for all emergency exits to function properly. The pilot elaborated that in about 40 minutes they will make a GO – NO GO decision. I had a 2-hour connection window to make my Stuttgart flight, which now was reduced by half. I called the office and Susan started to work on options in case I missed the Stuttgart flight. Kasey placed Air Tags into the luggage so we could keep track of where the bags were. After about 40 minutes the pilot announced that the issue is fixed and we are #1 for takeoff. My connecting time in ATL has now been reduced to one hour. Arriving at ATL, Susan had arranged for a wheelchair transfer to get me rapidly from F10 to E 9. It worked beautifully.
You know when you have travelled too much? It’s when you get on board and the pilot turns around and says: “Hi Pete, back again” and I respond: “Thank you Charley, it’s good to be back.” Hurricane Lee was now churning off the coast of Nova Scotia, it was a smooth and relaxing flight with a beautiful sunrise above the clouds in Germany.