Night(mare) at lga

Every time I see things in US, the feeling I get is - "They have thought through it all". Their systems and process are just perfect. The traffic in general to automation of practically everything, you pretty much have it all covered. However, this Tuesday (June 13th) I realized that with all the structure there are glitches and more importantly the reaction to the glitches.

To start with a three hour flight was delayed by around three and a half hours. The flight had to try three different airports to find the one where they could find some space. In all this frenzy we ended up at Lagaurdia instead of Newark. All the passengers were hoping that they will get some kind of arrangement to transport them to the right airport and they were not wrong. However, it took the airline around one and a half hour to settle the matter. The whole thing doesnt end here, the luggage takes another hour to arrive (add to it 1.5 hours already spent) and while we were waiting nobody had any clue whats going on. The carousel area had heaps of luggage all over the floor. Just when you thought it was all over you realize that it is impossible to find the taxi that was booked for you by the airline and you cannot see a single official on the airport who could help. The few that were there had no clue what was going around. The taxi queue had more than a hundred people waiting. For me, the nightmare ended at around 2:30 Am in the morning when I could reach some place to stay.

This made me wonder what could have been done by the airport peope to have handled it better. The only problems that come to my mind are contingency management and lack of personnels on site. The systems have been working so well that none of the officials had any clue of what to do when things go wrong. Half of them were running away from people lest they might have to answer their questions. The ones who were unfortunate enough to be caught by people were fortunately rude enough to be let off as soon as they were approached.

I think having all the order all around hasn't helped them learn to deal with emergencies well.