We had a sandwich at an O’Hare deli. Then boarded our 7:30 p.m. flight around 7 p.m., from O’Hare to LaGuardia. The captain tells the cabin there is a problem with the plane. One of the starters is out, and while they could fly with just one engine, they’d rather not.
Repairs are expected to last less than an hour. Around 9 p.m. we are all told to de-plane and board another flight to LaGuardia.
Around midnight we take off. Our seats are in row 31, left side of plane, directly behind the back door and right next to an engine/wing. Melinda comments 10 minutes into to the flight how cold it is. And it’s true, there is definitely air moving, it’s very loud and it’s damn cold.
Then the flight attendants are suddenly rushing back, telling everyone to find a seat at the front of the plane. We jump up and move a few rows ahead, but I pull Melinda back so we could stay together in the two-seat rows instead of going further up and being separated. I pull one of the flight attendants back and say I really need my bag, it has the engagement ring in it. But the bag would have to wait, they can’t get it for now. So we endure 15 minutes of uncertainty will the pilot lands us back at O’Hare surrounded by the flashing lights of the awaiting ambulances and fire trucks.
We wait outside the terminal for a while, then de-plane. Again.
American Airlines has no idea what has happened. They admit they don’t even know why we returned. Great communication. Everyone is tired and upset. And there is no one to answer questions.
The actual landing into LaGuardia made the emergency landing seem tame. It was by far the most afraid I’ve ever been on a plane. The airport is next to the East River, so you descend over the water. This night we were descending into 30 mph winds and getting tossed around.