Day 1: Airport

Today we assembled at the engineering building before we loaded the bus to drive to the Detroit Airport. We left around 11:30am, and while on the bus, Janelle and Sarah gave the day’s devotional and the briefing about the Schiphol Airport, dikes, and windmills. Once we got to the airport, we checked in and went to our gate. Some people walked around the airport and explored while we waited to board.

Unfortunately, we waited…and waited some more…

After a 2-hour “maintenance” delay, we finally boarded the plane at 7:30pm. We all settled down in our seats, turned on our movies, and waited for dinner.

Unfortunately, we waited…and waited some more…

The flight crew alerted us that there was a dent in the wing, and there was nothing they could do besides wait for communication and approval from the engineers.

So we waited…and waited some more…

After a negative update just about every 20 minutes, they finally told us that our flight was cancelled. It was 9:00pm at this point, and we were so close to finishing our movies! But alas, we all had to get off the plane.

Then we waited in a customer service line to see if we were going to be able to sleep anywhere other than the airport floor that night.

And we waited…and waited some more…

Professor De Rooy and Professor Brouwer were on top of figuring out what to do next, so we ended up booking hotel rooms that were compliments of Delta and finding a flight to Amsterdam the next day. We were all excited to hear this positive news after a long day.

We went to the baggage carousel to retrieve our checked luggage. We were hopeful that this process would go faster than what we had previously experienced.

Unfortunately, we waited…and waited some more…

We waited for over an hour for our luggage. There we stood, watching bags go round and round until some even got crushed under the weight of the luggage of those who were smart enough to leave for their hotels long before we did. With our bags finally in hand, we left to board the hotel shuttles.

Unfortunately, we waited…and waited some more…

We were cold and tired at this point, especially since we were now standing right inside of the doors to the outdoor pickup area. The shuttle bus came like a shining golden chariot, and we all packed in as fast as we could. This time, going from point A to point B was fast, and we found our hotel accommodations to be very nice. It even had a restaraunt! Now we could eat dinner…at 1:15am. There’s a first time for everything.

Through this whole experience, we learned patience and the value of being flexible. We also had some quality group bonding time since we were with each other for over 15 hours today. All in all, it was a good test run for tomorrow!

Bag weigh-in
Boarding the bus
Boarding the bus
On the way to DTW
Card games at DTW
Waiting for the luggage
Dinner at the Sheraton (1:30AM)

Learning patience!

Well, things change…  After boarding at 7:30pm for our 6pm flight, we sat at the gate until 9pm, waiting for authorization to go.  The problem stemmed from a “dent” in the wing.  The safety personnel had to check it out and clear the flight before letting us leave.  Unfortunately, at 9pm we were told the flight was cancelled and we were to gather our stuff and leave the plane.  After a long wait, we got reservations at a nearby hotel.  They told us our bags would be available for pick up at a carousel.  Well, it has been 2.5 hours since the flight was cancelled and still no bags have shown up.  We may or may not wait for them before we leave for the hotel.  Our flights were rescheduled for 5pm tomorrow (Saturday), so hopefully that will go well.  Please pray that we will have patience through this unfortunate inconvenience.  Until tomorrow….

Flight cancelled

Our flight was cancelled.

We got vouchers for a local hotel and are rescheduled for a 5:00pm flight tomorrow.  We should arrive in Amsterdam early Sunday morning. Currently (11:00pm) we are waiting to get our luggage.

So here is the limited info that I know – we never left the gate.
we were suppose to board at 5:17pm and leave around 6:00pm.
At 5:40 they announced that the plane needed to be security inspected and safety inspected since it was an international flight
At 6:15ish they announced that they were waiting for a response from maintenance since they found a “dent” in the wing.
Around 7:15 they said the flight was on and they asked us to get on board. They said we would depart at 7:30
Once on board they said we would depart at 8:00
After 8:00 the captian announced that he could not get information so he was going to get off the plane and figure out why there was a delay.
Finally around 8:30ish they said that the flight was cancelled.
During this time they said that maintence took picture of the dent and emailed them to headquarters. They then had to emial them to Air France
I guess no engineer was willing to give the okay based on photos of a dent.
When we were in line for getting our hotels arranged, I mentioned that we were engineering professors and that most of the group were engineering students and we wondered if we could have a picture of the dent. The person helping us just smiled and said that most likely that was not going to happen.
We figured that this is definitely a mechanical problem not an electrical or civil problem.

Besides not going anywhere, everyone is doing well


Prof De Rooy