Air Force One and closed air space

Feb 20th, 2013, 01:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Air Force One and closed air space

My daughter experienced something I had never heard of last week. She was flying DCA-FLL and Obama was flying into West Palm Beach at about the same time. Her flight left DCA on-time, with on-time arrival predicted - so off I went to the airport to pick her up. The roads around FLL airport were gridlocked at 9 PM, cell phone lot full. people circling around the airport. Her flight was almost an hour late, and she said pilot explained that because of closed airspace they, and many other flights, were not allowed to land or fly close to FLL for a period of time, so they circled - creating backup both on the ground and in the air/at gates. She said JetBlue explained that they can not delay departure or announce this prior to flight for security reasons.

Makes sense - just surprised. Anyone else experience in-air Air Force One delays?
gail is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 03:01 AM
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In air, no, but I was on a plane that had taxied out to the runway at O'Hare last year and then had to wait 90 minutes for the Obamas to fly in (watched the helicopters arriving and landing), board AF1 and then take off.

As an aside, due to a few things that went wrong after that (including the huge resulting snarl on the taxiways as we tried to go back to the gate), we ended up spending almost five hours on that plane and the flight was eventually cancelled. Thank you for prompting me to remember this incident--I need to go find my $250 compensation credit and use it before it expires!
ms_go is online now  
Feb 20th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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It happened to me at O'Hare, although not in-air, several years ago during the Bush administration. Everything from everywhere was delayed substantially coming in, and consequently going out. The official line was that the delays were due to snow. It was a sunny day in mid-October. Apparently, once Bush had securely departed, the truth was divulged.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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I've had similar things happen with both Clinton and W.

With W, had to wait until he took off, by then the winds had changed and we had to reroute to other side of air strip for landing.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 01:54 PM
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Happened to me at JFK. Obama was leaving so we sat in the plane. Then, there was thunder & lightning which kept us grounded....for 6 hours. JetBlue then decided they were canceling the flight & wouldn't return my luggage so there I was at Duane Reade's buying necessities at midnight as I couldn't get a return flight for 2 more days. Good times.
LABruin is offline  
Feb 21st, 2013, 11:52 AM
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Although, I had my car towed because of George Bush. Went to sleep in an all day/night parking zone, in the night they changed it to a no parking zone and put up new signs and in the morning the car was gone! All because George was going that way when he visited the Maritime Museum in Sydney. All great but the folks in charge of the debacle had no idea where they towed our car too.
MissGreen is offline  
Feb 21st, 2013, 01:01 PM
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I had a flight out of RDU delayed because AF One was coming in. Happily JetBlue allowed us to wait in the terminal building - I saw a Delta flight sitting on the tarmac.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 24th, 2013, 05:31 PM
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Just had it last week trying to get into Chicago with Obama but had a gate hold for an hour. I have had numerous holds through the years or circling in another city due to Air Force One and past presidents.
dutyfree is offline  
Feb 25th, 2013, 02:27 PM
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I have experienced delays in the air and on ground living in NY and Chicago when a President was arriving, moving about the city or leaving town.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Mar 11th, 2013, 02:52 AM
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This is why there was so much criticism of Bill Clinton' s LAX haircut back in the day. While he sat on the runway getting a trim, other aircraft could not take off or land. Given the mess you saw at a minor airport like West Palm, you can only imagine what it must be like at JFK.
Ackislander is offline  
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