Behind the scenes with irregular operations


Airline irregular operations (IRROPS) are the bane of every traveler’s existence. There may be nothing quite so frustrating as getting to the airport and settling in for a trip, only to find that the gods have conspired against you. Maybe it is weather. Maybe it is mechanical troubles. Maybe it is just that you forgot to offer the right sacrifice to the appropriate deity that week. No matter the cause, IRROPS suck.

I’ve had my share of issues, from cancelations to delays to whatever else. I’ve even thought that some of them were actually bad situations. And then I got to talk to a guy who worked for an airline and listened to some of his stories. I laughed. I cried. And I realized that the silly little problems that I’ve had are nothing in the grand scheme of things. I’ve never been grounded in the middle of the Sahara, wondering if I can scrounge up a crate of oranges and an loaf of bread. I’ve never had to negotiate my way through immigration because I accidentally bypassed immigration while entering Germany. And I’ve never had a conversation like this with the counter guy at a McDonalds:

Thankfully there is no line at McDonalds. I order a dozen Big Macs, a dozen McChickens, a dozen fries and two hundred chicken nuggets.
"Please wait, I call my supervisor."
"Is there a problem?"
"My English not so good. I misunderstand you say want twelve Big Mac, twelve McChiken, twelve French Fry and two hundred nugget."
"Ja, zwei hunderd nugget. Das ist Mahlzeit fur die komplette Crew"
"Oh! Bitte schoen."

If you’re at all interested in what happens behind the scenes with airline operations, it is a great read. Highly worth an hour of your life. Check it out here.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .
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