Travel Day (14)

1/160 sec - f/1.8 - ISO 1600 - 17mm
1/160 sec – f/1.8 – ISO 1600 – 17mm

Yesterday I did pass through my favorite airport passenger walkway again, the tunnel between between concourses B and C of Chicago O’Hare’s Terminal 1, with its ever-changing light show. I was connecting through ORD on my way to Memphis for a one and  a half day workshop.

The thing is, the colorful photo (Olympus PEN-F, 17mm f/1.8 prime lens, image specs 1/160 sec @ f/1.8 and ISO 1600) does not properly reflect my mood after spending a day in the fangs of United Airlines. It should have been pitch black high contrast monochrome picture.

First there was the 8h 40 min flight from Frankfurt to Chicago on an aged Boeing 777. That product (and I flew business class) is a total disgrace, from both the seat comfort as well as the service (both from flight attendants as well as the food quality, which was just plain bad). Totally sub-par, when compared for example to Delta Airlines and Air France that have similar rates (and similar old planes).

But it didn’t stop there. The worst was still to come. The flight from Chicago to Memphis. We left ORD with the five (5) hour delay. Initially, the flight seem to leave on time, the United Express plane was at the gate and we were getting ready for pre-boarding. Then came the news that there is maintenance required for some kind of ventilation system. We waited one hour, waited two hours. The expected departure time shifted in 15 minute intervals, so we were required to wait at the gate. Then they said the need to tow the plane to the hangar to get it fixed. After three hours the announcement was we get a replacement plane that will be brought to the gate shortly. Another hour passed, there was no plane. Then came the announcement that also the replacement plane had a technical issue they found out during the trip from the hangar to the gate and needs to undergo maintenance as well. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, UNITED AIRLINES??? ONE PLANE BREAKS DOWN AND THEN ALSO THE REPLACEMENT PLANE???? Then we had to wait another hour until they finally managed to conjure a functioning aircraft, and all of this at their principal hub. We left O’Hare with a five-hour delay. And all we got was a simple “sorry for the delay”. THIS DAY WAS A TOTAL DISGRACE, UNITED AIRLINES!!!!  I hope the return trip does turn out better. Every time I swear that this would be my last flight with that outfit. I hope that at least they get me home safe.

And at least I got to do some shooting in my favorite airport tunnel. For more photos continue after the jump…


On a bright note, the workshop went really well and tonight I get to go on a tour through the Federal Express main hub at Memphis airport (Memphis is also the FedEx HQ). It will start at 10:30pm and finish close to 1 am in the morning. We will walk more than two miles. They expect more than 1 million parcels to be processed tonight. I’m sure it will be an amazing experience. Too bad cameras are not allowed. And it will be short night, but probably well worth it.

Wish you a great Friday!


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69 thoughts on “Travel Day (14)

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  1. Your photos are incredible! I love seeing extraordinary and creative shots in an otherwise ordinary place. We also had heinous travels over the holidays….stood in line to check in for seven hours, had a 12-hour delay, missed a flight, had a 20-hour layover due to another five-hour delay, and then locked our keys in our car when we got home. It was an appropriate ending to an otherwise tumultuous 2018!

  2. Your photography is splendid Marcus. I can sympathize with the frustration over delays. Unfortunately it seems to be par for the course, getting worse … improving… sucking… not sure if it’s a pattern or my luck.

  3. The photos are phenomenal Marcus! I’m sorry to hear about the plane troubles. I’ve had planes that delay us for repairs, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the replacement plane needing repairs!!! Touring the FedEx hub seems like a cool experience. I hope that you had a great time! 🙂

  4. I hit the like button for the post not because of the trauma you faced, but because of the info. Hoping for a better return flight, which likely is already over!

  5. Great lights.
    United is on my smiley list. I flew Delta to Boston this August and was very pleased and surprised to have excellent service and a free not a meal but larger than a snack – and choices. WoW!

  6. Aaargh! So sorry about that awful delay, Marcus. But as other have commented, at least you got some stunning photos while in transit. Better luck with your travels home, I hope!

  7. Sometimes, we have a bad day! One bad experience after another!
    On a positive note, your pictures are awesome, as usual!

  8. Such disappointing news about your poor flight experience today but your photos are great as usual and the Fed.Express tour sounds amazing – I’d love to do that! Hope you get home in time for a nice weekend Marcus!

  9. Sorry to hear about the flight delay. Flying used to be such a glamourous affair. However, my story of a flight delay was in China, and me and my colleagues were delayed 6 hours. What made it worse it was for no apparent reason at all…

  10. Sorry to hear about your experience. United and American Airlines are very bad in comparison to most international companies. It’s as it they take pride in failing! Ugh! I ope you have better luck on the way back home. Great photos, though! 🙂

  11. So sorry to hear about your horrendous day. We try to book the European airlines, BA, Swiss Air, Air France, Lufthansa and Southwest or Jet Blue domestically.

    1. Thanks, Susan, much appreciated! The glory of business travel includes that the company travel office selects the airline with the lowest fare on any given route. They don’t need to put up with the results…..

      1. I’m stunned by what they do each day – it’s quite incomprehensible for any organisation to perform at the level that they do. I suspect that many companies could learn a lot from them

  12. I sympathize. I’ve had similar experience with United on domestic US flights (I had to do weekly run for 8 months!) The good news is that Ted is not universally bad. I once had to book a trans-Pacific flight and was dreading a 12 hour ordeal … but it was surprisingly good – friendly staff & decent food. I don’t envy your frequent travel Marcus but I do appreciate your pictures 🙂

  13. Great shots of the terminal!
    You might have better luck connecting thru Detroit instead of Chicago. And of course, try to avoid flying United.

    1. Thanks, Richie, appreciate your kind words. I would have preferred DTW but it didn’t work out connection-wise. Originally, that is. Hindsight, would have been a different story 😉

  14. That’s total rubbish Marcus! You should get the flight at zero cost. I remember flying in the 1970’s, some things have become better whilst other things have become much worse. America seems to have the worst airline service today. May your next flight be perfect as possible! 😎

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