My View For Awhile: YHUGE DELAY Edition – UPDATED

I am in Denver. What a strange airport. I’ve only been through Denver 3 times (I think) and each time I like this airport less.

I think an undergrad designed it.  Who thought that the layout for check in relation to  security in relation to access to the gates was a good idea?

In any event, I am waiting for a flight… and waiting. The entire Delta system is “down” we are told and all planes are grounded. My flight was slated to be late to begin with (what else? … it’s Delta). They say that all flights are equally locked down, so I might get my connection.

The lounge is boring and my mind is a bit to flat to read much.


All Delta flights were grounded because the computers were down.

After about an hour wait we were told that the system is slowly coming back up and the flights will be released in a “phased way”.

I wonder what “phase” my connection will be in?

I have a serious appointment on Monday morning.


Okay… this is Zuhlsdorf’s Law, isn’t it.  I get it now.


Still waiting.

I have a backup flight out of MSP for tomorrow morning.   Of course tomorrow morning is when I am supposed to sell my car back to VW.  No, I didn’t wait long for that appointment.


FLIGHT CANCELLED “because of weather”


So this is not going to be good.


They are working “expeditiously”.

Here’s the deal.  They cancelled our flight because of WEATHER.  Right.

So, I put my hands around the necks of a Delta personnel, squeezed forth some travel vouchers, made a call to the poor priests who had to deal with me over the last few days, extracted my bag from the bowels of Delta and…

I now await my return.

I’m really tired.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you of the whole story of helping the hasidim with their luggage while waiting for my ride.   It ended with, “Tank you.  Heer’s a dahlah.”





About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    For a moment I thought that was Rembert Weakland’s wreckivated Milwaukee Cathedral Sanctuary….

  2. TNCath says:

    Delta isn’t ready when you are.

  3. tgarcia2 says:

    Depending on the automation issue that cause the ground stop, and the severity of it, you might leave extremely late…unless they start doing cancellations. All depends on how Delta’s dispatchers start to release flights giving priority (from experience working for WN) to crews that are close to being illegal, if any. Hopefully, it really does work out for you!!!

  4. Absit invidia says:

    Denver’s labyrinth maze of a security line, coupled with its strange teleport passageways with bizarre Khachaturian Sabre Dance music onboard creates for a most surreal experience – as if they were trying to recreate Tom & Jerry:

  5. That Guy says:

    I believe there is a Thomas Mangelson gallery in that airport? “Images of Nature”? Worthy of a visit.

    DELTA- Don’t Ever Leave The Airport

  6. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Sorry to hear the news. What are your thoughts on the Mason-esque wall murals at the Denver airport? Not exactly happy scenes, at any rate. I will remember your flight delay intentions in my breviary prayers tonight.

  7. FrHorning says:

    Sorry to hear about the delay. I have always had positive experiences in the Denver Airport. By far, I get asked for blessings and prayer, questions and conversations started because I always wear my clerics. I have had a lot good “Catholic” experiences in the Denver Airport. Hope you do too!

  8. VexillaRegis says:

    I look forward to read the amusing story of how you became a porter!

  9. JonPatrick says:

    As these airline companies grow larger through mergers and acquisitions they end up with patchworked IT systems cobbled together from the legacy systems inherited from the prior companies. The system grows to the point where no one person can understand it anymore. The people who designed it are long gone, senior people retire and are replaced by kids out of school with no experience on these systems. We seem to be getting to the point where we can no longer manage what we have created.

  10. Andrew D says:

    The most surreal story I heard about Denver had to do with the weather and this makes zero sense. For those who don’t know, Denver is not all mountains – the area where the airport is is a flat prairie and the mountains can be seen in the distance – they seem to start immediately with not smaller hills to get them going. Anyway, one of my co-workers was leaving Denver after a trade show a few years ago and the flights were taking off while there were small tornadoes touching down on the surrounding prairies?!?!

  11. Cornelius says:

    Do you wear your Roman collar when travelling, Fr?

    I imagine that it would attract a lot of . . ummm . .folks of various types. Very pious people, as well as the occasional Catholic hater. Whenever I see a priest in public I make a point to say hello but also to leave him alone.

    A priest once told me that when he wears his clerics in public complete strangers will approach and pour out the private details of their lives without prompting. Not only must that be trying for the poor priest, but priests themselves vary widely in wisdom. I would not seek out just any priest for such advice.

  12. CrimsonCatholic says:

    Check out the “interesting” artwork, and point out all the people in gas masks in each painting.

  13. baileymxd says:

    Isn’t Denver Int. the supposed place where there’s an underground bunker for the New World Order? :P

    Also, the only weather delay is probably the snowflakes that are protesting around the terminals of the airport.

  14. KatieL56 says:

    Since very little short of a crowbar (applied to knock me out) will get me onto a plane except in cases of extreme emergency, I’m not familiar with Denver’s airport (I found Atlanta, JFK, Burlington, Tucson, Logan, Philly, and Heathrow bad enough in my lifetime) but both my 87-year-old mother and 30-something daughter have been in the Denver airport a half-dozen times in the last few years, and when things went wrong with the flight, THAT was the place it went wrong. I much prefer Amtrak. I think, Father, in future you’ll be an ABD candidate (anything but Delta). So sorry for the misery and prayers for better days!

  15. pseudomodo says:


    I think you’re on to something. We should immediately petition for a right proper Snowflake EMOJI!!

    Something like a snowflake but with an anguished, forlorn, grimaced face and one or two tears. Maybe three.

  16. john_6_fan says:

    DIA was the last major airport built in the US. It opened in 1996 and is a logistical abomination. They created a security bottleneck, requiring (almost) all passengers to use a single checkpoint to get from the main terminal to the concourses. There is a second security checkpoint at the north end of the terminal that is occasionally slightly less busy. It leads to an elevated walk way to concourse A.

    There are all kinds of conspiracy theories about the airport. The artwork doesn’t help to dismiss them. For fun, google the DIA baggage system mess when it first opened, or the time the trains stopped working and the airport hadn’t planned any alternative backup plan (of course).

    DIA is my regional airport. Whenever I fly, I marvel at how much more efficient other, older airports are.

    St. Christopher, pray for us, especially Father Z.

  17. robtbrown says:

    baileymxd says:

    Isn’t Denver Int. the supposed place where there’s an underground bunker for the New World Order? :P

    Dont know about that, but NORAD is in Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs.

  18. APX says:

    A priest once told me that when he wears his clerics in public complete strangers will approach and pour out the private details of their lives without prompting. Not only must that be trying for the poor priest, but priests themselves vary widely in wisdom. I would not seek out just any priest for such advice.

    For all you know, such experiences are moments of grace in which someone who wouldn’t normally approach a church to speak with a priest, will be moved in a moment to open up to one he/she sees out in public. Priests are given special graces to fulfill their vocation, which can include having the right words at the right time as well as the stamina to deal with such instances.

    Let’s not be too judgmental.

  19. pannw says:

    Poor Father Z just happened to be traveling when it was Delta’s turn to have the computers go down. Southwest was last summer, and American had a problem a few months before them, and United the summer before, twice, if I remember rightly. Imagine if they all went down at the same time! But I’m not going to put on my conspiracy hat…

    I have to say when I first read the “Yhuge delay”, I thought it might be due to protesters throwing a tantrum over the State sponsors of terrorism countries ban. In any case, be safe, Father.

  20. NBW says:

    Hope the rest of your trip is better. Be safe!

  21. Hans says:

    My experience of changing planes in Denver is that it feels as if it’s multiple airports cobbled together, and that it’s somewhere around the Colorado/Kansas border. I know the map says otherwise, but I’m dubious …

    I’ve also had the experience of a flight being delayed several hours (fortunately, not canceled as I had nowhere to stay) because of bad weather in between the endpoints, but that was a plane with a non-pressurized cabin going from Massena, NY and Pittsburgh. That flight, once it took off, was the closest I’ve ever come to being sick on a plane as we dodged around thunderheads.

  22. VexillaRegis says:

    Ever travelled with Air France? They send your luggage to another destination and go on strike just before boarding time.

  23. carl b says:

    My dad, who worked for the FAA for many years, has observed that DIA was designed to be airplane, not passenger, friendly.

  24. Cantor says:

    “Flights in the air remain unaffected.” ?????????? One sure hopes so!

  25. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    That would be WEIRD, of course, Father. We’ll put it down to your state of advanced exasperation.

    I have been through Denver many, many times, but almost always changing flights in B terminal, which works fine. For general weather problems and other snafus, Denver is much better than Chicago, which I swore off 20 years ago with no regrets.

  26. Aquinas Gal says:

    Denver airport: Masonic, weird murals and other strange stuff…

  27. Andrew says:

    Judging from this post, Fr. Z passed through the Vortex and now he inhabits another dimension. Somehow he is still able to post new entries. The metal structure at the “D” air-prt must have interacted with the atmospheric pulse which started a magnetic storm sweeping upwards at supersonic speed.

  28. Charivari Rob says:

    Denver was the hub of the worst air travel of my long (mostly intermittent) experience.

    A27 in Father’s photo looks similar to the corner we spent part of our ordeal.

    Ours involved Southwest, the weather, and to a lesser extent airport ground operations.

    We arrived on a connecting flight, so didn’t have to experience street-side and checkpoint.

    Our arrival was slightly delayed by weather en-route. We had to make a mad dash within the same terminal to our connecting gate. Boarding did not happen at scheduled time, but was going to happen on short notice as soon as the plane was ready, and we were advised to remain in proximity to the gate.

    My wife’s beloved first guide dog was making her last working trip before retiring. We had curbed her before our flight out of Nevada. We would’ve given her a comfort opportunity at Denver (earlier than normally needed) with our discretionary time, but not knowing how much time we had, we could not take the train to the front terminal to go outside security to do her business and come back – and in the contemporary security environment, security was unwilling or unable to escort one of us & the dog out a staircase/door to the apron.

    We eventually boarded (I forget how long after our scheduled time, but it wasn’t too bad), with the announcement that we would sit, ready to push back, waiting for a flight coming in from the west coast with several connecting passengers, as we were the last eastbound flight that night. Some grumbling at that, but mostly tolerant acceptance. That flight arrived and passengers arrived. We were then told we would be held however long it took to get the connecting passengers’ luggage. THAT did not go over so well with the hundred who had been waiting on the plane – tolerance towards the person of our fellow travelers did not extend to giving a tinker’s dam for their baggage. As for us in particular, we had packed that morning in Vegas with the expectation that we could be separated from our checked bags and had put enough in our carry-ons to spend an unscheduled layover night in Denver if things had needed. More delay, and stuck in plane seats instead of the relative comfort/freedom of the terminal.

    If we had known the time involved from the first (and let’s face it, while the airline was dealing with some unknowns, they could’ve been more honest with us), I could’ve taken the dog all the way out to the street and back, and not missed a beat.

    The connecting baggage arrived, we closed the doors, pushed back from the gate – 10 feet. ….and there we stayed. The airline apparently wanted the stat of departing (at the rescheduled) “on-time”, blaming the weather delaying incoming flights. We sat there for a couple of hours – with a thoroughly unprofessional argument between the front-of-cabin attendant and some disgruntled passenger. The rear-of-cabin attendant had to come up at one point, and I would’ve given a good bit of money if that person had the gumption and/or seniority to relieve the other and change places with her. My wife and I were in the front seats of the section and I spent the row with my arms folded and looking at the floor, avoiding the temptation to “insert” myself in that downward spiral.

    We eventually taxied into the de-icing queue and eventually took off. That was three-plus hours on the ground – after our delayed “departure” – to move a few hundred yards and get in the air. We still had the three-to-four hours in the air to Boston.

    It was well after midnight when we finally arrived, and the terminal nearly deserted. It had been a foot or so of snow sometime in the preceding day there. We had a medium-long walk (for that terminal) from the gate to the baggage claim, with a detour at the first street-side door we could find. I took that beautiful, long-suffering dog out for my wife – poor thing practically dove into a bank of snow and ice next to the taxi queue to get her relief.

    Will NEVER fly than airline again if I can avoid it.

  29. Worm-120 says:

    Wow 18 , it’s been -2, -3 (Fahrenheit) here and that’s warm, it’s been down to -32 without the windchill, with windchill it’s been like -50 on somedays

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