After having breakfast, we went back to the apartment. A quick reference to the earlier post, cabs are damn hard to catch during rain storms so after attempting to hail 4 cabs we, well I, just decided to walk, and since Christian wasn’t overly familiar with the area he had to follow me.
It was cold. It was wet. It became a test of endurance. It was us vs them. Ali vs Spinx. WVU vs. Pitt. Man versus nature.
Man won, but only barely.
After arriving back at the apartment, we changed clothes and I started checking on our helicopter flight (downpour) and the flight status. New York City, closely followed by any city in the US only handles perfect weather conditions well. Other than perfect, it’s a dice roll. I’ve been stuck in New York before when rains like this rolled in.
I check the helicopter – all good.
I check Jetblue (cue memories of their PR disaster only a month ago) and find we have a delay of 45 minutes, but the nice lady on the phone said things were improving.
This was good. The day was improving.
On Tuesday, Christian and I did our research on the various helicopters operating around Gotham. US Helicopter has two heliports in Manhattan. One is on 34th, which is only a few blocks away from my apartment and the second is their ‘Downtown Manhattan’ terminal on the East River Piers. I think they use the same helicopter for most flights so due to scheduling rather than a 10 minute trip up 1st. We have 40 minutes down the #4. All in all, not too bad.
At 1.30p we roll out of the apartment and head downtown for the heliport. I’m a little stressed, but our journey goes according to plan and we arrive there around 2.15pm with a required 2.30 check in. Excellent. By this time the weather is starting to smooth out some. It’s still gray and gloomy, but the gale force winds and driving rain have ceased.
We’re both excited. A quick picture on the walk up to the piers and walk into the building. The Heliport is a small and quaint little building. To our immediate right is the check-in counter and in front of us on the left the TSA security point and to the distant right is a nice little waiting area. Thanks to 9-11 and increased security it is considered an official airport and with that, earns all the ‘official airport’ security procedures.
Apparently, the new furniture had just arrived. It was nice, a little hard, but nice.
Check in goes well, as does our first go through security. We go into the lounge and wait.
A helicopter arrives, drops people off and then departs.
Christian noticed the anxious looks before I did.
And then it happened.
At 2.45pm, the main coordinator comes into the waiting room, after having went through a TSA security screening – the helipad is an official airport with security – and says that the helicopter isn’t going to be able to make it. We had 15 minutes before departure so the company and I agree to give it another 15 minutes and then make a decision.
As I mentioned before the waiting room is enclosed in glass and the work areas are open, so we can see everything that is happening. Christian and I see people talking in hushed tones. A few calls on the telephone and walkie-talkie.
The funny part is that we can see the ‘non-secure side’, but are technically in the secure, post TSA inspection area. So, when someone wants to walk into our place they have to go through the screening – take of coat and shoes and be inspected, every time.
Our little USH rep had to take off his coat and shoes each time he needed to talk to us including this time. In hindsight, I should have called him over a couple times just to watch him go through the entire process over and over again.
It was on this trip when were told there would be no flight. :(
So now we have an hour to get to JFK, but a 1.5 hour cab ride.