When President Trump grounded Boeing 737 Max jetliners on Wednesday, Sara Wood got the news in the worst possible place—on a Boeing 737 Max.
The data specialist was on a plane about to push off from the gate at Chicago’s Midway Airport when the pilot announced over the intercom that the Los Angeles-bound flight could not take off.
“We honestly thought it was a joke when the pilot came on the air and told us we couldn’t fly, and they weren’t sure what would happen,” Wood told The Daily Beast on Wednesday afternoon.
“Our pilot expressed full confidence in the plane but said it wasn’t up to him.”
As reality set in, Wood, who is from Topeka, Kansas, began to chronicle the chaos on Twitter.
Wood said she understood the decision to ground the fleets in the wake of a deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash involving a Boeing 737 Max 8. But she questioned the abruptness of the decision, during peak travel hours.
“The planning absolutely sucked and has thrown thousands of people into anxious situations,” she said. “The execution was horrible and upsetting.”
Wood’s plane was originally supposed to take off at 1:40 p.m. She didn’t get onto her rebooked flight until 3:20 p.m. and then faced more delays.
“We’re pretty excited to get going but have been sitting now waiting on our bags and paperwork,” she said.