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A long trip home

If you think you had a long night watching the Capitals beat Montreal, consider what the team endured on its trip back to the D.C. area in the hours following its 6-3 victory in Game 4.

The ordeal began as the charter flight was approaching Dulles airport, where the Capitals were scheduled to land. But because of excessive fog, the flight was redirected to Reagan National. Players then were told there was too much fog there as well, so the plane had to land at BWI.

When the team charter finally touched down at BWI shortly after 1 this morning, players and the coaching staff said they tried to sleep as the plane sat on the tarmac for nearly three hours because customs agents had gone home long ago. Eventually customs agents came back to BWI, and players were able to deplane.

Once players collected their belongings, they took cabs in groups of three back to the Washington area. Some players went to Dulles to pick up their cars, and others like Eric Fehr decided to go straight home.

"I'm going to pick up the car today," said Fehr, who spoke to the media at KCI this afternoon after getting home around 5 a.m.

"And I was the first guy to get dropped off from my cab," Fehr added.

Practice originally was scheduled for noon today, but the arduous trip home prompted Coach Bruce Boudreau instead to give players the day off.

"That was rough," said defenseman Joe Corvo, who along with Fehr and Scott Walker were the only players who made appearances at KCI. "I mean, I didn't get to bed til 5 a.m. I'm a little foggy today."

By Gene Wang  |  April 22, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

Go Caps!

Posted by: derk45 | April 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Rest up guys so you're fresh tomorrow and can finish off the Habs! Let's Go Caps!!

Posted by: TerpGrad | April 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Bettman has probably been conspiring with air traffic control to subvert the Caps. ;^)

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 22, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Stupid Fog...

Why didnt they pick up on that in Montreal and let the guys fly out this a.m?

What a mess....

Posted by: SA-Town | April 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

If customs agents were an issue, why would they have routed the flight to Reagan? Reagan is a "national" airport because it doesn't have a customs facility (the few international flights that arrive there are treated as domestic flights because the passengers pre-clear customs at the departure airport--Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Nassau, or Bermuda). Seems like it would just be the same problem.

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Glad it's not a game day. Need to move those skates tomorrow eve!

Posted by: Justafan | April 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Our airlines at their best!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 22, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

If customs agents were an issue, why would they have routed the flight to Reagan? Reagan is a "national" airport because it doesn't have a customs facility (the few international flights that arrive there are treated as domestic flights because the passengers pre-clear customs at the departure airport--Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Nassau, or Bermuda). Seems like it would just be the same problem.

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 22, 2010 1:39 PM |

I think the original reroute was to National but that was fogged out also

Now as to why the Caps as an org. fly out of IAD, that's their business decision.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town- Fog has to be REALLY bad to stop arrivals at an airport like Dulles. When they took off, it wasn't forecast to be crippling to arrivals.

@1995hoo- Not in the terminal at Regan that serves general aviation and charter flights. They have custom agents and besides most charter companies arrange for customs agents on an ad hoc basis.

Posted by: rademaar | April 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know what time they skate tomorrow?

Posted by: bagasome1 | April 22, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If charter flights prearrange for customs agents then why was their plane going to Dulles in the first place? Given their practice facility, home arena, and most player residences Dulles is barely more convenient than BWI. I don't get it.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Uh, what, Gambrills? BWI is nearly as convenient as Dulles for people who work and live in Arlington, VA? Okay . . .

Always stuns me that people think BWI and Dulles are equally inconvenient for people residing in DC proper-west of Georgia Ave. or Arlington.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | April 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I recall a previous discussion that National limits flights arriving after 11pm due to noise pollution.

Posted by: 104_CapsFan | April 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

rademaar, thanks. Didn't know that about the general aviation terminal.

Rocc00, your reply didn't address my question at all--I knew the original re-route was to Reagan and I asked why they would re-route to Reagan at all if there is no customs facility there. rademaar answered the question.

Gambrills4, most charter companies prefer to avoid flying to Reagan because of cost. Current FAA and TSA regulations require that all general aviation flights into Reagan (unless they're diverted there) have a federal air marshal on board at the expense of the party operating the flight. There are various other more stringent requirements that add to the hassle and expense. Given the ease of getting to Dulles from Kettler via I-66 and the Dulles Access Road (especially with the HOV exemption, if a flight happens to be leaving in late afternoon or early evening), Dulles is about as convenient as Reagan and is far more convenient than BWI (consider how bad the traffic can be going out there, among other issues).

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 22, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Dulles is simply easier and cheaper for a plethora of reasons: ramp space, customs issues, noise abatement and approach guidelines, etc. National is a general aviation nightmare.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | April 22, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what (s)he said.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | April 22, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I hate airports and air travel (anymore) - if the US govt would stop bothering the rest of the world (country was intended to be an "independent republic" - not a world empire) and stirring up every hornets nest around, we could live decent and dignified lives again - bring home the troops, dismantle the military/industrial complex (popular view around DC I know heh heh), give the populace back their money, to spend as THEY see fit - not a horde of idiot war-mongering bureaucrats in the pocket of international banking

Used to be air travel was fun and to look fwd to - beautiful stewardesses that treat you nice and like human beings, various amenities - now, more often than not, they are fat ugly bi/ch&s with an axe to grind - hey big ladies - if you are jealous of attractive women, stop eating so much carbs and junk and go to the gym - does not take brilliance to sculpt a nice body

Posted by: Satchelass | April 22, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

If customs agents were an issue, why would they have routed the flight to Reagan? Reagan is a "national" airport because it doesn't have a customs facility (the few international flights that arrive there are treated as domestic flights because the passengers pre-clear customs at the departure airport--Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Nassau, or Bermuda). Seems like it would just be the same problem.

Regan is consider a national airport but does have flights to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Posted by: fmccain | April 22, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Bettman has probably been conspiring with air traffic control to subvert the Caps. ;^)

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 22, 2010 1:30 PM

@ccCapsfan: Umm...actually I think it was
because he (Bettman) signed a pact with Satan...No, wait--that was the Bruins, and besides that guy's name is pronounced "shut-TAN"...wait,wait, I've got it: Bettman did sign a pact to (sic.) the Devil....and his name is pronounced "CRAWS-bee".

Please hang in there, Senators: if you can't knock 'em out, at least make 'em good and tired...

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 22, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Dulles has CAT III approach systems, meaning you can land with virtually zero visibility, not a couple hundred feet like a normal instrument approach. The issue probably was they were on one of the carrier's older 737's. Miami Air has new generation 737's that should have been able to make Dulles last night. The Caps have had some complaints with Miami Air in the past, I wonder if they see this as a big deal or not.

Posted by: LouLewis | April 22, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

tominfl, I recommend we create a special unit in the doofus brigade for "Satchelass". His comments in general have been trollish from the beginning.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | April 22, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

fmccain, re-read what I said: The international flights arriving at Reagan are, for legal purposes, domestic flights because the passengers will pre-clear US customs and immigration in the departure city. The US has this arrangement in place in several foreign airports (the ones that come to mind are Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Bermuda, Nassau, and Shannon, but there may be others). It saves tremendous time if you have a connection upon your arrival in the United States.

As far as DEPARTING flights go, ANY US airport can serve as the departure point for an international flight because we do not have emigration controls in the manner of, say, Russia. Russia requires you to have your passport stamped on both entry AND exit from the country, and if your visa has expired you cannot leave the country (and you will be fined). The USA has no comparable rule.

That's why Reagan Airport is still called "Reagan National Airport" and not "Reagan International Airport"--it doesn't receive arriving "international" commercial flights to the extent "international" means the passengers have to clear customs upon arrival. (It also underscores why the name of the airport is not, and has never been, "National Airport"--"National" was merely an adjective qualifying the name "Washington Airport," i.e., "Washington National Airport" and not "Washington International Airport.")

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

WEAKNESS!!! You guys want to sleep? Sleep after winning 13 more games! ROCK THE RED-EYE!!!

/sarcasm off

Posted by: sandyflee | April 22, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

yeah I am sure you are "real old" - time for you to go away - your world is dying

Posted by: Satchelass | April 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

WEAKNESS!!! You guys want to sleep? Sleep after winning 13 more games! ROCK THE RED-EYE!!!

Posted by: sandyflee | April 22, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Mabe we can hire our own special custom agents and have them at our dispossal....haha

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 22, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Satchelass is off of medications.

IAD was below most CATIII minimums last night. Most flights were diverted until the fog started burning off this morning. There are 3 CATIII levels, A, B and C, with C requiring the least amount of runway visual range. I do not believe that IAD has any CATIIIc approach procedures.
Plus, CATIII requires both special aircraft AND aircrew certification. Even major carriers don't always have the complete combination of aircraft and aircrew available when minimums drop as low as they did last night.
Miami Air (callsign Biscayne) actually has one of the best safety records around. It is a charter carrier and not a general aviation flight.
Arrivals into DCA after 11pm are governed by the aircraft's noise classification. Most aircraft in the B737 and A320 sizes and smaller meet the noise requirements to operate after 11pm.
A lot of economic decisions go into deciding where to base the flight. Landing fees, price of fuel, etc. weigh into the decision.
There are congressional limits on flights into and out of DCA. Even if the customs issue was taken care of, I do not think they could schedule a flight there. A diverted flight is allowed for safety reasons.

Posted by: gewhiteva | April 22, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah gewhiteva, I hate waking up too - love that inside aviation info

Posted by: Satchelass | April 22, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Now as to why the Caps as an org. fly out of IAD, that's their business decision.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

nope. its actually because they typically fly out late after games and there are noise restrictions at national. they have to fly out of dulles.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 22, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Our airlines at their best!"

Posted by: lylewimbledon


This had nothing to do with the airlines. What would you rather the pilot do, try to land in the thick fog and crash the plane, or divert to a safe airport?

Think before you post.

Posted by: MKadyman | April 22, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I wish I was out there around that time, because I would've love to have given Ovie, Semin and Varly a ride home. Now I probably would've went crazy trying to understand their broken english, but I'm sure they would've tip well....

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | April 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

This is unfortunate. A night of little sleep tends to affect aerobic performance not the next day, but the day after that. We're going to be fighting tired in game 5.

Posted by: minorthread | April 22, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The number and depth of comments on here is incredible - it's like something you'd see on the Boston Globe's site if this happened to the Sox. The Nats' plane could be forced to make a water landing in the reflecting pool and there wouldn't be this much discussion.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: 1ofamillion | April 22, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1 "nope. its actually because they typically fly out late after games and there are noise restrictions at national. they have to fly out of dulles."

Miami Air operates B737-400 and B737-800 aircraft that meet or exceed "Stage 3 noise regulations", which means these aircraft meet the requirements for landing at DCA after 11pm.
Another issue which will sometimes limit the use of DCA is that there is a 1250 mile "perimeter rule", which means no flights (with some established exceptions) operation in or out of DCA any greater than 1250 miles. Montreal is only about 500 miles, but this distance restriction is probably another reason for the Caps to use IAD as their base, as opposed to DCA. IAD= lower costs, easier customs clearance, more convenient for flight operations, more convenient parking for the team, etc. I cannot think of any upside for them to use DCA.

Posted by: gewhiteva | April 22, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Gene - Ted says in his blog they landed in Norfolk and spent the night in a hotel and then bussed back. What gives?

Posted by: AlexVa1 | April 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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