Anyone who has read the writings of Ernest K. Gann know how false the derogatory "glorified bus driver" description is for airline pilots, but these days not that many people have read Fate is the Hunter or any of his other fabulous books. As I've mentioned before, people don't appreciate the complexity of the environment; all they know is that "we're late!" or asking "why are we stuck in this damned tube sitting on the ramp??" Someone ought to make a law!
As is becoming increasingly common, a more realistic, in-depth, and accurate picture than that presented by the media is available on a blog:
The hop to MSP was just about the longest 45 minute flight of my life. It was turbulent, the radar was filled with yellow returns, heavy snow alternated with a deafening rain of ice pellets, St. Elmo's fire danced up and down the windscreen, and ATC was barely audible above all the static in the radios. We kept the cockpit floodlights up high in case we took a lightning strike. We diverted around the heaviest precipitation and then ATC turned us around and vectored us for a 40 mile final.
In this case, an accurate, honest, and extremely detailed pilot's-eye explanation as to what goes on in seats 0A and 0B on a small regional jet caught out by bad weather conditions is yours for the asking, right here.
I found it fascinating.