Last night was ridiculous – like 90’s sitcom ridiculous. But things are never as bad as they seem. Which is why I’ve decided to insert gratuitous pictures of lovely flora (all photographed by yours truly) throughout this post as a reminder that there is still a lot of good in the world.
I have travelled a lot in my life – I’d say more than the average person. I’ve experienced delays, and even cancelled flights before. But last night takes the cake (see, I’ve managed to incorporate baking into this post too). I was supposed to catch a flight with a connection and wind up in London this morning, at 10am. I was leaving from a smaller airport, with my connection at a signficantly larger one. I arrived with plenty of time, only to discover that 20 minutes before I got there, my first flight was cancelled. I drove over an hour to get to this airport, mind you.
Without getting into too much detail, I eventually was able to cry and demand my way into a re-booking that solved the problem, and was even better than my original itinerary. Things were looking up, it appeared.
As I’m waiting at the gate for my new flight, a fellow passenger walks up and informs us that this flight is delayed at least an hour, so if you have a connection, you’re pretty much screwed. I did, and I was. Back to the phone to for another re-booking. This time, the only flight was at another airport, about an hour and 20 minutes away. It would be cutting it close, but it was worth a try. So out to the car I ran, and put the pedal to metal (which, anyone who knows me, knows how adept I am at driving under time constraints).
I knew it was going to be close, and I was actually pretty sure that even the fastest driving in the world wouldn’t make it, but the woman on the phone (who was the most helpful person so far) told me to just try, and if I don’t they can re-book me there. Well, for the first time ever, I missed the turn for the parking lot at the airport – an airport I’ve been to and parked in 100 times. Any chance of making this flight at this point were now long gone.
I arrive finally, park, get into the terminal, and it’s completely empty – like Stephen King movie empty. A not very nice man appears, and tells me no one can help me, and then proceeds to ignore me. I stand there, and just lose it, no knowing what to do now. A very nice man then appears out of nowhere, and finds me help, via three extremely sweet ladies. Thank you very nice man and sweet ladies, karma is on your side.
Finally, I’m rebooked on a flight, but not until 24 hours later, but at this point, I just want to get home, relax, and put this all behind me. Not so fast, though. When I turn to leave, I realize I’m on the wrong side of the airport, and can’t catch the shuttle back to my car. Thankfully, a man actually went out of his way, and walked me to the other side. I have to say, there really are some good people in this world. I hope I can return all these favors.
Luckily, this airport was actually the closer one to my house, so it was only about a 15 minute drive. However, I was bawling my eyes out the entire way, and it must have affected my driving, because, lo and behold, I see the flashing lights behind me, and I hear “pull into that parking lot” booming from the patrol car. I feel bad – I don’t want to seem like the girl who cries to get out of tickets – but I couldn’t help it. I was already sobbing before this happened. He was very nice. Again, my faith in humanity was being restored even more.
So, even though my vacation has been delayed by a day, there are some valuable things I’ve learned from all this:
1. the cheapest flight is not always the best
2. there are some really good people out there, willing to help even a stranger
3. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family in my life, who are always there to offer me support, listen to me vent, and cheer me up.
Thank you friends, family and strangers – you have all made at least one person’s life a hell of a lot better. Here’s to tomorrow. 🙂