Life Events

My Travel Nightmare

So, I left college station last night around midnight and after my obligatory stop in West Texas (it is a Texas thing) followed by obligatory Whataburger feast before I left the state (again it is a Texas thing) I checked into my flight and waited to board. Key word waited. Two of our flight attendants must have selected PM for their alarm instead of AM because they did not show up until 10 minutes after our scheduled departure time.

Once the flight attendants did their walk of shame through the masses of people crowding the jet bridge that were ready to board the plane even though they were in group 4 (typical air travel am I right?) The boarding process began and I promptly got on the plane.  Now I am not one to sleep on planes, I have tried to in the past but something about being 6’3” and folding myself into the seat makes it so I am never comfortable enough to fall asleep. However, this time I was asleep so fast that I don’t remember the plane ever pushing off the gate, nor did I ever fasten my seatbelt (sorry mom).

I was awoken by our plane landing in Philadelphia and looked at my watch to see how long I had until my next flight. I had 20 minutes. This was going to be a close one. I hastily threw together a plan and with the help of some fellow travelers we navigated the airport, hopped on the shuttle, and headed to the commuter terminal with the clock ticking. I swear that was the slowest bus I had ever been on. Nevertheless, I made it to the terminal at my exact departure time. The only problem was that the flight was cancelled while I was enroute to Philly.

I slump to the customer service desk to weigh my options. The lady at the desk began to read off my new flight plan stringing together a list of every major airport in the Northeast which eventually ended me in Syracuse New York. Which was nice of her but I wasn’t going to Syracuse I was going to Watertown…

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She explained to me that they have been canceling that flight every morning for the past week and that the flight for tomorrow will most likely be canceled. Which is a little frustrating and would have been good to know before I got to the airport in Philly so that I could have prevented this airport hopping madness.

But I am not really mad about that, what I am mad about is that I choose to do the multi airport travel plan to get to my modified destination a few hours earlier. And as I sit on the plane to Boston writing this I realize that I missed a great opportunity.

The ticket agent did offer me a direct flight to Syracuse, but I wouldn’t have left Philly until 8pm tonight. Which 8 hours in a single airport is a drag, so I obviously didn’t choose that option. What I did not think about was spending those 8 hours in the city and not in the airport. Simply exploring a new part of the country and no planes to hold me back.  The airline was giving me a chance to fly the “W” but I was dumb and changed that to an “L.” I had a great opportunity and I squandered it.

From this I am reminded to look at even the most negative situation from every angle because sometimes you can turn a cancelled flight into an adventure if you are creative enough. And next time I fly into a remote airport that is covered in snow I will keep this in the back of my mind to ensure I do not squander another opportunity.

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