Sunday, February 22, 2015

The first flight I missed in my life

Let me begin by saying that I have flown a fair amount of times in my life. I am no stranger to airplanes, airports, and travel. That being said - out of all the times that I have flown, and all of the trips I have taken, I have never missed a flight. Never. So, I guess I was due.

My flight to Phoenix was scheduled for Sunday at 1:30. For some reason, I was nervous about this flight. I fly out to Phoenix once a year for work. I have been doing it for the past 9 years. So - I am familiar with the flight and getting there. I think it was the uncertainty of the weather and the cold that was making me more anxious than usual. Plus, I knew of other colleagues that had their flights cancelled. So, I was on edge that this would happen to me.

I arrived at the airport at noon and breezed through security. I got to my gate and figured we would start boarding around 1 PM. Except there was a problem. The plane wasn't there. In fact, the plane was coming from Philadelphia, which is where I was flying TO, in order to get my connection to get to Phoenix. The plane still wasn't there at 1:15, and I started to get nervous.  Finally, the plane arrive at 1:25. They started boarding us at around 1:45. And we probably pushed back from the gate around 2 PM.

And then we sat. We sat on the runway for about 35 minutes while we got deiced. Then after we were deiced, we sat some more waiting for the gusts of wind to subside. As we sat there, I tried to fight the nausea from the shuddering of the plane from the wind. I honestly felt like I was on a boat. I had taken my dramamine, and I had my peppermint oil, and my Sea Bandz on my wrists. And I still felt sick.

Finally, finally, finally we took off at 2:35. And it was a horrible, bumpy flight because of the wind. When we landed at 3:20, I was green with motion sickness. And I also knew I was screwed because my flight to Phoenix was leaving at 3:40 in Terminal F. (We were in Terminal A).

If you are at all familiar with Philadelphia airport, you will know that you have to take a shuttle bus to get in between the terminals. There are no fancy trams. It's the shuttle bus, and that's all. So I knew that there was NO chance of me making a 3:40 flight when I wasn't even off the plane at 3:20. I also had gate checked my bag, so I was standing in the jetway waiting for my bag. I stood in the jetway for TWENTY minutes waiting for my bag. Yes. You read that right. TWENTY minutes. Are you serious? And let me tell you that it was really cold in the jetway. Cold, as in like 5 degrees cold.

When I finally got my bag, and made it over to Terminal F, and made it to the gate, my plane to Phoenix was LONG GONE. I was in disbelief. I had missed my flight. Holy crap. They really don't hold planes for people.  I was going to be stuck in Philadelphia. Luckily - I had my luggage. That was the only good thing about this situation. If I had checked my luggage, who knows where it would have ended up.

So what did I do?

I cried.

Yup. I am a crybaby. I cry when things don't happen they way they are supposed to. That's just what I do. I know. It's not the best way to handle stuff. But it's how my body handles the situation. And I wasn't just crying a little. I was full-on sobbing. In the airport. And people were looking at me. And I didn't care. I sobbed and sniffled and had a full on ugly crying fest. Yup. I did.

Ugly Crying!

When I finally got someone to help me - I discovered that I had been re-booked onto a new flight. I now had to fly to Chicago, and then to Phoenix. I cried some more over that. I was now taking THREE flights today and landing four hours later than I was supposed to. When I finally calmed down, I tried to look at the positive side of things. At least I would be in Phoenix that night. I knew a lot of colleagues who had flights that were cancelled and they weren't getting to Phoenix until TUESDAY!

So - I got on the flight to Chicago. And I won't lie. The whole flight, I worried that I was going to miss my connection in Chicago. When we landed, it was 7:05. My flight was at 8:05. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had one hour. But that sigh of relief went by the boards, when we taxied for 30 MINUTES! Yes. That's right. I was about to lose my mind. By the time we got to the gate, it was 7:35, and I was seriously back to being concerned a complete wreck that I might miss the next flight. Plus, I was in the back of the plane. Luckily the gate for the next flight was a 2 minute walk and when I finally go to the gate, it was 7:50, and they were boarding.

This was me while we taxied around O'Hare for 30 minutes.

My the time, I was in my seat, I was seriously exhausted. I was drained from my crying fest and from the dramamine (which makes me tired anyway). I was hungry, and I silently thanked my mom for always teaching me to pack a PB&J sandwich when I travel. I found my sandwich in my bag, and was so grateful I had it. I took out my kindle, and watched my movie, and said a little thank you prayer that the day worked out, even if it had not gone as expected.

Thank goodness I had this in my bag.

I landed at 11 PM (1 AM my time), and was very happy that I was in 70 degree weather. I ended up having a great week with my team. We had a lot of bonding time, and it was a fun week of learning. The weather was amazing, and all my travel woes were soon forgotten.

My flight home yesterday went a LOT better. I did not miss any flights. Nothing was cancelled. It was smooth sailing. The only slap in the face was when I stepped of the plane and was greeted with 10 degree weather.

Now, I know that if I ever miss a flight again, I promise that I will handle it better. I will only cry a tiny bit.

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