My Delayed-Delayed Again-Delayed AGAIN-Canceled-flight, Starbucks-caffeinated, Yep-that’s-snow, WHERE-IN-THE-WORLD-ARE-MY-SUITCASES Night at the Airport

12 May

The last I don’t know how many hours has been the longest, most adventurous, most unpredictable night of my life. San Diego-bound I had a layover last night that was meant to be half an hour in Denver, CO allowing me to arrive in sunny San Diego by 11:30 their time last night. HA.

First of all, we land in Denver, there is snow EVERYWHERE. It is May. Too much. That is just not cute. Anyone who knows me knows I hate snow. I should have known this was going to be a bad sign. So next thing I know my plane’s leaving not at 9:55 but 10:25 then 10:50 then we finally get on board at 11ish (all Denver time). Here things get even more exciting believe it or not. We get on the plane and don’t just sit there but physically move away from the gate!!!! Where we sit for 2 and a half hours. TWO AND A HALF HOURS. At this point, the captain tells us that we are not leaving at all because there is a little patch of ice on this little itty bitty segment of the left wing. While I do appreciate them having consideration for our safety, I JUST WANT TO BE IN SAN DIEGO PEOPLE! So, this is when things get really interesting.

They released us into the wild. I mean wiiiiiiild. People were running like pushing each other to get into lines at the customer service desks to get a rebooking. Within an hour, I was in line being told that the soonest flight to San Diego through Southwest was three days away. The soonest to L.A., four days away. Same for San Francisco. Me: Do I cry or do I sob?

When I was standing in line, I made friends. We shall name them Penny (the girl from UPenn who stood in front of me), Lola (a 30-ish year old woman from San Diego who had just been in Philly), And Phil (for the 40-some year old guy from San Diego who sat across from me on the flight from Philadelphia, next to me on the just-foolin-ya ‘flight’ to San Diego, and ended up right behind me in line for this whole 5 and a half hour ordeal. We all became good friends for this experience. We sat and watched as people cried, screamed, threw tantrums, bribed, threw suitcases, and of course the worst drama of all, when unsuspecting morning fliers tried to approach the desk for a print-out of their boarding pass not realizing they were cutting in front of 1000 desperate, cranky people who had been waiting their turn to get a rebooking for the last 5 and a half hours. Oh yeah. Did I mention there were 1000 of us stranded like that at the airport? But my favorite moment of the evening was when the one customer service employee who had been working since 5 PM the night before (it was 7 AM at this point) all of a sudden threw her papers in the air at 7 am, grabbed her bags, laughed wickedly with crazy wild eyes I might add, and literally, LITERALLY, ran out of the building screaming “I’m done! I’m going home! BED! GOODBYE! I’M DONE!”….leaving all of the hundreds of us there to be dealt with by just one employee. I am not kidding.

However, the cool things to come out of this:

1. meeting 3 strangers who I never would have met otherwise and bonding in an entirely unique way that could never be repeated.

2. Getting the opportunity to discuss what real life is like in San Diego with two adults who have moved out there from the East Coast and just fallen in love. Since I’m really hoping to move there after Graduation, this opportunity was AMAZING.

3. Getting lots and lots of free pretzels. So many pretzels. So many!

4. Being able to say I spent a night in a closed airport. I feel like I should have a book written about me. Or a movie maybe.

5. Being blessed to be able to see God’s presence so many times in one night! Even with all of the drama and emotion, individuals stepped out who were caring, comforting, and giving. What a beautiful thing to be able to sit there in awe and just watch God do his thang through his people. That was worth all of the lack of sleep!

So anyway, while standing in line and having my own version of a mental breakdown, praying from the bottom of my heart that this can somehow be resolved, which I will not get into all the details for your own sakes, my parents were able to come to my rescue and get me on a flight with a different airline for today…countdown 5 hours til I finally take off!…again.

Lesson Learned: Where there is a prayer, there is God. Where there is God there is always a way.

So yay! I was on a new flight. Okay Emi, take a breath. I was directed to go down to the main terminal to pick up my suitcases and get them onto my new flight. Have any of you ever been to the Denver airport? No? How about Disney World? Yes? Okay now take the country circle walk through of Epcot, multiply it by three. THIS IS HOW LARGE THIS AIRPORT IS. I kid you not, I have been all over this baby today. Concourse C, B, A, B, Main Terminal, baggage claim, B again. I don’t need to go to the gym again for the next week. So I go to get my luggage. It’s not there. Where is it?! IN SAN DIEGO. My luggage is in San Diego. Am I in San Diego? Nope. But my luggage is.

Lesson learned: If you ever want to be positive you will get to your final destination, ship yourself in a suitcase.

My dinner/breakfast from last night to now has consisted of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (cuz honestly, I haven’t slept since Monday night….How am I awake and functioning right now?!), a bagel with cream cheese, apple slices, fig newtons, and a strawberry breakfast bar. What. Is. That.

Lesson learned: Always pack an extra meal in your carry on. Or two….Or three. You might have hungry friends to share with while standing in line. For 6 hours.

Now alas, I am still here. At the airport. Watching the planes go by, people watching, and praying that my plane takes off this time around. Making the best out of this catastrophe  was definitely the best way to go…So! I’m sorry that my first truly official travel post was not glamorous and exciting, but what’s an adventure without some unanticipated bumps along the way? I’m beginning to see that the bumps are what the truly exciting part of my summer will be, and what I will learn the most from.

Hope the rest of you had sweet dreams last night and are having wonderful Thursdays!!

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One Response to “My Delayed-Delayed Again-Delayed AGAIN-Canceled-flight, Starbucks-caffeinated, Yep-that’s-snow, WHERE-IN-THE-WORLD-ARE-MY-SUITCASES Night at the Airport”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Where Happy Happens « Sparkle and Hair Bows - May 20, 2011

    […] enjoying the beach…We didn’t get to do this because of all of my issues at the Denver airport. You can read my whole post about that here. […]

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