A Writer's Journey

June 20, 2016

Travel Horror Story

Filed under: journey,off topic,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
Tags: ,

Story time! I was in South Carolina for my cousin’s wedding last weekend. A good time was had by all, but I’m not going into that. Now, I’m going into what happened when I tried to get home to New York.

I got from from Florence to Charlotte with no problems. When I checked the board, my flight to Newark was still on time and two hours away. So I hit the food court and had some dinner, which trying to avoid anything about the Tonys. My father was taping it for me and I planned to watch it either when I got home or on Monday.

At the gate, there was a screen that displayed information about the flight–including status and time until boarding. When we had 40 minutes to go, my dad texted me and asked if my flight was delayed. The screen still said “On time” and I texted that to him. He was tracking my flight and told me it was originating in Miami but was delayed there. I said we were told nothing and would keep him updated. About a half hour later, they finally told us the flight was delayed due to crew issues and that it had just taken off. They expected it to come in around midnight and we would take off shortly after that.

I let my dad know and since we were now coming in after 2 in the morning, he advised me to call a car service to get home from Newark. I did so and settled in for a nearly two hour wait for the plane, still avoiding Tony spoilers.

Right before midnight, the plane landed. Passengers got off…and so did the crew. They left and soon, the gate agents were announcing that there was no one to fly us to Newark. They had no choice but to cancel the flight. American Airlines was going to put us up in area hotels and rebook us on flights for the next day.

I waited on line at my gate and grew nervous. One woman went up to supervisor to complain about the hotel accommodations she was given, claiming it was disgusting and had rats. Over at customer service, one man was demanding a supervisor and the police. Things were not looking good, so I started Googling other flights.

A couple walked away from our gate and told us that the ladies working there were very good. She told us that they were booking people on any flight possible–whether it was American or not, some going to LaGuardia or JFK instead–whatever it took to get us out the next day. And the hotel didn’t seem so bad. So I decided to stay on that line.

It took some time but I made it up to the desk. The agent was on the phone getting more rooms for us, which sounded like it was going to happen so I didn’t panic. She took my ticket and looked up flights, saying the earliest she could get me out was on the 3:15 flight to Newark. I took it. She gave me my boarding pass then and there, telling me to stand to the side while she figured out my hotel arrangements.

A few minutes later, she gave me a voucher for food and another to the Hilton. She told me to go downstairs and call for the shuttle. I got in touch with the hotel, who told me the shuttle would be there in a half hour. So I sat tight outside the airport and waited.

The shuttle arrived and a crew was loaded on first. One woman grew irate and said they should wait because we were delayed because of them. I told her that they weren’t our crew and that it wasn’t right to take our ire out on them. They were people who had nothing to do with our situation and needed to get some rest before flying out the next morning. But she was too irate to listen. It didn’t help that she and her family couldn’t fit on the shuttle and had to wait for it to come back.

When we got to the Hilton, all I had to do was hand the man behind the front desk my voucher. Within minutes, I had my room key and he signed me up for a shuttle heading back to the airport that afternoon. He had also laid out disposable toothbrushes, packets of toothpaste and deodorants for us. I grabbed some before heading to my room.

Once in my room, I hopped in the shower. Since I had to wear the same clothes two days in a row, I was definitely going to wash up. (I also learned to always pack a clean pair of panties in my carryon just in case). After waiting a little while to calm down, I then set my alarm and went to bed.

In the morning, my mom texted me to find out what was going on. I called her to let her know. She wished me luck and I decided to get up (I had silenced my alarm so it wouldn’t go off while I was talking with my mother). I put my shorts back on and ran my fingers through my hair in lieu of a brush, throwing it up into a messy bun. That style hides a lot of hair sins.

After calling my manager to ask to come in late the next day since I knew I wasn’t getting home until almost 6 or so that night, I then chilled until it was time to check out. Even then, I still had almost an hour until I had to catch the shuttle. So I settled in a little dining area and got some writing done. (Score me!)

The shuttle took me back to the airport and I had a lovely conversation with a crew member from Southwest. I get inside the terminal and nearly panicked when I saw the security line. But it was for the TSA precheck and the regular security line was shorter. And moving faster. I got through and prayed it meant the rest of my trip home would be smooth.

It was. After using my meal voucher at the food court, I went to my gate. I was really glad to see the flight was on time and the plane was at the gate. And I was really glad to see the crew that boarded some time later. We began boarding and soon I was at my seat. And it was clear I got an upgrade, plane-wise. The plane I took down to Charlotte had the usual kinda comfortable chairs in economy, screens spread out through the cabin and not a lot of leg room. This one had cushy seats in economy, screens at every seat and plenty of legroom. It was great!

Almost two hours later, we landed in Newark. Boy was I glad to see New Jersey! I let my car service know I had landed and the dispatcher gave me a certain door to go out so I could meet my car. We got off the plane and after a pit stop in the ladies’ room, I was soon off to meet the car that would take me home.

Just as I thought, I got in around 6 PM. And then I crashed, ending up falling asleep until Tuesday morning.

Can you blame me?

Summer Writing Challenge

Week 2 (June 6-June 12)

Words written: 2834

Under/over: 3766

Week 3 (June 13-June 19)

Words written: 3649

Under/over: 6801

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