My flight was cancelled.
I’ve flown hundreds of times. Literally. And I’d never had a cancelled flight.
Horrendously delayed, yes.
But cancelled, no.
Carrying a baby in front, heavy bookbag behind and rolling carryon, I made my way to the long-lined customer service desk… as I updated family, they were shocked at the notices and everyone trying to figure out what to do… my mom worried that I might not make it in time and insistent that I gather my assertiveness to make it happen.
My new assigned flight would have me departing in 24 hours with another overnight layover on the east coast and then finally making it to my destination after 36 hours of additional travel.
I made it to the front desk, sweating, exhausted and at the brink of tears and informed the attendant of my situation and my need to arrive asap. Thankfully, she did everything she possibly could to get me confirmed on a direct flight… but that wouldn’t be for another 24 hours. She put me on standby for a 7am flight though, gave me extra diapers since I was out of supplies and wouldn’t be able to access my luggage.
Numbly, I made my way to some chairs to try to figure out my overnight accommodations.
As I waited for the shuttle (for 45 minutes), my now awake baby had another meltdown, poor thing.
Climbing into a crowded shuttle van, we made our way to our hotel with a screaming baby.
We eventually made it to our room, where we were able to get cleaned up, buy extremely overpriced Stouffer’s dinners to heat up in our microwave, attend to online business that had to be done that day to finalize our contract, and then collapsed onto our beds.
The next morning, we arrived at the airport at 5am, appropriately red-eyed to match the red-eye flight… we found we were number 7 (out of 43) in line for a chance at this flight. My mom wanted me to announce loudly our circumstances so as to see if someone would be kind enough to bump me up in line.
I decided I would see how things went this first flight and if not, I’d try my hand at attention grabbing the next flight.
As boarding progressed, it really didn’t seem like I’d make that first flight.
But then, out of nowhere, they called my name and I threw my standby ticket in the air, as if I were on The Price Is Right.
“That’s me! That’s me!”
I got in the boarding line to see if they would be able to confirm my seat, but there were still 2 people ahead of me.
And, as it turns out, only 2 seats left.