So, as you all can tell, I’ve been on vacation in Europe and wasn’t really posting. At first I was on a cruise and just gave up on trying to load pictures onto here because I had to pay by the minute for internet and it just wasn’t worth it. And THEN my computer broke down so uploading anything wasn’t happening.
And that wasn’t even the bad part of the vacation.
I flew into JFK on Monday, had about a three hour layover until my flight to Nashville to make sure I had enough time for customs and such. I did, got through that and checked back in fine, and got on the plane.
Our plane pulled out onto the runway and we proceeded to sit there for two hours. The pilot kept telling us we’d be taking off soon, they had closed down some of the exit runways, then we had to switch sides of the airport for some reason, blah blah blah.
We sat there so long we had to go back to the gate to refuel. By that point many of us were getting kind of cranky. While we sat there wondering when the hell we were going to get out of there, the pilot came back on the intercom and said our flight had been canceled due to a storm rolling in.
Pissed, upset and nauseated did not even begin to describe how I was feeling. According to my body it was seven hours ahead and therefore bedtime and these jokers were telling me I’d just wasted three hours on a plane and now had to go find another one.
I stood in line for another hour to get rebooked and by the time I got up there, the storm was in full force and all of their flights that night to Nashville were canceled. So I had to get a hotel in New York for the night and they rebooked me out of LaGuardia the next morning. When I asked them to pay for the hotel since it was their fault I had to have one that night, they said no because it was due to the storm.
IT WASN’T FUCKING STORMING WHEN WE WERE SUPPOSED TO LEAVE AT 3:30 THAT AFTERNOON!
That little fact did not seem to matter to them.
So I got to a hotel near LaGuardia and paid for it myself, got a good night’s sleep and was feeling okay the next morning.
Except then they canceled my morning flight and rebooked me for 4:00 that afternoon. No explanation as to why the morning flight was canceled, but it wasn’t weather because it was bright and sunny outside.
I went to the airport, checked my bag, and once I was in I saw my flight had been delayed. Just about an hour and a half, no big deal. I hung out and read, talked on the phone to pass the time. Then about 5:00, they announced there was another storm rolling in and sure enough, my damn flight was canceled for a THIRD TIME.
In a panic, I ran to rebook, saw there was another flight that night at 7:30 but it was canceled soon after mine was. So I tried to get on one that was about to start boarding, the only Nashville flight the entire day to not be canceled. I was put on standby along with about ten other people and of course didn’t get on.
By this point I just wanted OUT and didn’t particularly care where I ended up as long as it wasn’t one of the incompetent and rude airports of New York. After waiting in line about half an hour to get rebooked, I finally got to talk to a person, who basically told me she wasn’t going to put me on a flight to a different destination and I’d just have to call the phone number she gave me to talk to them. So I did.
I got on a flight to Indianapolis for 7:30 that night. Hey, it was close enough to drive home in a rental car once I landed so I’d take it.
And then that flight got delayed.
It finally boarded three hours later, by which time I was a sniveling shell of a human being due to being trapped in an airport the bulk of the past two days. I didn’t believe I was free until we landed in Indianapolis around 1:00 in the morning.
I was lucky enough to have friends of my boyfriend in the area and stayed the night with them. I got a rental car and drove the five hours home the next morning.
Everyone thought I was nuts. Why not just pay for a hotel again and take a flight to Nashville the next day, they asked.
Because of one simple thing.
I. Wanted. OUT!
I was tired, traumatized from that helpless feeling that comes from being trapped, and hopscotching all over the line between panic and sanity. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t feel heard. And the people for the airports and airlines just made it worse by being cold, rude, and not even trying to help me get out of there.
This is the last time I fly Delta unless they answer my complaint letter with compensation for the hotel, the extra in food I had to pay for eating out, and the rental car.
And I can tell you this, I’m Never flying through New York again.
My dad said it would’ve been safer to wait and fly than to drive. Statistically true. I’ll tell you the same thing I told him.
I’ll take freedom over safety any day.