I wrote last week’s post while in the air on my way to Texas. We landed and the first text I received was from the airline letting me know that my flight from Charlotte to Austin was cancelled. Bad weather. They had already rescheduled me for a flight out the next afternoon. I quickly used the app to snag a 6 a.m. flight out instead.
I called my mom in tears.
I went through every option to try to get to Austin that night, but I just couldn’t make it happen and finally resigned myself to staying overnight in Charlotte.
I prepared myself to sleep on the floor in the terminal since going to a hotel would be more stressful and potentially sleepless than at least being near my gate.
As I moved from counter to counter throughout the terminal trying to figure out if there was any better option, one of the many helpful staff pointed me to the Minute Suites.
I rolled my bag over to the tiny hotel behind the foodcourt and found out that I could reserve a space overnight and sleep in a clean, private room without leaving the terminal.
I curled up and went to sleep around 10:00pm.
Around 2:00am I awoke to a text that my flight had been cancelled.
A quick prayer later and I remembered the 24 hour customer service phone number. I rebooked for a 7:15am flight to San Antonio (close enough!) and went back to sleep for a couple of hours.
My wonderful mom drove an hour each way to pick me up (happy late Mother’s Day!) and I finally relaxed into a weekend full of birthday and wedding and family celebrations.
It’s easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed in situations like messy travel (note my tired tears last Wednesday when my first flight was cancelled), but what I’ve found is kindness and gratitude goes a long way. In general, folks want to do what they can to help. It’s not their fault I’m stuck somewhere I’d rather not be. Like I wrote about last week, I’ve found I have a choice about how I will respond and can take the opportunity to allow my perspective to shift.
Even though I was incredibly tired, I took a second to look for things to be grateful for: kind people, a place to sleep, 24-hour customer service to help me rebook, the time and love of family to help get me where I needed to be, the inclination to hold onto my bags instead of check them, that I wasn’t in the air during bad weather…I could go on.
In February, the last time I flew to Texas, snow in Charlottesville led to cancelled and rescheduled flight after flight after flight—cutting my trip short by a day and causing my husband to drive me back and forth to the Charlottesville airport 3 times.
I’m grateful for the flexibility and resources to travel so often even when it doesn’t go according to plan—I try really hard not to take it for granted—but today what’s saving my life is smooth travel, because it’s pretty rare that it happens for me (and people who come to visit us here) lately.
Yesterday, my parents dropped me off at the Austin airport at 4:00 a.m. and by 1 p.m. I was on my couch in Charlottesville after lunch and a stop for ice cream with Nick.
It’s hard living far away from so many of my friends and family, especially when so much about travel is out of my control. I’m very grateful for days like yesterday that wrap-up a trip full of meaningful moments with an easy journey home.
What’s saving your life right now?