Plenty of time because, it turns out, my flight was delayed an hour. This is after my original direct flight to Charlotte had already been canceled and I'd re-booked onto a new flight with a layover in Boston. An hour's no big deal, so I read and we boarded, and we sat there... and sat there... and sat there. Finally we got word that due to inclement weather, we were delayed two more hours, and everyone had to get off the plane. Groans all around.
BUT she couldn't put me on the standby list; I had to see the help desk for that. Sigh. So I got into another line. When I finally reached the front, all the agents but one went on their break. Really?? The agent who stayed (bless her!) was very nice and acknowledged she could waive the fee, but for some reason, couldn't get me on the standby list. She had to call her supervisor, who had to call her back, and I was probably standing at the desk for 45 minutes. Fiiiiiinally, I was put on the list and, fingers crossed, walked over to wait at the gate.
The plane started boarding, the gate agent called out one name - not mine - and then said, "sorry everyone else on standby, there are no more seats." Fuuuuuuudge. I sat down on the floor and cried. Yup.
Oh, and by this point, my phone was dead because I'd had to call jetBlue so many times, and I couldn't even call my friends that were picking me up from the airport. Thank God for free wifi and Facebook.
Resigning myself to sleeping on the floor - since not only were all hotels I found online booked up, but they couldn't even give me a real ticket for the next flight out so I'd have to be back at the airport at 4am to get a boarding pass - I went to the bar, where the bartender had just seen what happened and gave me a free glass of wine. So nice.
I managed to nab a weird little couch at the end of the terminal for my bed and met another AYCJ-er traveling solo so we traded off watching each others bags & guarding our coveted sleeping spots. All my toiletries were in my checked bag but luckily I had my eye mask, neck pillow and ear plugs, so I did manage to get, oh probably 3 hours of sleep.
The next day, waking to the sound of floors being cleaned and polished, I blinked my contacts clear, got my boarding pass, got a coffee, and finally boarded a plane. ...Which then, of course, was delayed. We sat on the runway in NYC for about 45 minutes and then when we landed in Charlotte, they had no open terminals so we sat on the runway there for about an hour, and then when we pulled into the terminal, the jetway was broken and they weren't authorized to pull up a stairway, so we sat there for another hour.
I wanted to cut a bitch.
Everyone around me was complaining - I'm missing meetings, this is ridiculous - and I just sat there loathing everyone and everything, thinking miserably to myself: I've been in an airport or on a plane since 1pm yesterday!!!! GRRRR! As my friend Jen would say, what fresh hell!
BUT. We finally did disembark and I guess bad luck figured I'd gotten clobbered enough because magically my bag, which had gone to Boston without me and taken the first flight from there to Charlotte, was waiting at the carousel. I used a pay phone (remember those?) to call my friends & then suddenly, joyfully, there they were and I was whisked away from the evil airport to their welcoming home.
So my two day trip to Charlotte got shortened to 19 hours, but my friends took me for shrimp & grits and sweet tea, blew up the air mattress for an afternoon nap, and it is indescribable how just being around them made me feel infinitely better.
We went to a museum where we spent some time checking out their platform shoe and haute couture exhibits, then had a make-your-own-pizza party in our pajamas, falling asleep all piled up on the couch and air mattress watching a movie. It was so lovely. You girls are the best.
At 4am I got up again & T took me to the airport (thank you so much, girl!) for my 6am flight to Houston. I boarded the plane and immediately fell asleep.
(PS - I still love jetBlue; the problems were with the weather and the airports, and everyone from jetBlue I talked to did their best to help me).
I am so happy and grateful for:
~ eyemasks & earplugs
~ patient friends
~ safe flights