Stages of grief of my flight getting canceled

It was the day I was supposed to fly back home from Philadelphia where I had been for work. At first, everything seemed to be looking up. I was given TSA Pre on my boarding pass, so I was able to breeze through security without so much as taking off my shoes. I was supposed to depart at 4 pm, but when I arrived at the airport at 1:30 I was easily able to get moved onto a flight that was departing at 2:35. I was looking forward to making it home by dinner time! Then things started to turn bad, but I try to be a positive person. It took me a long time to accept the worst. Here are my 40 stages of grief of my flight getting canceled.

  1. Whoa. It’s suddenly raining really hard. And there’s lightning. But I’m sure it will pass. Right?
  2. Shouldn’t our plane be here by now?
  3. They say our plane is circling the airport waiting until it is safe to land. I rationalize that makes us better off than people whose planes are farther away because I assume the airline feels pressure to get those people landed.
  4. Our plane lands, and they board us quickly. That’s good, right? (And despite being in the C boarding group I end up in an aisle seat. Things are looking up again!)
  5. Hm. We have been sitting here for quite a while.
  6. They turn off the “fasten your seat belt” light. I stay seated, so I’m ready. I’m sure we’ll get going soon.
  7. They say that  due to the storms impacting multiple airports air traffic control is trying to make things work. The pilot says he will give us updates in 15-minute intervals. I guess that means he doesn’t expect us to be leaving in the next 15 minutes, huh?
  8. After a couple of “we still don’t know” 15-minute updates they give us snacks and water. That’s probably not a good sign.
  9. The tell everyone to get in our seats! They get the trash from the snack and beverage service! It’s our turn!
  10. We still don’t move.
  11. Two more 15-minute updates about not knowing when we’ll be able to fly.
  12. They announce that the crew has “timed out.” we need to go back to the gate.
  13. We are at the gate, but they haven’t told us we have to get off the plane. They probably are just going to bring on a new crew.
  14. Nope! Everybody must get off the plane. Bring your stuff with you.
  15. It is now past the time that my original flight was supposed to leave, but that one was canceled anyway. It’s a good thing I didn’t stay on it!
  16. My current flight isn’t canceled, but there aren’t any updates either. Announcements in the gate area say there will “possibly” be delays or cancellations. The lines to the customer service desks are long.
  17. I call my work’s travel agency. They check the status of my plane. It still hasn’t been canceled! They suggest I hold tight for a bit. My boss says I should get a hotel room. I go with the travel agency’s more optimistic advice.
  18. Some flights are being boarded! This is it! We are going to get back on the plane, and I’ll get to go home!
  19. Our flight has been canceled.
  20. I call the travel agency again. All flights to Chicago have been canceled tonight. There are no direct flights to Chicago available until 9 pm tomorrow night. She can get me on a flight through Dallas that leaves a 5:15 am. Okay.
  21. Oops. That seat is gone. She can get me on a flight through Atlanta at 1 pm.
  22. Ugh. I’m going to have to schedule so many meetings I was supposed to have tomorrow.
  23. The travel agent gets me a room in an airport hotel.
  24. Uh-oh. It won’t let her book that room. She gets me a room at a different airport hotel.
  25. Fine. I wanted to be home, but there are worse things than a one night layover. And I’m not spending the night at the gate at the airport like some people probably will. I’m okay with this.
  26. The first shuttle to the hotel is full. Jesus Fucking Christ! Can’t I get anywhere today!
  27. I make the second shuttle. It is also packed. The line at registration is long.
  28. I have a hotel room. I have a warm chocolate chip cookie. I have two complementary bottles of water. I’m going to go downstairs and get a glass of wine and a cheeseburger. This is fine.
  29. This is not fine.
  30. I’m sad.
  31. I’m crying.
  32. I miss my husband and my kids.
  33. I’m sad.
  34. I want to be home.
  35. I Facetime with my husband and kids. I cry a little.
  36. No. This is fine. There are worse things. I keep telling myself that.
  37. I’ll make it home tomorrow.
  38. I hope I make it home tomorrow.
  39. Please let me make it home tomorrow.
  40. I could really use some ruby slippers.

Wizard of Oz There's No Place Like Home

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