Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Night at the Airport

I am certainly not what you would call a "frequent flyer."   I have been a passenger on planes, ships and trains, but my preferred mode of transportation is definitely a car.  This year I have been on  a plane twice so far.   I always find it kind of interesting to "people watch" in an airport.  You see just about  one of everything.  Families, businessmen, businesswomen, kids, babies, senior citizens, teens, entire sports teams, etc.  Traveling by plane always seems to take such a long time, especially if you are crossing over time zones or have layovers.  Earlier this year I was flying back from the East Coast by myself and ended up at a busy Midwest airport.  I was there waiting to catch the last leg of my flight back home and the airline decided to cancel my flight completely because the weather was really bad.  After that happened , I had to wait in a huge line to get a voucher  to use towards the cost of a hotel room close by.  I remember the people behind me saying they were going to rent a car and drive to where they needed to be.  It's safe to say that  the people waiting in that line were not a bunch of happy campers.   My feeling was it's out of our control, just try to make the best of it.  I did not have access to my suitcase (not sure where that spent the night),  but luckily I did have cash on me, not a lot,  but enough, because after about 10:30 or 11 p.m. all the shops in the airport closed.  The voucher that we got really wouldn't have covered much of the expense of a hotel stay, so I decided to spend the night at the airport and catch the first plane out the next morning.  There were some other hardy souls (actually quite a few)  that decided to stick it out like me.  My initial  thought was,  do I try to sleep?  Given that I didn't have an alarm clock on me, I was going to try and stay up all night.  Haven't done that since the sleepovers of my girlhood youth.  I did have a  laptop with me and a DVD to watch.  Trying to find an available plug to use the laptop proved to be quite difficult.  I had to probably walk about a 1/2 mile (well okay, it felt that way) to find a plug.  I eventually did and started watching my movie.  One of the employees of the airport I think felt sorry for me and said, "Miss, did you know we have some cots set up around the corner?"  I thanked her for her assistance but told her I was fine.  After my movie was over I was thinking, okay, what do I do next to entertain myself.  I had already read all my magazines I had brought, so I was starting to get a little bored.  I remember walking around and finally about 2:45 a.m.  or somewhere around that time finding a set of seats to hang out in.  The next thing I knew I think I must have fallen asleep because I opened my eyes and my mouth was kind of slacked open.  I looked around, but everybody else was either dozing off, sound asleep and snoring or talking with their friends.  About 5 or 5:30 a.m. one of the only restaurants getting ready to open was McDonald's.  Even before they officially opened, there was already a line forming.  I quickly got into that line and got something to eat.  About 6:30 a.m. they started calling my flight to board.  There was no way I was going to miss that boarding call.  I'm happy to say that I made it back home safely. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience!

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