Confession: I Have an Airport Curse

I am both organized and anxious. I triple-check everything. I plan for things to go wrong. I’m not the kind of person who should be even close to missing their flights, but apparently I am. Three out of the last four times I’ve flown have not gone well, to say the least.

  1. 1. Florida: A curse in and of itself

    I went to Florida with some friends for the first half of spring break. A friend’s parents drove us from the Orlando airport to our Airbnb and back a few days later. The only problem is that Orlando has two airports. My friend’s parents dropped me and another friend off at the airport  we flew into, but my flight was from the other airport.

    Which, okay, not ideal, but also not the end of the world. I’d arrived earlier than the recommended two hours because my friend had an earlier flight, so all I needed to do was pay for an Uber with money I barely had to get to the other airport. Easy.

    Except it isn’t easy to have an Uber pick you up from the departure lane at the airport, since there’s no reason they would assume you were there and not two floors below at the arrivals lane. It took me over thirty minutes, two poorly connected phone calls, and a cancellation fee from both Uber and Lyft to figure out that the two cars I had already ordered had both been two floors under me.

    It turned out as well as could be expected, considering that I had very little money, no car, and was in (disgustingly humid) Florida.

  2. 2. I’ve never once learned anything in my life

    I’m home in Tennessee for less than a week. I haven’t forgotten my Florida airport experience. There is no way the same thing can happen again, especially since I triple check my ticket.

    I go to the wrong airport.

    I go to the wrong airport two and a half hours and a time zone away from where I’m supposed to be. I miss my flight. I have class at 10:10 the next morning. I need to get back to New York, but I truly do not have the money I need to buy another plane ticket for the same day.

    I call my aunt from my father’s car outside the airport. She’s traveled a lot for work, so I hope she can help me figure out what to do. She isn’t rich, but she did work a well-paying job for a decade or two, and she buys me a plane ticket. I technically owe her hundreds of dollars, but I get back to campus just before midnight after spending the entire day in airports.

  3. 3. The curse makes itself known

    I have learned my lesson. I fly home for a weekend to surprise my friends performing in a show. The flight’s slightly delayed because of the weather, but I still get home in time for the Friday night performance, and nothing goes terribly wrong.

    On Sunday, I leave home at 8:45 in the morning. Everything is going to be fine. My connection in Charlotte, NC is a little tight, but it’s April, and it’s not like there will be any huge weather issues.

    My flight to Charlotte gets delayed, and I might miss my connection, so I reschedule my flight for free to one that goes through Chicago.

    There’s just one problem: it’s snowing in Chicago. Like, it’s blizzard, streets are barely drivable, no planes landing or taking off in Chicago snowing. My flight gets delayed. I assume the flight leaving Chicago will be delayed, too, so it’s not too bad.

    We finally board. I offer to move to the back of the plane because of weight distribution issues, and the plane starts moving. Then the plane stops moving, and the pilot tells us no planes are allowed to land in Chicago, so we’ll have to wait until we get an update in half an hour.

    Half an hour comes, and still no planes are landing. The pilot says we will be returning to the gate, but we have to wait for another plane to leave. In the next thirty or so minutes on the plane, I try to call the airline. “Because of serious weather conditions in many of their airports, their agents are all engaged,” and they cannot take my call right now. I can, however, join a waitlist so I don’t have to be on hold. They’ll call me back within the next five hours and fifty-four minutes.

    Back at the airport, I’m able to change to my flight to one at 7:12 PM. The issue? It’s in Atlanta, and on this day specifically, there are no shuttles running between the two airports.

    In case anyone was wondering, you cannot take an Uber from one city to another almost two hours away, because the drivers aren’t paid enough. You can take an airport cab to Atlanta, but for $250. I do not have $250.

    After I cry in the airport, call my mom, get yelled at by my mom and cry some more, the airline agent tells me to try to get a flight to Atlanta from a different airline. I’m waiting in line when I hear a man saying that he’s driving to Atlanta.

    Now, I am a nineteen year old girl. I should not be getting in a car with strange men, but that’s exactly what I do. I barely even ask, but they say I can ride with them, and I spend the next hour and a half speeding down the interstate with four members of a Grammy award winning gospel group.

    I make my flight with two minutes to spare before boarding and get back to campus at 11:30 p.m.

I am cursed. There is absolutely no other explanation, and I hope someone hurries up and invents teleportation.