I often heard holiday travel horror stories of people getting stuck at the airport for hours and being forced to sleep on uncomfortable airport benches. Luckily, I never traveled during the holidays, and so I never had a bad experience like this, and never thought I would. I live in Acton, Massachusetts, nowhere near my school in Indiana, and so I always fly home for holidays. I was lucky in that I never had a travel troubles, either with my shuttle to the Indianapolis Airport or at the airport itself. That all changed on December 17th, 2016.
With my bad luck, I ended up having a Friday night final and had to wait to leave campus until the last possible day. I was so excited to get back home to my best friends, family and most importantly my cat Felix. That Saturday morning after my last final, I found myself standing in the rain waiting for the airport shuttle. My heart skipped a beat when the shuttle finally pulled up. In four short hours I would be on a plane to Boston. That feeling lasted about half a second when the driver exited the shuttle to announce that due to the weather, freezing rain, and icy roads, she couldn’t drive us to the airport.
My heart dropped into my stomach and tears welled up in my eyes. I didn’t know what to do, but my first instinct was to call my mom. She was in the middle of last minute Christmas shopping and could barely comprehend what I was saying through the phone. She repeatedly interrupted my crying to tell me to call another shuttle service. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t know that the other shuttle service was across campus and had already left. At this point, I had no idea what was going to happen and the realization of having to stay on campus for one more day slowly became a reality.
Just when I was about to go back to my room, the girl beside me asked another girl and I if we wanted to share an Uber to the airport. We all looked at each other for a moment before nodding in relieved agreement. Our excitement dropped once we saw the $500 price of an Uber. There was no way we would pay that, and decided to keep looking. However, the priced dropped to $180 a few minutes later which was affordable divided between the three of us. The Uber arrived not long after, and we hopped in hoping to make it to the airport on time.
As I sat at my gate a few hours later, I believed that my luck had turned around. Unfortunately, it was then that I saw my flight was delayed two hours. My annoyance level at this point reached an all-time high. I just wanted to get home to my own bed and my friends. After what had felt like hours, people started to line up at my gate to board. I impatiently joined the line, and waited as the boarding process was also delayed. Finally, I boarded the plane and took my seat, anxious for the flight to take off. Thankfully, once the whole flight was boarded there were no more complications and I arrived home only two and a half hours after I was originally supposed to. Here’s to hoping that I never have a travel experience like this again!