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I Cut in Front of 500 People at the Airport

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Here’s a lovely case study of a situation: Imagine pulling one and a half all-nighters for a midterm with your only motivation stemming from a trip you’re going to be taking right after said exam. You finish the test, furiously pack your suitcase, and jet off to the airport. But to your dismay, the check-line for the airline you’re taking spans outside the airport. Apparently, it’s because of several delays and a storm from the night before. You have no other option but to stand in line as the Austin wind blows against the hair you just gone done for the trip. No hair tie in sight, you decide to cut your losses and drag your suitcase as best as you can against the weather beating down on you. 90 minutes into waiting, you’re still not at check-in – let alone the TSA line. There are no flights you can reschedule to, and you’re going to miss your flight at this rate. So, what do you do now?

That brings me to the internal dilemma that ensued. Truly, what was I going to do now? I knew I should just accept the fact that I had to go back home, but a little part of me refused to believe it entirely. Call it persistence, dumb luck, faith, or just straight up denial, but at that very moment, something in me broke. I had an hour to go before boarding, and there was no way I was going to turn around. I was making that flight today.

If I wanted to have any chance of making it, there was no other solution in sight except for cutting in front of hundreds of people – so that’s exactly what I did. I knew I had to prepare my little elevator pitch as to why I was asking people I could cut in front of them. As I began my journey of asking people in front of me if I could cut, my mind was racing with many doubtful and anxiety-ridden thoughts.

I continued to cut people in the haze of the moment, and my mouth was running dry as the continuous advertisement of “I can still make my flight if you let me cut. Please!” came out of me like a broken record.

At one point, one lady responded saying, “Girl, you can cut, but there is no way you’re making that flight of yours.” Perhaps it was the heat of the moment, but right then and there, I knew I was about to prove her wrong.  

Despite it all, I was reminded of why airports are my absolute favorite place in the world. The idea of meeting new people as they go about their own journeys in life has always fulfilled me. Being a person who defines herself as a storyteller, I search for new perspectives and thoughts through lived experiences around me. It brings me joy to strike up conversations with passersby while waiting in line as I get to know someone’s story whether it be filled with happiness or sorrow.

I bring this up since a big part of the reason why I made it through so many people in line is because there were people quite literally cheering on me to achieve my goal. Seeing how much faith and hope people had in me instilled a deep sense of gratitude and love for humanity around me. Whether it be the grandma who spotted me in line twice and let me cut both times, the mom who gave me a hug while I was on the verge of tears, or the British saleswoman who entertained me with stories of work from back home in London, I am incredibly grateful for every single one of them.

Even though it felt like every part of the universe was against me initially, I am somewhat thankful that I tested my own limits when it came to what I was capable of. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I was someone who could pull something like this off, and it’s quite freeing to know that I held on to every fleeting moment and made wonderful connections along the way.

So, yeah. That’s the story of how I cut in front of more than 500 people and made it on to my flight with 5 minutes left of boarding.

(My future children are definitely hearing about this one.)

Hey y'all! I am currently a sophomore double majoring in Plan II & Informatics at the University of Texas at Austin. I am a published author of two fictional books, an avid Spotify listener with over 300 playlists, and have an eerily accurate Elmo impression! Thank you for stopping by to check out my articles. <3