Never have I ever been truly stranded at an airport... Yeah, I've had delays and manageably long layovers, but the other weekend I was legitimately stranded.
My nephew was turning two that Sunday, and we were having a big family party weekend in Pittsburgh (contd from Maypirl...). I wasn't going to miss this weekend for. the. world. I booked the best flight I could find, but, unfortunately, direct flights to Pittsburgh are not so frequent, so I booked a flight up to San Fran and a red eye into Pitt the next morning. Everything was going perfectly through the evening. I left work on time, my Uber driver was pretty cool, I got dinner with a glass of red wine and actually started to relax... Got to my gate in plenty of time, boarded, had a window seat, popped open my kindle and began to leave reality, happily knowing when I came back to, I'd be meeting my Dad at the security gate in PGH...
Our flight was the next to take off when the pilot came over the speaker to let us know they were experiencing "mechanical issues" and we would be taking off shortly. I thought nothing of it... and then after 15 minutes the pilot announced we would need to go back to the gate for a mechanic to check out whats going on. Again, being oblivious to the actual situation at hand and just happy to be seeing family soon, I thought nothing of it... 20 minutes later an obnoxiously loud girl blared "OH MY GOD, WE ARE GOING TO MISS OUR CONNECTOR TO PITTSBURGH". (The one time I am thankful for someone being unnecessarily loud on a plane).
Realizing "oh sh*t, we really are missing our connector", I called customer service and felt pretty good about getting standby for the next flight out and only loosing an hour of time with my family when everything was said and done. I just had to deboard my flight (that I could not reboard) and go talk to a rep in person to get on standby. Of course, the service rep on the phone vs. the service rep in person had very different scenarios for me and the said standby options, weren't actual options and the next flight out wasn't until 5am... 5AM! I cried to the agent, though it wasn't her fault and I acknowledged that, but I just needed to cry at this point...
Given the timing and where I lived, I couldn't get a hotel for the night, and it didn't make sense to fight LA traffic back to the apartment to sleep for 2 hours just to wake up and do everything all over again. So I did what any adult would do in this scenario: I cried some more and called my mom to let her know the bad news. We talked for 20 minutes and I complained, then I walked aimlessly to let off steam. I wound up walking to a different terminal and started seeing signs to the international terminal. Mom and I hung up and decided I needed to make some friggin' lemonade out of these sour, mechanical issue lemons. I thought big picture... and things weren't truly as bad as they seemed:
- I am financially and physically able to fly - that is awesome.
- I have a loving family at the end of this trek - also super cool.
- I didn't have a little family to also worry about being stuck - someday this wont be the case.
- I'm still getting to my destination.
- I was legit stranded at one of the world's largest airports, with free will to walk to any terminal and kinda do whatever I wanted... wait, what?!
With this newfound outlook, I put on my big girl panties and decided to for sure walk to the international terminal because 1. they have cushier seats 2. being close to that international vibe was alluring and exciting. 3. what better opportunity to take pictures?
I took a few snaps that evening while the airport was still bustling, but I definitely people watched HARD. (One of my fave activities). After walking for a while, my shoulder sore from my tote digging in, I found a recliner-esque seat and sacked out for an hour or so. Being that it's an airport and I had all my belongings with me, truly sleeping wasn't really an option as I was subconsciously protecting my things the whole time. At 2 am, I said to myself I could try to survive 2 more hours of this eye-fluttering torture, or I could take more pictures. I chose the latter.
Eventually the time turned to 5 a.m., I had a coffee and scone (necessary) in hand and was buckling my belt in my window seat yet again. A little tireder than before, but leaving with some pretty amazing shots and one heck of an experience.