Reflections from the Air

I just landed In Hong Kong! I’m taking advantage of the free wifi before hailing a taxi outside. 

 

The last few days have been more than just hectic and a bit stressful but I made it onto my flight to Hong Kong!

June 6th

I anxiously started off my journey to Hong Kong at the Orlando airport Thursday the 6th of June. As I waited at the gate to head to Miami I saw the grey storm clouds rolling in to the Orlando area. I was praying that my flight to Miami would leave on time despite the Tropical Storm Andrea that was still engulfing Florida. Unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky and my flight was delayed an hour because Miami wasn’t allowing planes to land due to the weather.

Aware of my connecting flight to LA I got on the plane to Miami at 7:30pm. The flight was enjoyable because I easily struck up a conversation with the young lady next to me who was headed to London, England to meet up with her parents on vacation. She told me her mom is working on her bucket list and she is enjoying every moment of it. Last Christmas she joined her siblings and parents for Christmas in Austria! Her family stayed in the original Von Trapp Family house (you know the Sound of Music family) and they took a horse and carriage ride on Christmas Day. Chatting with the women next to me made me quickly forget that I didn’t have much time to catch my flight to LA once we landed. However, I soon remembered my tight schedule as the flight attendant got on the PA system and listed the gates of connecting gates. Mine was E5. I quickly pulled out the magazine that had the layout of the Miami airport in the back and saw that my gate wasn’t close at all.

Once we landed in Miami I grabbed my purse and backpack and briskly walked out to my connecting gate. Glancing at my watch I knew I didn’t have enough time. It was 8:48pm and my flight left at 8:55pm. I started to run and I felt my black flats dig into the heels causing the skin to break. Completely out of breath i rounded the corner and my gate came into view. It was totally empty with the exception of three airport employees and a hysterical older women.

My heart dropped. I knew I was too late.

I approached the counter with a small ounce of hope left inside. I overheard two of the airport employees telling the older women that the flight was gone and there wasn’t anything they could do. I could feel the tears starting to form in my eyes and I quickly pushed them back. I handed my ticket across the counter and the three women greeted me with knowing smiles. Once I told them my destination wasn’t just LA but Hong Kong they directed me to the re-booking center which was all the way one the other end of the terminal. As I walked away I couldn’t hold back my disappointment and the tears came. A million thoughts rushed through my head. I wasn’t going to meet up with a few of the other interns in LA. We wouldn’t catch taxis together in Hong Kong to our housing. I would be late checking in for the program. I would miss the welcome dinner Saturday. I would arrive in Hong Kong alone. I wish I knew Cantonese to talk to the taxi driver when I arrived. I wished a lot of things were different in those moments.

I knew crying wouldn’t change anything so I wiped away the tears and called my dad. He comforted me and said everything would work itself out and to keep him posted. Feeling a little better I made the hike to the rebooking center. I waited in line for an hour and then I stood at the counter for over an hour as a pleasant lady attempted to rebook my flights.

My feet ached. My eyelids were heavy.

By 12:30am she finally had everything rebooked. I’d be flying to LA the next morning and from there I’d catch my flight to Hong Kong. The kind lady also gave me a complimentary hotel room and some vouchers for food. I didn’t expect anything at all because the whole time I waited I overheard airport employees tell upset customers that they couldn’t cover their hotel rooms because the delays were caused by the storm. It was out of their control and that made sense to me.

After finalizing my tickets the kind women told me she would lead me to the buses because she was leaving anyways. She told me she wanted to make sure I got to the right place. On our way to the buses she reminded me to get the airport two hours early the next morning. She really didn’t want me to miss my flight again especially after all the time she spent rebooking the flights. She reminded me of one of my loving aunts watching out for me and I thought she was an angel. I’ll never forget her kindness towards me.

I crawled into my bed at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton around 1am. I scarfed down my complimentary chocolate cookie (which was the only thing I had eaten since my salad at Panera earlier in the day). I set four alarms and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

June 7th

I woke up at 5:40 in order for me to get downstairs by 6am. The shuttle to the airport was packed with people like me who also missed their flights due to the tropical storm. Thankfully security didn’t take too long and soon I was at my gate ready to depart for LA. I grabbed a yogurt parfait, a big water bottle, deodorant, and a compact toothbrush toothpaste set.

Once on the plane to LA I fell asleep with the help of my mom’s pink neck pillow that she insisted I bring (Thanks mom!).

In LA I had to navigate the airport to get to the international terminal. I had to walk outside of the airport down the road a bit to get to the international terminal. I went through security again and got the my gate with plenty of time to spare (Thank God!). I called my parents and told them I made it and sent a few last text messages to my boyfriend and close friends.

Now I’m currently sitting in my semi-comfortable airplane seat listening to Anything Could Happen by one of my favorite artists Ellie Goulding. I just finished watching the movie Identity Thief which was comical. Next on my list of movies to watch is Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away which I’ve been dying to see since I saw the first preview. Good thing I have 7.5 hours left on this 14 hour flight so I can watch it and catch some much needed rest. I’m arriving in Hong Kong around 6pm on Saturday the 8th. I’ll be a little late to the start of my internship program but at least I’ll be there in one piece!

So here is to unexpected bumps in the road, new friends, and kind airport employees. The past few days have challenged me in many ways. Missing my flights wasn’t how I had hoped to start this journey but its all part of my adventure. Someday this will be an entertaining story to tell.

Love and peace,

-Sarah

 

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3 thoughts on “Reflections from the Air

  1. Aww tears came to my eyes too, especially the part of your loving Aunts being your guardian angle!!! Such a great idea to keep a blog of your travels so you can reflect back in years to come. This will definitely be a story we will talk about someday and have a great laugh. Love, Aunt Mary Jo

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