The other night, I flew to Austin, TX to visit a friend. The flight was supposed to go at 6:20. You know the deal… flying on a Friday night is asking for trouble.
Sure enough, even from the first mention of delay, folks at the gate were agitated. With all the travel I do, I find myself people-watching more than ever. And when a flight is delayed, I am often amazed by what I see.
More than a few people went up to the hapless gate agent demanding answers for why the plane wasn’t going anywhere. Many of these people made several trips. The gate agent knows nothing, of course, which adds to the frustration of the folks who are coming up and asking what’s going on.
Then there was the group who decided, “Eh, we’ll just go sit and do what we can.” And there they were, seated across the terminal. Now and then, they would come up to a group of us who were watching a maintenance crew attempt to fix our plane and ask if we heard anything. The whole time they were like me: wishing for the flight to go but realizing they were powerless to do anything about it.
Like in The Shawshank Redemption: Get busy living or get busy dying.
So there we were, the folks who dealt with the delay and those who dealt with the delay badly.
And nearly three hours after the scheduled departure, we started roaring down the runway.
Me? I always try to keep my chin up. As long as I’m being treated like a human being, I’m in good shape. And so, when I first boarded the plane, I joked to the flight attendant, “So, can I start the free drinks lobby?”
The flight attendant, probably as anxious to get this flight done with as I was, indicated that, just maybe, they could work that out.
And as we flew over the lights of Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson airport out my window, I sipped on a Heineken, given to me gratis.
When we were endlessly delayed in the terminal, I could of made a stink. I could have raised hell.
Instead, I kept my sense of humor. And I got to raise a glass.