A Rough Day

November 27, 2011

in Luggage Stories

I live about 2000 miles away from my sister to whom I’m very close. One weekend, I made a quick flying trip home because I’d decided there was no way I was going to miss wedding dress shopping with her. It was a fantastic but very short and busy weekend. The last morning I was fighting the creeping feeling of impending sadness and homesickness while doing all the normal tasks of getting ready for a flight– checking in online, double-checking the departure time, seeing if a gate had been assigned yet, etc. When I logged into my email to find my itinerary, I also found an email from a friend telling me that a mutual friend of ours had been struck by a car and killed. I was shocked and upset, but I pulled myself together, got my bags, and went to the airport.

Our petite regional airport herded us through the gate, down the gangway, down the stairs, across the tarmac, up the stairs, and on to one of the smallest planes in the world. I was among the last to be called to board. By the time I got through the door, it was a madhouse of people with overstuffed bags and wheeled suitcases cramming their items into every available overhead bin. My seat on this increasingly overheated, teeny tiny plane was the first in the row (though not first class), with no underseat storage. I looked around helplessly. I tried in vain to shove my small soft-sided carry-on into a bin. I failed. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed with every passing moment, with other impatient passengers piling up behind me as I tried going further down the row, I tried another bin. I failed. The businessman behind me sighed loudly and said in a loud snide voice, “WHAT is taking you so long? IT ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE.”

There was nothing else I could do. I burst into tears. I shoved past him and everyone else in the aisle, walked towards the still open door, stuck my head out, and just started crying uncontrollably. I cried as I handed the flight attendant my bag for her to stow… somewhere. To this day, I have no idea where she put it. I cried through the safety presentation. I cried into my ginger ale while my seatmate’s huge arms and legs invaded my space. I cried through the duration of my layover and about half of the next flight. I was mortified but I couldn’t stop crying.

So if you saw a girl in her early 20s with tears silently streaming down her face on either of those flights or at the Detroit airport, I apologize. It was a rough day.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanie November 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Normally I don't think of the postings on this site as flights from hell, but I think that yours qualifies. I'm so sorry about your friend, and I think you had every right to cry.


fatimaa November 29, 2011 at 12:09 am

aww that seriously is a flight from hell !! & sorry to hear about ur friend ..


kate December 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

Welcome to the world of airline travel. The airlines are losing $$$ and travelers are paying for it.


talashea February 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I think you were more than justified to cry as much as you wanted, I would have given you a hug if i was there, I am so sorry for your loss, and feel sorry for the Man who obviously gets joy out of being a complete ass!!


Chris October 21, 2014 at 1:09 am

Its stories like this one that remind you to take a step back and be patient with people. You have no idea how their day has gone, what they are going through or what their mental state is. Obviously the OP was having a tough time so there is no need for someone to be a moron on the plane. I don't understand what the rush is to get to your seat, it's not like the plane is going to go anywhere without all the other passengers boarded, bags loaded, etc.


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