A Ride to Brooklyn 2: My Plane Diverted from New York to DC, and then left Without Me! I Made the Most of the Time by Writing this Blog Post.

It’s now a day after, and I have some time to reflect:

  1. Patience goes a long way.
  2. You cannot control the weather.
  3. You have little control over your external environment, but you have total control over your inner-environment. You don’t react to what happens to you. You react to the story you tell yourself about what happens to you. For example, He cut me off in traffic; he’s a terrible driver and a terrible person vs. He cut me off in traffic; he must have his pregnant wife in the back seat. The second option doesn’t trigger the anger response.
  4. Wasted time isn’t wasted until you choose to waste it. There are times in life when you will have some unintentional downtime. Redeem it. Read a book. Catch up on some emails. Write a blog! Meditate. Do something! Redeem the time.
  5. Intentionally doing nothing is not the same as wasting time. Chill out.
  6. Traffic jams are more bearable when you know how long they’re going to be, thanks Waze. This is a post in and of itself. If you can see the end of the story, the middle parts are not as suspenseful. They don’t bother you as much. You must have a destination in mind.
  7. Never fly Spirit. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with this post, but I just know if Delta was hurting. Spirit died.

If you read my posts, you know I bring the meat and potatoes to the top. You can stop reading now if you’d like. Enjoy your Saturday. Below is Ride to Brooklyn 2: My plane diverted from New York to DC, and then left without me. Here is the original A Ride to Brooklyn.

“Aren’t we all getting on this plane at the same time,” I exclaimed after a man with a European accent started shouting at another man with a different European accent. They were upset because multiple lines formed at the Delta Airlines ticket counter. Our plane diverted to Washington D.C. from New York City because of the winter storm that was battering the east coast. I’m typing in past tense like I’m not sitting in Dulles right now writing this.

Yes, I was supposed to be in New York four hours ago. Yes, I was a little frustrated, but then I ate, and I realized there probably is something to those Snickers commercials. Yes, I have no idea when we are going to get to New York City. No, I have minimal control over this situation, but I do have complete control over how I react to it.

We circled over Washington D.C. three times (I was watching on the seat monitor) before the pilot’s voice came over the intercom and announced that we would be doing the “safe” thing, which was to land in D.C. because he didn’t want to run out fuel. Makes sense. Planes need fuel to fly. So, we land and deplane, which confused us because we thought we were only refueling. Not, Delta has arranged coach buses to take us to New York?

Okay, this is literally happening right now. Flight is canceled to New York. Calling my company’s travel agent. I’ll come back to finish this shortly.

Alright, I’m back an hour later, and I’m in the Crowne Plaza. I’m flying out tomorrow morning at 8:15, hopefully.

Where were we? Right, buses. So, after we deplane, the horde of slightly perturbed but mostly understanding passengers make our way to baggage claim. The buses depart at 7:30 PM. It’s roughly 6, so we hang around for a while. I buy a bus ride’s worth of snacks and just when I’m walking toward the buses, I see the masses walking towards me. They’re a little more upbeat because apparently, we are leaving tonight! However, we have to go back through security, and also, apparently, Delta and security didn’t know we were coming back through because the baggage agent who just knew she was about to head home for the night yelled with all certainty, “ALL FLIGHTS HAVE DEPARTED OR HAVE BEEN CANCELED FOR THE NIGHT.” “NO, THEY TOLD US TO COME HERE BECAUSE WE ARE LEAVING TONIGHT,” a passenger yelled back. That’s when it got a little hectic, and I had to ask myself, “Why are logistics companies sometimes so bad at logistics?”

There is no internal communication, no processes for when processes fail, and nobody to take charge when the pressure is on. This is a conversation for another blog.

“Aren’t we all getting on this plane at the same time?” We are, but we don’t know when, but seriously aren’t we? Anger is the default emotion in times like these, with anger neither being bad or good but just what is. It’s okay to experience anger, that’s your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change right now for you to balance out. However, sometimes the situation can’t change, and that’s where most of us struggle. We don’t know how or don’t want to check our emotions, and we find ourselves almost getting in a fight with a foreigner in a crowded airport.

You remember when I asked aren’t we all going to get on this flight? We didn’t, and when I say we, I mean me. I didn’t. The ticket agent told us the flight was canceled and would be departing at 8:15 AM. It’s about 9 PM. I’m not sleeping in this airport when I have options, so I book a room. However, the line to retrieve our bags was so long that I decided to leave it at the airport. I was a Boy Scout, so I’m no stranger to roughing it.

I get to the hotel, get settled, then I started receiving notifications that my plane was boarding, then delayed, then boarding, then delayed, then delayed again, but none said 8:15.

At this time, I call our travel agent, and I am on hold for over an hour! Then once I speak to a representative, it takes another hour and a half to get everything settled. Settled meaning that the flight I was supposed to be on departed, with my bag, and I was “stranded” with no immediate mode of transportation. By the end of the conversation, we settled on a rental car from Dulles to LaGuardia.

After a morning phone meeting, I depart for New York around 10 AM. About 5 hours later I make it to rental car return at LGA. The funny thing about driving to New York is that getting there isn’t the issue, but getting through. Two of those five hours were spent around and in the city, but I persevered. Finally, I make it to the terminal shuttle to retrieve my bag.

On the ride over, the worst of the human condition was entirely on display. Traffic was so horrendous and unruly that people were getting out in the middle of the street and walking to the terminals, which had to be about a mile away. They probably didn’t make their flights. However, you how life works, as soon as those people exited the shuttle, traffic broke for us, and we cruised the rest of the way. A little patience goes a long way. I retrieved my bag from amongst the hundreds of other strays and got my Uber to Brooklyn. It was a quiet ride. A fitting end to the journey.

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