Stranded In Newark Airport

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook

There are no words that can describe what happened on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Well, actually there are words. Most of which contain expletives. I cannot believe that less than five inches of snow shut New Jersey down. We get snow every year. We're not new to this. And yet, on Thursday as the snow began to fall around 2 in the afternoon, my husband, brother and myself, headed to Newark International Airport on what is usually a 15- 20-minute drive turned into a four-hour trek, where we never drove our car more than ten miles per hour.

A few things happened on our journey to and while at the airport:

  1. We missed our flight. 
  2. I was able to change my flight to a later flight. 
  3. We made it to the offsite parking spot two hours before our flight was scheduled to take off. 
  4. From the Parking Place, it then took us an hour and fifteen minutes to travel what usually takes seven to eight minutes. 
  5. Once we got through security we had an hour to catch our 9:40 flight. (One which my sister was trying desperately to make. She'd been in the car for five hours trying to get from one side of Newark to the other.)
  6. While standing in line I get a text message from United Airlines, "Your flight has been delayed to 11." Okay, no worries it's 8:45 that's not too bad. 
  7. Thirty minutes later, I get another message, "Your flight has been delayed until 11:30pm." Still not bad. I'm just glad we made it to the airport safe, and in one piece. 
  8. Then, at ten fifteen I got the text message that entirely changed the game and my experience as a person who travels via plane. "Your flight has been cancelled, contact United Airlines..."


You would assume if you're flight is cancelled then they will replace or reschedule you on a makeup flight as soon as it's safe to fly again. Well, let me tell you. This is not how it works at all. As a matter of fact, you have to reschedule your own flight. You have one of three options, call on the phone, do it online or speak to a representative in person.



Here is an image of the line to speak with someone. I was at the end of three-mile line. It was literally three miles long and I waited in that line for two hours and still didn't speak with a single person. Let me take a moment to explain my original plan. I was going to write my blog in the airport while waiting for the plane or I'd work on it while on the plane. Nothing went according to plan.

The wifi in the airport was shotty and well, I never got on the plane on Thursday. I did, however, catch what I thought was a beautiful photo of all of the planes I could not get on.

I wasn't able to do any writing because well, this was now the middle of the day and the hustle and bustle of the airport were too much and the negative energy from all of the angry people who had spent the night in the airport like me was too intense, so I read. Even in that I didn't read very much because I was too stressed out because we didn't have a guaranteed seat on the flight. Oh and wait, I couldn't cancel and just go home. Why?  Because our luggage was going to take off and go to Vegas on the first flight out in the morning. Why not get it you ask, it would've been a two hour wait to retrieve our luggage and in two hours we were trying get on that first flight.



At around 6 am we finally spoke to someone who put our names on the official standby list. So we eargly moved around from gate to gate all around the airport, hoping to get a seat on the plane. We had no luck. The four of us held a permanent spot in place 30 and below on the standby list. After around the fifth flight took off without us. My brother left the flock and did this:

 
We didn't get a flight to Vegas until Friday night around 8:30pm. We were at the airport for 24 hours straight.

Never in my life had I ever experienced anything like that. And we weren't the only ones. Everyone's who had a flight out after 3pm on Thursday was stranded at the airport. Remember that three-mile line? Well, it was nothing less than a miracle that all four of us were able to board the plane to Vegas. We felt like we hit the lottery when they called our names.

Now, in order to talk about my progress this week, I had to share this story. Because before this adventure my days had been consumed with my girls and their cheer schedules and practices. I hadn't had a moment to myself. And even though I knew in Vegas I would be all about my hubby and brother. Celebrating their birthdays I thought at the very least I'd have five hours on a flight and time at the airport to get some work done. Nope. Want to make God laugh. Tell him your plans.

So yeah, I just had to give the backstory. It was one I had to tell and I will never forget. Anyway, before that, I had a pretty good week. My book is out in the world. John submitted it to different publishing companies. I am so nervous. I know I wrote a novel and not a picture book and it may take a while for me to hear anything from them. But not hearing anything is making me so very nervous. And the list of people he submitted to are some serious heavy hitters in the publishing world. I fell all of the nervousness and doubt that I felt when I was querying agents. All I want to do constantly check my email to see what John has to say and what is going on. I understand that this industry is filled with hurry up and wait moments. So I'll wait. I'll focus my energy on getting my MA thesis solid and together. Which as of right now it is all in my head. I do have a more clear vision of what I want and need it to be. I just have yet to put it down on paper for real. As of right now, it is in scattered pieces and notes I've collected as often as possible. My plan is to compile this list of notes into an actual written piece. Since I won't be participating in Black Friday this year, I'll work off all the food I ate for Thanksgiving in front of my laptop and get my first draft of my Author's note/Foreword out. In order for me to do that I will need a clear mind and a couple of night's of sleep in my own bed.