Anything that can go wrong
will go wrong
My Scotland Adventure: day 1
We arrived at the Indianapolis airport early so that we would have ample time to say our good-byes to children and parents before going through the process of checking in and going through security, etc. We noticed that flights out of New York and New Jersey were getting canceled. How far away is Philadelphia from New York, again?
While we patiently waited for time to pass, we heard our first announcement: flights to Philadelphia were being delayed due to bad weather, updates would follow by the hour. Two delays later we realized that we were not going to make our connecting flight to Edinburgh, Scotland. We rerouted to London, with a connecting flight up to Edinburgh, putting us in Scotland just a few hours behind schedule.
One more delay and we were finally on the plane. And then we weren’t. We were herded off the plane and made to wait some more, due to a missing air-conditioning clamp. Another hour later we were on a different plane and on our way to Philadelphia. As an added bonus, we were fortunate enough to have a screaming two year old on our flight. I really couldn’t hold it against her though, if I could have thrown a public tantrum, I totally would have.
As we flew closer to Philadelphia, we started to encounter the predicted bad weather. Not a lot of turbulence, surprisingly, but plenty of lightening. I probably should have been scared, flying through a storm in a big metal box, but I wasn’t; it was actually very pretty! The Pilot announced that the airport was closed but they might let us land if the plane ahead of us did so without any problems. Oh, okay. Cool. Fingers crossed they don’t crash.
We had a rough landing but everything was fine. We were cutting it very close in regards to our connecting flight to London, so we pushed our way through the deboarding line as best we could.
Several of our fellow passengers sympathized with our plight and told us to be sure to tell the gate attendant to call ahead and let the other plane know that we were coming. We did so as we rushed by and were assured that the other gate was expecting us. It was in a whole other terminal, of course, and after sitting around waiting all day, my legs were one big cramp! We finally made it to the gate with two minutes to spare, only to be met with complete silence. The plane left. Early. Leaving 16 of us behind. This was not good, not good at all.
The ticket agent we found to help informed us that no other flights were going anywhere that night, the airport was closed until morning. I finally lost it and started crying. Not only was I going to miss my scheduled tour of Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle in Scotland but all the hotels in the Philadelphia airport area were occupied. I was going to spend the night in an airport!
It was Midnight and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so we wandered around the airport until we found a store open and I forced down some stale bread and fruit. We spied a Minute Suite establishment, where we could rent a cracker-box sized room for a few hours to catch some sleep, but it was all booked up. We put our name on the waiting list and went off to find the “refugee camp” where they had sleeping cots set up and were handing out free toiletries. We spent the next four hours trying to sleep under bright lights and crinkling space-age “blankets”, which had the added side-effect of reflecting the light back into our eyes.
Thank Cod I had my I-Pod and the soothing playlist I originally made for the night flight. Did I mention that they were repairing the moving walkway that was opposite our sleeping station? With Saws. And Hammers.