Air travel, inevitably, is full of anxiety. Wherever you are, you are going to be worried about making it to your destination on time. Traffic, delays, weather, luggage. It’s all part of what makes people so fed up with traveling by plane these days.
The worst travel experience I’ve ever had (at least that I can recall) involved a really unlucky late arrival to the Louton Airport outside of London. EasyJet, my budget airline of choice, required all passengers to check in 45 minutes prior to departure.
I was flying from London to Barcelona on a 6:25 am flight. To expedite my travel arrangements, I cleverly decided to stay up all night, rather than getting only an hour or two of sleep, so I could be at the airport by the required 5:40 am.
Long story short, I arrived at the EasyJet counter at exactly 5:41 am.
“No way, no how, no ma’am, we cannot check you in,” the Easy Jet lady said. “You are going to have to take the 11 am flight for an additional charge.”
I was meeting my best friend Misty in Barcelona. Misty was flying to Barcelona from the United States. We had no way of communicating, because Misty did not have an international cell phone. I begged and pleaded; tears sprung from my eyes. No dice. I paid the fee, started to watch fresh-faced British families stream into the airport, people who had not been up all night…let’s just say this was not my finest moment.
I made my way, huge backpack in tow, into a stall of the ladies bathroom. I cried for a long time. I got in touch with my parents back in the States to see if they had a way of getting a message to Misty through the airline.
I tell this story to give you an idea of what a really distraught person does when they are frustrated, angry, and emotional after a big travel letdown.
This video is to show you what a crazy person does when they miss a flight from China to San Francisco:
Needless to say, Cathay Pacific put the woman on a later flight to Los Angeles. I took the later flight to Barcelona and found a tearful Misty waiting in Arrivals for me. Which is to say, these kinds of things are traumatizing, but ultimately resolved.