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Uncomfy In An Airport Or Uncomfy In The Air?

, , , , | Working | November 19, 2020

I am at the airport about two hours before my flight is to depart. I have been through the security lines and am going to get something to eat. Then, I hear the announcement that my flight has been cancelled and I need to go immediately to a service desk to get on a new flight.

The young man at the service desk is very pleasant, but not, I think, acquainted with the realities of time and travel. My original flight was set to leave at 11:00 am and would get me to my destination at 12:30.

Employee: “We have two options. I think you’ll like the first one.”

Me: “Okay. What is it?”

Employee: “The flight leaves in a half-hour at 9:30 am and it will take you to [State that is west of my destination], then [State farther west], and then [State even farther west], then there will be a layover, and then you will turn around and fly back to destination. You should get in at 8:00 pm.”

I get anxious enough on flights without having to land and take off and land and take off, and the prospect of being on a plane — that isn’t going to Australia — for almost twelve hours is not appetizing.

Me: “What’s option two?”

Employee: “Not as good.”

Me: “Okay, but what is it?”

Employee: *Sighs* “Well, the flight won’t leave until four, so you’ll be stuck here for hours before it leaves.”

Me: “And it will get to my destination at 6:00 pm?”

Employee: “Well, yes, but flight one leaves right now!”

Me: “I’ll go with option two.”

Employee: “But option one—”

Me: “Is in the air for almost twelve hours.”

Employee: “But it’s leaving now!”

Me: “I know you are trying to help, but I would rather wait here for the 4:00 pm flight. It’s comfortable, I can have a leisurely lunch, and I get to my destination two hours earlier. Book me on that flight.”

Employee: *Grumbling* “All right. But you could be leaving now!”

I thanked him, got my new ticket, and had an overpriced but really delicious lunch at one of the restaurants that took a little longer. And my stomach wasn’t in knots. I called my relatives to tell them of the delay and told the story of my negotiations with the service desk.

To my surprise, one of my relatives was actually stunned that I thought waiting a few hours at the airport was preferable to being shoehorned into a tin box for twelve hours and being two hours later. Maybe I am missing something about the joys of being trapped in the air heading to places I didn’t plan to go?

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