Homeward Bound

After spending time with Spencer's family in Utah for Christmas, it was time for us to return home. We had planned to fly home on Sunday the 27th so that we could be home for our anniversary on the 28th. After church, Spencer got a notification that our flight to Chicago had been delayed by 50 minutes. This was a problem, since our layover in Chicago was only 45 minutes long.

After being on hold with Southwest for half an hour, Spencer found out that our flight from Chicago to Louisville was the last one that night. We booked flights for the next day. So, our second anniversary was going to be spent getting up at 4:00am to catch an 8:00 flight to Chicago, sitting in the Chicago airport for 4 hours, and then taking the two hour flight back home to Louisville. We had also lost our Early Bird Check-in when we switched flights, so we were going to have to pay $40 at each gate to upgrade Spencer to A boarding if we wanted to sit next to each other. We were less than thrilled. But, we were just excited to be home with our cat, so we were going to deal with it.

When we got to the Salt Lake Airport at 6:00 the next morning, we breezed through security, got some overpriced pastries, and sat next to our gate. Maybe things would go our way after all. I think you can see where this is going.

As I stood in line to board, someone announced over the intercom, "Attention Southwest passengers to Chicago. Flights from Chicago to Las Vegas, Orlando, Newark, Atlanta, and Mobile have been cancelled. Please see a representative if you would like to change your flight schedule."

The people in line had one of those weird moments of stranger solidarity as we all looked nervously toward each other for support. "Excuse me," the man ahead of me asked the attendant, "Are all flights out of Chicago being cancelled? That was quite a list!"

"Not yet," the attendant replied as he continued to scan boarding passes nonchalantly.

Ah, yes, comforting.

The flight was really uneventful for the most part. Spencer was able to save me a seat and we watched Food Network together on the iPad. We were about thirty minutes outside Chicago when the pilot made an announcement. "Well folks, Chicago has been hit by some freezing rain. They've closed down all the runways and they aren't letting any planes in or out." Spencer and I looked at each other in grim amazement as he continued, "So, we're going to be diverted to Louisville."


It was an anniversary miracle.

But, slowly, my pessimism began to take its toll. "Spencer...what if they don't let us off the plane?"

"Why wouldn't they let us off the plane?"

"I don't know. I feel like that's a thing they do sometimes..."

I was mostly thinking of this episode of 30 Rock, where they get stuck on the tarmac for hours.
But still, a legitimate fear.

We landed in Louisville and sat on the tarmac for a while without word from anyone, furthering the Liz Lemon panic attack growing inside me. Finally, the pilot announced, "There were five other planes diverted here from Chicago, so they don't have enough gates for all of us. I'll let you know as soon as I know anything. In the meantime, I'm turning the fasten seatbelt sign off. Feel free to move around and use the bathrooms."

I got up to use the bathroom at the front of the plane and since it was occupied, I ended up standing right next to the flight attendants. I figured now would be a good time to calm down my crazy. "If Louisville is our final destination, we'll be able to get off here, right?"

"We don't know yet."

Excusemewhat. "That wouldn't make any sense though, right? Would they really make me fly all the way to Chicago to come back here?"

Now. I had not raised my voice. I was not letting those women know the hell storm of fury that was rising from the depths of my soul. But I was given the authority voice. You know the voice I'm talking about. Equal parts condescending and angry, with that splash of polite so you can't complain to corporate later. I know that voice. I've used that voice. Don't give me that voice!

"Ma'am," the flight attendant started, "we do not know. You'll have to wait until we hear from the captain."

I mumbled something to the effect of, "oksorryjustthinkingoutloud"

Then the flight attendant picks up her phone thing, looks me in the eye, and says, "Ladies and gentlemen, although we are on the ground, it is important that you not form a line for the forward lavatory. Please scoot about 4 or 5 rows back for safety reasons. Thank you."


When I got back to my seat, I was in full blown panic mode. I'm sure I was ranting like a lunatic.

"Spencer. We have to get off the plane, Spencer. I'm not going to Chicago, Spencer! THEY CAN'T MAKE ME GO TO CHICAGO, SPENCER!"

I had a plan. And I'm dead serious, guys, I think I would have done it. They can't move the plane if someone is standing up. I was 100% ready to stand up and refuse to sit down until they let me off that plane or they got a policeman to escort me off. I'm also pretty sure there were at least six other people going to Louisville on that plane. We could have mutinied. We could have done it. It would have been beautiful.

Luckily, they let us off the plane and I still have a clean record.


  1. Thank you for this, I needed a good laugh. I'm glad you didn't have to go all the way back to Chicago. Happy anniversary!


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