Stuck in an Airport

Though my first instinct was to say “Fuck you forever, United Airlines. I’ll take my full refund and walk my ass all the way home,” seeing a few people turned down by our faulty “freedom” system of justice, I had to claim, because I’m hilariously ornery, “I’m 20!!! I have to get out of here and see my parents as soon as possible! 4:00pm? Hell no! 12:00? No!” They gave me a flight for 8:30 this morning. Still not necessarily winning, but pathetic enough to get an earlier flight than the others.

Can I just comment on how traumatically fucked up United Airlines has made this trip, but what a fucking grown-ass-man I’ve become? I started this voyage two days ago, taking a train at 2:30pm. From 2:30pm-6:30pm on July 31st, I moved my luggage back and forth so the Chinese people could get by me. I had way too much luggage to even exist, but everybody showered me with a bunch of priceless gifts I wouldn’t dare to toss out. From there, I took the subway stations in Beijing, because I’m -obviously- a local and can navigate like a boss even with two suitcases. I probably arrived at the Beijing airport at 9:30pm, where I waited for the flight at 1:55am to Qatar. The flight to Qatar was safe enough, but the flight attendant spilled coke on me and that’s okay too, but I ended up feeling all sticky. I got to the Qatar airport at 4:55am and waited two hours for my flight at 7:00am. A little Muslim baby was kicking my chair the entire 13 hours, even after swatting at her a couple times. I made it to Washington at maybe 6pm. I’ve been waiting here since then. I’ve caught very little sleep if any. I’d say I’m running on a fair 32 hours without decent sleep.

The last flight to Charleston was shoved back a couple times, from 10 to 11, then 11 to 12. At last, it was cancelled altogether. My not-so-secret coming home to see Kristen for the first time in 6 months, and to see my parents for the first time in 12 months, was cancelled.

Of course, at this point, everyone’s life becomes more important. People who miss the flight talk about their vital business meetings the next morning, their relatives falling like flies; blended in the mixer with bountiful ways to use “fuck” as an adjective, noun, adverb, and verb.

I slept on the chairs, but now I’m using free wi-fi and electricity. You know what I say? God bless America and how fucking awesome it is.

Of course, I get to proclaim angst against United Airlines and their character because I’m American and I have the choice to do so, so I’d like to indulge my second instincts and add a more subtle “fuck you very much, United Airlines.” I’ll be thinking: thanks for being more of a fuck-up than a Chinese or Qatar airline could dream of being, and I hope your company disintegrates within its own gaping sorriness, and the people here can spread the word of your lousy business like a terminal disease. But I won’t say that out loud, of course.

I truly don’t hope any of that, I’m just super fucking cranky after three days’ travel. There are a lot of really genuine true believers in every setting. And hey, I ended up making friends: Raider Man!, and an older fellow from Hawaii/Shanghai. I’m just one of the many unfortunate souls that got stuck dealing with the few rotten eggs, but I’m still fortunate to have been able to fly back home.

Grammar errors. Sorry, it’s late for me.

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About Jonny Blevins

Be proud of who you are, wherever you are. I'm sure other dimensions and worlds exist. Trying to be photogenic is gross. Weak stomachs are weird. I talk about my hypothetical Chow Chow, Fa Mulan, regularly. Handan, China is like West Virginia with more Chinese people. Pittsburgh is alright. I'm there now.
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2 Responses to Stuck in an Airport

  1. Coleman says:

    So sorry to hear about your flight complications, but I can definitely commiserate with you on the anger at United. A little more than a month ago, Meredith and I flew from LAX to Dulles and then were supposed to fly to Charleston (for our wedding) and ended up stuck in DC for 24 hours. After two cancellations, staying overnight at a friend of a friend’s house, and checking in for our third potential flight home (which had been booked by US Airways), we got bumped due to weight restrictions and would have been delayed another ten hours. We ended up renting a car and driving into town for our wedding. Luckily we were in much earlier than we needed to be, but we still had to reschedule a bunch of appointments. Then our flight back was delayed, which would have caused us to miss our connection, so we ended up leaving a day late too.

    Regardless, don’t let it ruin everything. It’s all an adventure, everything. Hope you’re doing well.

    • I sound a lot angrier than I am really. I’m so happy- I can smell freedom and cholesterol in the air again. Flight cancellation horror stories are definitely terrifying but you’re right, there’s a way to view them as fate and something that needed to be experienced.

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