Last week’s travel was awful. Completely awful. Driving home from Detroit was just one of those periodic reminders that sometimes when traveling, sh*t happens.
You always think these crappy travel hang ups and snafus happen in the winter, but they don’t. They happen year round, and in most cases, there is still nothing you can do. This whole Air Traffic Control cluster in Chicago is a prime example. Think Serenity Prayer and zen breathing, accept what you cannot control and start thinking of alternative plans and control what you can. Below are some suggestions for how to survive travel disasters gracefully.
When you get stuck with the short stick, I am sorry and I can sympathize. But remember, as my dad says, it just a small price to pay to be one of the worlds greatest…
Back yourself up – The minute something looks like it may be going awry, call the airline and make other plans. Get yourself on standby for another flight or call to see if there are other options leaving earlier or later. Get a hotel if it looks like they are going to sell out.
Never give up – If you look like you are going to miss your connecting flight when you are landing, screw decency and run like hell. Once in Atlanta, I landed in A with ~7mins to get to the F terminal and catch my flight. It is a long way, and no one else wanted to run, but I was that girl running through the airport. Don’t you know they were waiting on a pilot to get on the plane, and he showed up right after I did. Sometime, a girl just wants to get home.
Consider other travel modes – All roads lead to Rome, or at least, there are roads other that lead home, I promise. Consider driving, or training, or ferrying (I kid you not, I thought about it on Friday). Speaking as someone who just drove home 7 hours from Detroit, sometimes other options exist, but if they don’t, sit back, relax, and enjoy the airport.
Wait it out – When all else fails, long delays in airports are the absolute worst, but if you don’t have a choice, you can savor the opportunity to enjoy the local flavors. Here is a list of the best airport restaurants. My personal favorite is Harry and Izzy’s in Indianapolis (Izzy plate for the win) or anywhere in the G terminal in Minneapolis, where you can walk around with a Surly and forget your troubles.
Be nice – When all else fails, do not be a jerk. Some people think that yelling at the desk agent or being rude, will get you where you want to be faster, it won’t. And being the polite and gracious person (even when you want to scream and throw stuff), may just get you the standby seat that you are looking for.