I have been on vacation. 3 weeks. It was great, well needed and well deserved after one of the toughest years of my life. I didn’t know this before but when a flight is cancelled, well, when my flight home from vacation was cancelled, the airline (#Turkish-airlines) booked a five star hotel.
I will tell this story properly.
I wake up; or rather, get up from bed since I cannot claim to have slept. I raised my body from bed at 02:30 am. So instead of sleeping on the night of the flight, I watched Alex, Gloria, Marty & the gang for the 16th time in my life. For your info, I plan to watch these crazies again because I need to remember the names of the penguins and the giraffe.
Moving on, I arrive at the airport with the taxi guy who seems to be more awake than me although he has been up all night too. For 3 seconds, I wonder if he is on something, and if it is something I can get on; but my brain capacity is too low at this hour for a deeper analysis. So I keep mum and look forward to the flight. On arrival at the airport, a young, thin, tall guy offers to help with my bags for an unspecified fee. His body & height reminds me of my younger brother.
I am in Africa, I think, “how much can this possibly cost me?”, I nod without knowing (I haven’t slept yet) and he starts to unload my two bags before I knowledge his offer. I guess he thinks “what can she do with the local currency she has left after vacation?” and he answers himself “she can leave that with me!” Anyhow, I often tell my colleagues that I like people who take initiative so here I am, with an initiative taker, and what better chance to prove to myself that I am a woman of my word.
Initiative taker asks absentmindedly, “which flight are you taking?” I answer sleepily “Turkish”. Pity I can’t nod an answer. It is such an effort to speak to strangers when you are tired, sleepy and not looking pretty at almost 03:00 in the morning. Have I brushed my teeth or does my breath stink?! crosses my mind too.
“Turkish is cancelled” initiative taker says absently and continues to place my 2 bags on the wagon. Big bag weighs 14.4kg and small bag weighs 9.87kg. Yes, I am that person. I weigh my bags before I go to the airport to avoid over baggage that I have to pay for or leave. I also have a cabin bag that weighs 4.7kg. I am waaay under my max.
“did you say Turkish is cancelled?” I ask in my sleep. And then I wake up. “DID YOU SAY TURKISH IS CANCELLED???!!!!???” I ask awake.
“yes” initiative taker replies and starts to push the luggage wagon towards the check in entrance. I have the desire to swing my hand baggage at his back but I resist. And smile at his back.
We choose our thoughts, our thoughts decide our actions, our actions set our characters, our characters point us to our destiny.
“which Turkish flight is cancelled?” I ask with the tone I use for “can I have a cup of tea please?” That takes an effort.
“All of them. bad weather in Turkey”. Initiative taker informs me as if to say “yes, ma’am, tea coming up”
“So what does that mean for us travelers” I ask.
“I don’t know”
risk initiative taker says
He pushes the wagon to the entrance towards the check in and he turns around with his palm open for the
not agreed upon payment. I give him a fifty. he smiles, thanks me and says “safe journey!” We are many with our different disorders and there is no medication for most of our disorders so I forgive risk initiative taker and move on fast. I take my luggage and enter check in.
There are others waiting to check in. Information is scarce to begin with. A couple is fighting at the airport about who decided to book with what airline and who told who that it wasn’t a good decision.
Regardless, within the hour, we all sit on a bus on our way back to the city. Fighting couple sit at different corners of the bus. The lady (one half of fighting couple), in the front, close to the driver, questioning the driver while simultaneously speaking to someone on the phone in Spanish, dictating which other flights may be bookable at this hour. Gentleman (2nd half of fighting couple), at the back, closes his eyes and relaxes into the bus ride. By 05:00, we are back in the city, booked at a five star hotel, invited to breakfast and a warm cozy bed. My head nods to breakfast & sleep in wait for the re-booking of new flights. I contact work between naps to let them know I will be delayed.
3 days and 2 nights later, the flight home is successful and I have added one more experience to my list of: 1st time it happened to me and I didn’t hate it. I am so impressed and humbled by the experience of a cancelled flight. Because of this experience, I will not panic next time an initiative taker casually says “flight is cancelled”.
I will probably go “oh, really?! with joker’s smile on my face”