My husband and I hug tightly on the jet-bridge. He hands me over to a flight attendant who guides me to my seat. The flight is packed.
I arrange my things. My head is SO heavy. I’m sandwiched between two very quiet individuals, but I can never sleep during a flight. I pull out my earbuds and settle in for the in-flight movie.
About twenty minutes in, we hear: “May I have your attention please? We have a passenger who is not feeling well. Is there a doctor or other medical professional onboard who could volunteer their services to attend to this passenger?”
A doctor steps forward and normal in-flight activities resume. I’m parched; the flight attendant takes my drink order. I ask her to confirm my request for an escort to take me from our gate to baggage claim. She assures me she’ll take care of it.
Two hours later, just as the movie is getting really good… “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. The physician who is attending to and monitoring our passenger has advised that the passenger’s condition has become more serious. As a result, we’re diverting the plane to Reno. I’m turning on the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign now. Please stay seated to allow EMS personnel to safely enter the plane and transport the passenger. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.”
Concerned, disappointed and feeling a bit surreal, I pray for the passenger and his/her family as EMS enters the plane. We are grounded for a full 45-60 minutes while they attend to and transport the passenger.
Airborne once again, I reinsert my earbuds in anticipation of the movie’s conclusion… It never comes. Crew members can only restart the film from the beginning, and landing necessitates that it be stopped near the exact spot where it was previously interrupted.
San Francisco at last!
Once passengers have exited the plane, my carry-on is located. A flight attendant escorts me to the gate, where I learn that my request for an escort to baggage claim was overlooked due to the chaos of our diversion. She informs the gate agent of my situation. I phone GDB to apprise them of my delay. No answer… So I wait.
Half an hour passes. (Sigh.) The most efficient solution would’ve been to have an airline employee escort me from the gate to baggage claim. The airline has other ideas. They send a pass to my ride who has been (more than patiently) waiting in baggage claim for the past 1-1/2 hours. Sure, it’s nice that she’ll be able to meet me at the gate…Unfortunately, clearing airport security takes an additional 45 minutes.
It’s 3:00 when we finally meet up and my stomach is growling! It’s still on central time, where it’s now 5:00. I haven’t eaten since breakfast! On the way to the car, she hands me a much-appreciated brown bag lunch, most of which I devour immediately. Campus is another 45 minutes away.
On arriving, I check in with the nurse and meet Jen, the staffer who’s assigned to the dorms overnight. A tour of the new dorm facility scheduled for 4:00 is pushed back thirty minutes to accommodate my late arrival.
(To be continued)
Copyright (C) 2015 Donna Mack Anderson. All rights reserved.