“Sorry for the delay folks, we’ll fly everyone where they need to be at a later time, when weather conditions permit”, the words hanging suspended in the air like a smoking campfire as we disembarked the cancelled flight, implored patience but I was already feeling adrenalin’s first rush.
“Later time?!”, there was no later time – I had to get to Boston to meet Evan who, like a paramour ordering from a 5 star menu for his beloved, had made our travel arrangements and was waiting anxiously for me at Boston’s Logan Airport, a pair of British Airways tickets in hand; I had to get there before that flight took off.
It was pure energy and emotion, insistence and faith that carried me through various terminals at Dulles as I spoke with countless airport employees and supervisors telling and re-telling my story, why it was imperative I be in Boston by a certain time and no, I didn’t have my ticket to Logan, they’d collected it after they boarded, then disembarked us when the flight was cancelled, isn’t there someone who –
Many exhausted hours later, in a moment of sheer serendipity, there appeared a knight in shining armour in the personage of a pilot coming off his last run, his 5 o’clock shadow evidence of how long his day had been, he’d overheard my emotional plea to the latest unsympathetic, unimaginative airport personnel to hear my tale; without introduction he turned to me, “let me make a call”.
Returning 10 minutes later, my “knight” advised me, with more than a bit of urgency, “they’re holding the plane for you, you’ve got to run, now, to British Airways, Concourse B, hurry’; with indescribable gratitude beaming from my eyes, I ran.
A little before midnight, like Cinderella racing against time through the deserted terminal, I rounded the corner to Concourse B where, no less than 50 yards out, stood a very tall man behind the counter awash in a halo of light from a single fluorescent bulb overhead, outstretched hand holding a ticket; like Dicken’s ghost of Christmas Present, he turned and pointed to the open gate and the waiting plane beyond.
Editor’s Note: based on a true story in the days before cell phones 🙂