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Travelogue – Gulfport, MS Day Three: Flying Pretty….Ugly

The longest day of my life......

So I get back to the room very early in the morning of December 12, 2021. It’s near 1:30AM, I have a 7:00 flight, so the alarm was set for 4:00. No purpose in getting cleaned up, sleeping a little, getting up, doing my makeup, packing and going to the airport. I just laid on top of the bed in my clothing and makeup and as usual, woke up before the alarm, around 3:45. Got packed and out the door and in a 5:00 cab a little early. In fact we get to the airport by 5:00. Get checked in and settled for my 7:00 flight.

Here I am, heading out for what ended up being the longest day of my life!

Delay…..delay….delay….delay….cancelled! This happens around noon.

Now during this whole process (remember this is a Kandi trip), I make friends with a grandmother heading back home from spending quite a bit of time helping with the grandchildren, in a difficult situation. We talked about that and many other things. Her name was Dawn. Also, my friends Tameika and her daughter Alaja are also on the flight to Cleveland through Houston. Alaja is a precocious 10 year old model and very good! Tameika is her blind mother. We met at the Ohio Fashion Week show all three of us walked. Now we’re all in the same pickle.

Dawn secured another flight out of nearby Hattieburg and she leaves with hugs for all of us. Now the three of us are a team and it is pretty good that I was there for them. We had earlier booked a Plan B out of New Orleans, so I figured it was time to move to that. We then find out that flight was also cancelled, so we ended up having to fly out of Mobile, AL. I get the flights lined up, argue for baggage refunds, get taxi and food vouchers and a cab to take us to the new airport, almost an hour away. We get there with about four hours to kill before we fly to Charlotte, connecting to Cleveland.

Here we are just before finally boarding the first flight, over 12 hours from when we were originally supposed to do so.

Quick story. Tameika was in a wheelchair all of the time we spent in the airport, Alaja pushing her and me carrying baggage. Alaja wonders if her Mother should get out of the wheelchair. I tell her absolutely not, that chair would get us extra help and on the plane before anyone else. That worked!

We were originally scheduled to arrive in Cleveland at about 1:30PM, we are now scheduled to arrive in Cleveland at 12:30AM the following day. I then had to get my bag and help them get theirs, I volunteer to drive them home (not that far from the airport, but in the opposite direction for me). My arrival time at home was about 2:00AM, December 13. Now remember, I am in full makeup, which has now been on my face for almost two days. I then have to shower and I basically just get dressed and ready to go to work as there are a few things I usually do on Sundays for work the next day. When I removed my makeup I was actually grateful for that damned mask! I looked like Grizzly Adams….

Over the course of the two days I was involved with the show for about seventeen hours and in transit for almost 24 hours. I consumed one single meal over this period and my hydration, due to circumstances, consisted of two Manhattans on Saturday (they were GREAT!) and two Bud Lights on Sunday. Very little sleep and a tremendously frustrating day, if not rewarding for my soul. My friends would have had some troubles without my help or the help of a sighted person. They would have gotten through, but it may have taken them well into the next day.

Would I do it all over again? Of course, except I would not have booked the United flight home as Delta flew flawlessly in a little later flight that I surpassed to try to get home earlier (I came down on Delta, exactly on time). You never know…..

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4 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    And through it all you were just another woman trying to get home. I was stuck in Hartsdale, Atlanta Airport in a similar situation.

  2. My oh my Kandi, I’m not sure I would have held up as well as you, I work for the airlines and I get frustrated at these kind of issues when flying so I’m glad it worked out and I’m fairly sure you flew on AA to get back which well that is my lively hood
    This was a great adventure indeed and sounds like other than the few hiccups you came through it like a champ or something like that
    And such a nice gesture to take your friends home when you made it back
    You have such a beautiful heart and soul my dear
    Hugs Rachael

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