Airplanes Hate Me

This past weekend, I attended a bachelorette party for the first time, and it was a blast. It included catching up with my favorite sisters, going to the Des Moines’s farmers market, picnicking in the park, fun games, delicious food and ice cream, and karaoke-ing to end the night. It was a great party with really fun people, and it allowed me a whole weekend in Iowa.

But that also meant there was lots of travel involved. I love to travel. I have this weird obsession with flying and get ridiculously excited every time I get to fly somewhere. (Like so excited that I have a hard time sleeping the night before and am anxious the whole way to the airport – I’m 21 and assuming that I’ll someday grow out of this, but so far, it hasn’t happened.)

Thursday night, I took my first red-eye. (Well, it was supposed to be a red-eye.) The only problem is that I can’t sleep when I travel because I’m such a light sleeper and always too excited. I’ve never once been able to sleep on an airplane and have difficulty sleeping in cars as well. My mother falls asleep the second she sits down on an airplane and doesn’t wake up until the wheels touch ground again. It’s weird. It’s some sort of magical power or something. I definitely take after my father and stare out the window the whole time like a giddy child who’s never been on an airplane before.

I got to the airport at the perfect time and walked up to my gate at the exact minute that we were supposed to start boarding. The plane had been delayed 11 minutes because the last flight was late. We waited our 11 minutes, and then we waited some more. We learned that the weather radar was having some issues, and that the mechanic was on his way to take a look at it before take off. We were delayed 10 minutes, four different times, but then learned that the mechanic had fixed the problem and was just putting everything back together before we could board.

Then we were delayed 40 minutes and 40 minutes again without any explanation. After the first four delays, they stopped telling us what was happening and started sending United texts stating our delay times.

I wasn’t mad; I was just exhausted. It was now 2:40 am, and I’d left for the airport at 8:30 pm. I wanted to sleep on the airport floor. Everyone around me was complaining and saying that they’d never fly with United again, but I really just wanted them to put us on the plane so I could sleep while they fixed the darn thing.

Then they gave up on that plane. The women standing at the gate informed us to move two gates down to a different airplane that we would board immediately and get on our way. So we all moved and stood in line in our respective boarding groups ready to hop on the plane and pass out.

Then we were delayed another hour. Great, this plane is broken too.

I sat on the floor and tried my best to stay awake and to not get angry like the rest of the furious flyers. Luckily, I wasn’t going to miss my connecting flight (yet). I had a three and a half hour layover in Chicago, so if we delayed one more time, I knew that I was going to miss my flight.

I got lucky, and we took off an hour later at 3:40 am. When I got on the plane, I sat next to a mother and a daughter who I told I was going to sleep immediately. It didn’t happen. I slept for about an hour the whole four-hour flight, but it was okay because I was so excited.

I had to run to my next flight and didn’t have time for Starbucks, but that was okay too (I was mostly just happy that I hadn’t missed my flight). An hour later, I landed in Des Moines and got to spend an amazing weekend back in the Hawkeye State (wow, I really love that place).

Four days later, my mother drove me to the airport, so I could fly back to Seattle. I didn’t fly out until 5:30 pm, so I got to spend almost the whole day at home. We boarded the plane and taxied out to the runway to take off. But then we didn’t. Because there was something wrong with the stinkin’ plane and the mechanic had to come look at it. We pulled back up to the gate and were all told to exit and wait 30 minutes. I called my mother.

“Well guess what? I broke another airplane.”

*My mother laughs hysterically on the other end of the line.

“Kaelly Welsh – the girl who somehow gets stuck with a broken airplane every time she tries to go somewhere,” I joked.

“Seriously, I’ve never had a flight delayed because of a mechanic. Not even one time,” my mom says through her tears of laughter.

“Oh good, so it really is me. Thanks.”

An hour and a half later, we finally took off again after the mechanic had fixed the problem (silver lining: it was only half of the delay that my first flight had). Again, lots of people were pissed and lots of people vowed to never fly with United again. (One guy even came up with a hashtag and told everyone on the plane to use it so that United would go out of business. I don’t know; seems a little harsh if you ask me. At least we landed safely?)

I was just happy that I took four airplanes this weekend, two of them were broken and delayed at first, and somehow, I never missed a flight. What a blessing.

I’m already excited for my next traveling adventure.


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