This was going to be a tight schedule - but not an impossible one. The idea was that I was going to take an early flight to Arkansas so that I could pick my son up and bring him back same day. I choose the earliest flight they had because he wasn't coming to my house - he was going to a new environment and I did not want him walking in at midnight -- I wanted to give him some time to acclimate before being sent to bed. There were no non-stop flights so I was to change over in Atlanta.
The plane touched down and off we all went -- this airport was HUGE! and busy! and wouldn't you know it -- my connection was on the clear opposite end of the airport. So -- full steam ahead. When I got to the gate it was closed - the plane had already left. AHHHHH!!!!!!! To my knowledge, none that had this connection made it as there were a lot of us feeling the panic -- so they sent us to a desk “down the way” to be "rescheduled"
When it was my turn the lady wanted to put me on a late afternoon flight -- I explained that wouldn't do because I was supposed to be on a plane at 11am with my son headed back to Florida. She very condescendingly said "I sorry for the inconvenience" Okay - I will admit it - I was more than little upset and trying hard to maintain my composure. So I just laid it on the line. I said "Look - this is not an "inconvenience -- this is a disaster. I am picking my son up from a hospital today that it took a court order for me to be able to go get him - I am flying on court orders - if I do not have my son on that airplane then I am going to have to go back in front of the judge - which I will have to wait for a court date -explain why I didn't pick him up- get another court order and do this all over again. -- this is NOT an inconvenience -- I "need" not "want" a flight in a reasonable amount of time." Still condescendingly- she replied "I understand all that - but what do you want me to do about it" I said " This is your airlines fault - I want you to fix it" I was just about to ask for a supervisor when a man that was about my father’s age came up behind me and addressed the woman. He said "I got the last ticket for the 9am flight and don't "need" to be there that early -- can you give it to this mom and give me her ticket please" I still am in a little shock. (I don't remember who said it - but I remember learning the quote in school) "You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat someone who can do absolutely nothing for them" Mr. Jones expected absolutely nothing from me -- what a wonderfully kind and compassionate man! God bless Mr. Jones! Please when you say your next prayers - pray a special blessing for Mr. Jones. Anyway -- the ticket agent made the switch - handed him the tickets - he handed them to me (and hugged me) and off I went to the next gate.
I contacted the hospital - because this change in plans left us a bit tighter than originally intended -- my plane was now to land at 10:38 and the next plane with my son (which was a different airline) was taking off at 11am. How I was going to go through the gate to get him (the hospital was meeting me at the airport - but I have my sons ticket) and back through security to catch the next plane I wasn't sure -- but God wasn't going to let Mr. Jones generosity go to waste I was sure of it. So there I was on the plane - as soon as it stopped being one of "those" people who stand in the isles waiting for them to open the doors as if standing there will make them hurry up J -- I rushed through the open doors to find my child and his nurse standing there (evidently a nurse can escort a child through security without a ticket and the hospital called the airlines explained the situation and the airport let both through without tickets - to meet me off the plane -- we rushed to the next gate -- which the RN had waiting for me -- the plane was already loaded. I was signing discharge papers as the ticket agent was saying "you have to board" ( it was like the movies)
So on we went onto the plane with the most disagreeable flight attendant I have ever met in my entire life. She took one look at my son's percussion vest and said "you are going to need to check that" Now please understand - I am already feeling a little flustered and trying very hard not to let it show - my anxiety affects my sons - so at all costs - I need to "have it together". I told her "I have a prescription right here that explains that this is a $16,000 fragile piece of medical equipment - it cannot go under the plane -- it's all stated on the prescription it says it has to fly on the plane with me as does this box of meds" She glared at me. She said "This is a small plane - it doesn't fit you'll have to check it" I responded as sweetly as possible "On the small aircrafts when we have traveled in the past - the flight attendants put it in the flight attendant closet" She said "that is not going to happen!" A man stood up and came over and said "what about right there - it looks like it would fit there" she in a very ugly manner said "Sir either take your seat or deplane" Then she looked at me and told me to go talk to the ticket agent -- so back down the little "connected hall thingy" where not only a ticket agent stood but also a man in a pilots outfit - not our pilot -- but still a pilot" I chose to speak to him. Long story short. The percussion vest ended up in the flight attendants closet. She was awful the rest of the trip - I asked what time the plane was going to land (because I was trying to figure out how much time we had for our connection) and she said "I have no idea - we don't get that kind of information" Really? the flight attendants do not know when planes are supposed to land? My son kept saying things like "Mommy she is really rude" and I had to keep saying quietly "It's not going to help a situation by making a disagreeable person angry"
Of course this all had to play out with me sitting on the front row for the whole plane to see -- I was a little embarrassed -- people did continue looking constantly. As everyone deboarded I was surprised at what happened next. We waited because I had to get the vest out of the flight attendants cabin - so I let others deboard first -- so many people said to me "I am so sorry that women was so rude (mean, horrible, etc.) to you. (okay feeling a little less embarrassed) Then 3 separate people asked for her name as they were deboarding (hmmmm - I wonder why)
Okay - so our next flight happened without any major incident -- Praise God!! I don't think my nerves could have handled much more.
I took my son to where he will be staying for the next few days and am so thankful that he is once again near me.
When I came home - I came home to find that my 15 year old daughter had cleaned the house to help me so that I wouldn't have to do it this weekend -- isn't she a jewel!
So we encountered a few really rude people on this little adventure – but I will always treasure the extremely kind people we encountered – their kindness far outshone the ugliness of the few.
Dancing through the airport,