Following is a copy of a rough journal entry I had written while en route, without wi-fi and with little battery power remaining, to Dublin.
6/27/13 travel log – slightly leading in to 6/28/13
I arrived at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport soon after leaving work. About two hours prior to boarding my scheduled flight to Philly, I discovered my flight was cancelled. I was instructed to visit customer service representatives to obtain new boarding passes for a later flight, but I was quite dismayed because I could not afford to miss my flight from Philadelphia to Dublin. If I were to take a later flight to Philadelphia, I would not have been able to catch my scheduled 9PM flight to Dublin.
While at the customer service desk, I noticed a woman making her way to the rental car area following her discussion with another customer service representative who advised her to take a rental car to Philadelphia in order to catch her next flight.
Realizing we both faced a similar problem and could achieve a similar remedy, I asked the woman if I may accompany her on travel, explained my situation, and offered to pay half of the rental fare. The woman, initially reluctant, invited me to join her and , soon after, another man — also needing to arrive in Philadelphia before his next flight had arrived — had asked if he could join her. A party of three, then, would leave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport in a race to catch flights.
The rental car drive was very rewarding and a welcome change to flying to Philadelphia although I was under considerable time pressure, had entered a storm, and was stuck in congested traffic at times. All of us were very open to conversation – discussing our lives and our plans following flight. We eventually arrived at the Philadelphia airport, still in torrential rain that had impeded earlier parts of our travel (and likely cancelled our flights to Philadelphia), and took a shuttle service to the airport.
With approximately an hour to spare, I went through security, found my gate, and was prepared to board. I had finally seated in my respective gate with only 15 minutes remaining before boarding which allowed for a panini purchase, a restroom break, and a small window by which to charge my cell phone. Although I was disoriented and lost within the Philadelphia airport, I was able to find me way because of helpful airport staff who put me in the right direction.
I arrived on the airplane to Dublin and was hit with more complications – hours of delays while sitting on a plane not yet off the ground. Following a very delayed takeoff, I noticed, much to my chagrin, that no wi-fi was available on the plane although I had thought that wi-fi would be available because of website advertisement.
The complimentary meals and drinks while flying were very welcome and very good. Passengers largely left me alone save people speaking loudly behind me. My first flight experience, thanks in part to generosity from strangers who had accompanied me in a rental car through torrential rain and troubling traffic, although fraught with complications, was a success.
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