The Mad Dash Home

Well, I skipped one of my usual posts this week, for the first time since June. And I gotta say, it feels really weird! I do often go the better part of a week without posting (after all, my usual Tuesday-to-Saturday pause is the same amount of time as this Monday-to-Friday gap), but this felt like much more of a break and I feel the strange urge to apologize. It's ridiculous. I'm not sure when I became this person that needs to blog three times a week, but here we are!

Anyway, since I missed Travel Tuesday, here's a sort of Travel Friday.

I grew up in New York and went to college in Miami, and now that I'm living in Colorado, this is my sixth year of having to fly home for Thanksgiving. And even though I've flown home on that Wednesday every year, it shockingly hasn't ever been too bad. I can't remember any crazy lines at security, or flight delays, or anything. It's always been fine.

This year, however, New York was bracing itself for Winter Storm Cato. Flights were being delayed and cancelled like crazy in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. So Tuesday saw me on the phone with American Airlines and my mom, racing home from work at 1:00 and scrambling to get me on an earlier flight home. (We failed. So I accidentally took a half day off of work for no reason. After literally speeding home to pack so I could make it to the airport in time. Lol, it was such a mess.)

So after that whole debacle, I remained booked on my planned flights. Colorado Springs to Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dallas-Fort Worth to New York JFK. Since my flight to New York wasn't until 4:30 -- right in the thick of the supposed storm -- I was fully planning on it being delayed and having to spend several hours in DFW. (Remember the last time I flew through DFW? We don't really have a great relationship.)

I had been positive that my flight out of Colorado would be perfectly on time. I got to the airport early, there were literally no people in line at security, and it was just a great situation. But then I saw "DELAYED" up on the board. I thought of the scheduled hour layover in Dallas and got a little nervous, but I knew my second flight would be delayed, so this flight taking off half an hour late would be no problem whatsoever.

And it wasn't a problem. We landed in Dallas a full 40 minutes before my second flight was scheduled to board. I was golden.

But half an hour later, we were still sitting on the tarmac, waiting for a gate. And even worse, my mom texted me and said my flight to New York wasn't delayed. Cue the panic (and the absolute fury).

After 50 minutes of waiting for a gate, and then getting a gate but having to wait for a jetway, we finally deplaned. And I had about 15 minutes before my flight departed. And when I checked the board for departing flights, I saw that I had to make it all the way to another terminal.

You want to talk about a frantic sprint? Yeah. This was a flat-out, desperate sprint through the airport.

I must say, though, I made record time. A well-timed train between terminals certainly helped, but I ran faster than I have in years (potentially ever) and made it to my gate with my legs burning, my lungs burning, totally sucking wind. I could barely get words out as I hunched over the gate attendant's desk.

"Are you still boarding?"

"Yes," she said, looking annoyed, but she waved me over to the gate.

I hobbled the last few steps, finally deciding to dig my boarding pass out of my bag. She took it and scanned it and handed it back to me, and I nearly skipped onto the empty gateway and up the tunnel. I was sweaty and huffing and puffing and a complete mess, but I was there.

As I stepped onto the plane, a flight attendant looked at me and said, "Hey, you made it!"

I would've laughed if I'd had enough oxygen in my system. "Yeah, my last flight sat on the tarmac for an hour."

His eyes went wide. "An hour?! Oof."

Tell me about it, dude. There's a reason I look like I just ran a marathon.

But all's well that ends well, right? I was on the plane, had an empty seat next to me, got myself a cup of water when the cart came around and guzzled that little thing like nobody's business.

And after all of that -- the frantic effort to get myself home the day before the storm, and the expected hours-long delay in Dallas -- I spent about 60 seconds in the Dallas airport and arrived in New York 15 minutes early.

Fifteen. minutes. early.

So this Thanksgiving, I'm incredibly thankful to have just made it home when I was supposed to! And that winter storm? Long Island didn't see a single snowflake.

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  1. Oh man I ran through Miami airport like that once due to snow delays in Canada and it was the WORST! There is nothing like a desperate sprint across an airport with bags, etc.

  2. Ooof - holiday travel - not too often a person has a positive story to relay about it! Glad you made it home :)