This is a PSA.
I’m home. I’m alive. I’m not sleeping in the Detroit airport.
Yesterday I got out of work and immediately called a cab to pick me up at my dorm. I got in, mentioned I was going home to Oregon, and the driver excitedly started asking me a TON of questions about the TLC show “Little People, Big World.”
“I meet a lot of people driving my cab,” he said, “And I like to think up questions that I’d ask people who come from certain places and do certain things. I’ve been waiting for someone from Oregon so I could ask them about the show!”
He giddily asked me everything he wanted to know in between apologizing profusely for heckling me with questions. I told him it was no problem, really–I always find it interesting to hear what people know and don’t know about my home state–and he just got more excited.
I figured my awesome cab driver was a good omen for the long hours of travel ahead.
We reached the airport, and I hopped out and checked in at the Delta kiosk. My luggage was exactly 50 pounds. I figured that was a good omen as well.
The Ithaca airport is basically one room with three gates and a cafe. It’s so tiny that security shuts down during non-boarding times. I gathered myself at a table in the cafe, charged my phone, did some Spanish homework, and ate the turkey sandwich I’d brought from school. I was hungry, and I figured it would be a snack to tide me over until dinner in the Detroit airport.
Ten minutes before my scheduled boarding time, I made my way through security. On the other side, I found out my flight had been delayed half an hour.
A half-hour delay isn’t a huge deal. That is, unless your layover in Detroit is 45 minutes long.
We boarded at the new, delayed time. I told myself to breathe, that everything would be alright. A phone call to my mom told me that almost every flight at DTW was delayed, and that I shouldn’t worry.
And I didn’t worry. That is, until it started snowing in Ithaca and the plane had to be de-iced. We didn’t take off for another half hour.
“If you do not have a connecting flight in Detroit, please stay on the plane and let those who do go ahead of you. Thank you.” The flight attendant was trying to help, but either everybody had connecting flights or nobody was willing to let others pass by.
My gate was at the exact opposite side of the airport. The walk + tram ride usually takes me at least twenty minutes, and I did not have twenty minutes.
I stepped off the plane, shoved my book in my backpack, and RAN. A bunch of people at DTW were running, and I felt a bit of camaraderie with all the people who had banked on a certain amount of layover time and were severely let down.
My flight had landed at 7:34 at C-something (I didn’t bother to look cuz let’s be real I had places to be). I covered all of DTW in full sprint and arrived at A76 at 7:43.
“Zone 1!” the Delta rep called out.
A took a deep breath and got on the plane. My lungs were on fire, but I didn’t care. I was going home.
And I got a window seat :)
I sent my mom a text to let her know I made it, and then began giving my acceptance speech on Twitter.
Note that because I spent my entire 9 minute layover sprinting, I didn’t have time to grab dinner before boarding.
I didn’t eat dinner until I arrived at my house at 11:30 pm, which felt like 2:30 am to my EST-oriented body. I didn’t even hug my mom until there was lasagna in the microwave.
And by “the microwave” I mean “my microwave at my house in my city.” And then I got in my bed and fell asleep. I woke up this morning a bit confused at my surroundings, but then I realized.