I was like so many people around the world who woke up to the news of Delta Airlines experiencing a system outage on Monday morning. At first, it didn’t cause as much disruption on my plans to return home from vacation until I made it to my layover in Atlanta. My 3:00p.m. flight was delayed until 7p.m. No big deal at first, right? I remained in high spirits and took the time to eat and hang out with my friend. I also took the time to observe. I began to people watch and I noticed the numerous interactions between the frustrated travelers and the patient employees. I was impressed. The frontline employees were having a difficult morning of constant complaints, frustrations and there was not much that they could do.
Then the agent announced that we were delayed until 10 p.m. *Sigh. By this time, I began to worry and question my fate of going home that night but I tried to make the most of it as best I could.
Now it’s 10:30 p.m. and we start the boarding process. Hallelujah! The agents boarded the plane to capacity to include those on standby as well. The problem was, we had no pilot. Yep, no pilot. We had a full plane but nowhere to go.
By 12a.m. they announced that our flight was in fact canceled. Are you kidding me? I wanted to scream on the inside as everyone around me did it outwardly. Passengers began to deplane frustrated, annoyed and confused on the next steps. Now what do we do? How do I get home? I have to work in the morning.
We were all instructed to speak with an agent either by phone or to wait in this long line. My friend heads to the line and I immediately call for assistance. Hold time….2 hours.
After 2 hours of holding, I hear a pleasant voice on the phone and my heart rejoices. I inform her of the situation and ask to be rebooked on the earliest flight home.
“I’m sorry there are no flights available today.” I was tired and delirious at this point so I didn’t fully grasp what she meant. Then I asked for clarification.
“Do you mean today as on Tuesday…there are no flights at all on Tuesday?”
I got quiet and at that point felt helpless. As I put my head down, I began to contemplate what the next move should be.
Prayerfully, we found another 10 a.m. flight on Tuesday with a different airline which by the grace of God was not crazy expensive so we booked it. We tried to leave to look for a hotel but we were not allowed to get our checked bag so we were forced to stay at the airport….all morning.
Did I complain? Yes, but we honestly made the most of the situation. We headed back towards the gate and found a place to rest and it was in that moment that humility crept in.
As I walked through the airport, I saw the elderly covered up in red blankets on the hard floor. I saw moms making their kids as comfortable as they could on the floor. At that moment, it hit me. I would never wish that experience on anyone but as I look back, it really wasn’t that bad, it was just amplified because I was too focused on the idea of going home. But I begin to imagine how it would be if I were a parent or if I was traveling with my grandfather. It honestly broke my heart. It made me aware of how blessed I am that it’s just me. And how I, in some weird way, needed this experience.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt lost, stranded or alone? I surely have.
If this would have happened to me two years ago, it would have been a different outcome from me but because it happened now, I felt a sense of growth. Spiritual growth. I have a Savior who comforted me through this time. Yes, I preferred to be home, in my own bed and in my normal routine but sometimes God needs to shake me a little and remind me that all I really need is Him. He loves me and guess what friend, he loves you too. You are not alone as He is always with you, He is just waiting for you to invite Him into your heart. I want to encourage you that regardless of what you are going through, regardless of your circumstances, God can give you peace through it all. Sometimes He needs to put us into situations where there is nothing that we can do to get out of it but trust that He will provide.