Our Unexpected Road Trip Courtesy of United Airlines

The Boy and I woke up yesterday at 0530 to head to the airport for an 0800 flight to Billings, Montana, to spend the holidays with his family. All week I’ve been dreaming about hugging my in-laws, squeezing my nieces and nephews, and enjoying all the love that these wonderful people share with everyone around them. I love my family and I love the holidays and the combination of the two makes my little heart and tiny brain just whirl like a little kid who has had too much cotton candy and just got a balloon.

Our flight was delayed two hours. Bummer. I got a book, got a shoe shine, took care of some holiday errands, and we boarded the plane. I settled in for the quick flight when the pilot got on and said that we would be further delayed because was fog and they couldn’t land. An hour later, he told us the flight was cancelled (we later found out that there was an equipment failure). The Boy has super fancy airline status because he commutes to San Diego (bless that man and his generous heart for loving me enough to live in Denver and work in California) so before we were off the plane we were on the phone with a human to reschedule our trip. Except that it was the holidays and every flight on our airline and on the other airlines was overbooked. Not just to Billings, but to any airport within a few hundred miles. They told us we could pay for first class seats and they could get us to Billings on Monday. We looked at each other, nodded, and decided that we’d drive the 7.5 hours instead. We quickly realized we had two more seats and could save the holidays for someone. We picked up an engineer from Ottawa named Scott, and a lender from Aurora named Jen, hopped in our super speedy Audi S4 and drove to Montana.

And really, it was just that easy to save the holidays. Was it a little nerve-wracking to pick up two strangers? Sure. And maybe this sounds naive, but they were from Montana and there is something good about Montana people (unlike Airline people. Bah. The people at United Airlines are the worst.* And don’t get me thinking about Airline people from Montana because my little brain can’t handle that cognitive dissonance). Was it unexpected to need to drive instead of fly? Sure, but we’re adaptable and thankfully have the resources to do so. Was it worth it to see Scott meet his wife and brother after leaving Ottawa at 0200 TWO DAYS EARLIER (poor guy slept the night before in the airport when weather delays messed up his travel)? Absolutely.

I am so happy that I am partnered with the sweetest little hipster elf who saved Christmas for three families with his huge, giving, loving, speeding heart.

*In addition to canceling our flight and suggesting we pay more for seats that were available, they failed to tell us they were, in fact, able to reschedule us on a flight the next day. Fuckers. (This may be the first time I’ve ever cursed on this blog. But it’s deserved, I promise)

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