stress

How to Feel Calm When You Miss A Flight


gary-lopater-183558-unsplash.jpg

Here’s the scene.

My family and I had just spent a fabulous 4 days in New Orleans eating our way through the City.

We soaked up the warmth and the culture, where our Creole roots were formed.

For all intents and purposes the trip was a success! Celebrating my son’s 21st birthday with my daughter, son and husband was so much fun.

There was one night of dra-aaa-maa…there always is on vacation. I see a trend. Tensions can run high. People have different expectations and ways of vacationing.

But back to the story…

4 fun-filled days. Our flight out is sceduled for 7am. We wake up at 4:45am planning to throw our clothes on and catch a Lyft to the airport in plenty of time for our flight.

What actually happens is this. My daughter (who’d booked our flights when she saw a deal) comes into my room at 4:45 asking “What time does it say our flight is in your phone?”

Me: “Umm, 7am”

Daughter: “Ok (long pause), mine says 7 in one message and 5:30am in another. I got a text message ‘reminding’ me of our updated time of 5:30, which I had no idea about.”

Silence…

Daughter: “I’m pretty sure our flght got changed to 5:30am and I didn’t see the message.”

Me: “Okay. Well, let’s get the boys up and moving and get there as fast as we can.”

*Side note: the airport is 20 minutes away and we need to call a Lyft. There’s no possible way to get there by 5:30am.

I remember having a conscious thought at this moment. I asked myself a key question. “How do I want to feel about all of the potential drama that is about to happen?”

Me (to self): Calm

My thought (T) became “Whatever happens we will just have to roll with it and make the most of it.”

My feeling (F) = Calm.

Let me tell you, as a praying Christian woman, I was also praying like all get out in that car on the way to the airport.

I did not want to see what happened if and when they told us we’d missed our flight. (My husband would blow a gasket!)

Daughter (in the car on the way to the airport): “I’m sure we missed our flight. There aren’t any others. I’ve checked.”

Me: Silence (Praying and thinking my (T) thought (see above) over and over again.

We get to the airport. I tell my daughter to go ahead and put in our confirmation number so that we can check our bags. (Fingers crossed)

She does so and up pops a bright red message that said “This flight has already departed.”

We are screwed! No seriously. I had a moment where I wasn’t sure what to do.

I walked over to two ladies in United uniforms and asked where the ticketing counter was…as we had a problem.

She explained that this was it. No counter. An automated bag check and a few emplyees available to help.

I channeled my inner feeling of calm and explained what had happened.

Message about changed flight missed.

Text message received this morning too late.

Flight missed.

What can be done?

Silence.

She started working on her computer, punching in information.

A few minutes later she said, “I’ve got you rebooked on a flight through Denver (instead of Houston). You’ll get back to the Bay Area at the same time.”

No extra fee.

I thanked her sincerely and off we went.

We’ve never missed a flight. This felt scary.

The circumstances felt dire. How we decided to feel about them felt optional.

I shocked myself with how calm I felt. It took some conscious work on my part. It was worth it.

Freaking out is always optional.

I’d love to talk with you more about that if you’re interested.

~Shaun