Thanksgiving is time for giving thanks. On this Thanksgiving eve, I am giving thanks for the fact that I am not at work at the airport tonight.
I realize that you all have your reasons for traveling on this particularly inauspicious day. You couldn’t get any extra time off of work or school, your already busy schedule didn’t allow you to leave any earlier. The alignment of the universe didn’t allow you the freedom to travel yesterday like the rest of the sane people in the world. You, my friend, are one of “those” people.
Your first mistake is that you vastly underestimated the sheer number of people flying on Thanksgiving through our airport system on this, the very busiest of travel days (42.5 million people according to some estimates.) Those other 40,000,000 people who DID the sane thing and booked flights yesterday won’t all fit.
The problem is that they got in line ahead of you. There are 40,000,000 people in line between you and grandma’s apple pie. When they don’t fit onto the airplanes that they have booked, it creates a cascade effect similar in nature to the cascade of failures that happens during a nuclear meltdown. They get rebooked, overbooking the next flight which was already full, pushing those people down the line and eventually rolling over to the next day (today) when you are trying to get home for grandma’s apple pie.
So, this puts you where, exactly? You are the one, standing at my gate at the airport, lamenting about how you HAVE to be home for Thanksgiving dinner, in tears, facing the thought of spending Thanksgiving with the other forlorn souls who are also stuck in airport purgatory. You have joined the ranks of one of “those” people.
It is not that I dislike you, nor is it that I don’t have compassion for your current state of affairs. I just wish that you would have planned ahead so as not to put either you or I in this uncomfortable place. ALWAYS leave extra time when traveling around the holidays. Assume that if you leave 2 days ahead of time, with the delays and over bookings, you MIGHT get there just in time for dinner.
Better yet, take the whole week off and spend Thanksgiving in Hawaii instead…for these reasons I am thankful that I am not working tonight nor thankfully tomorrow.
Here is wishing you and your family a happy holiday season, and hoping fervently that you are not one of “those” people right now, stuck at the airport with my airport colleagues.