I’m back with my Holly Goes Abroad feature! This summer I’m sharing some adventures from my recent trip to Oxford. Most of these experiences are incredibly positive; however, it’s safe to say that this trip definitely started on the wrong foot.
At first everything seemed fine. I was flying over with one of my American friends who also studied abroad at Mansfield College, and we got to the airport and through security with plenty of time to spare. We got ourselves some coffees and chatted excitedly about what we wanted to do in Oxford. Shortly before we were scheduled to start the boarding process the gate announced that our flight would be delayed about half an hour. We were a bit frustrated, but didn’t worry too much about the setback. It was only thirty minutes, after all.
But when half an hour of waiting rolled around, another announcement was made delaying boarding again. And again. And again. And again. I kept telling myself that it was fine, that we would definitely get on a flight at some point that night.
And then it was 12:30am, and they told us that our flight was cancelled.
That’s right. Cancelled, as in we wouldn’t be able to get on another flight until the next night. We would lose an entire day in Oxford just because of technical issues with the plane. I was exhausted, worried, and beyond frustrated.
At 1:00am, all 300 of us waited in an otherwise empty airport to get out luggage from an incredibly slow carousel. Yet instead of complaining to each other, we started chatting. I learned about people’s jobs, where they were from, where they were going, what they were missing because of this 24 hour delay. We exchanged stories and experiences, and in some cases even phone numbers. By the time we were shuttled to scattered hotel rooms in Boston, I felt strangely more awake than tired. It was 3:30am. The next day a whole group of us hung around the hotel while we waited until it was time to head back to the airport. It felt like we were our own little exclusive club, a bunch of tired people trying to make the most of the odd, frustrating situation we were in. When we finally got to our new flight gate and they announced that boarding would now begin, we all clapped. Our strange day of limbo was finally coming to an end.
Did having my flight delayed a whole day suck? So much. Would I have rather spent the day with my friends in Oxford as planned? Absolutely. Did this whole debacle turn our better than I expected? Surprisingly, yes.
Life throws out SO MANY lemons, far more lemons than people deserve. I’m just grateful that in this case, I ended up with a tiny bit of lemonade, too.
The good news? Our rescheduled flight went smoothly and we had an amazing time in Oxford. Lemonade, indeed.
Have you ever had a flight go awry like this? Let me know in the comments section below!