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My flight to England was cancelled?!?! | Holly Goes Abroad

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!




19 responses to “My flight to England was cancelled?!?! | Holly Goes Abroad”

  1. Oh yes, several times. The worst was just after 9/11 when I got stuck at Gatwick, and because they didn’t know when the air spaces would be opened again, they didn’t want to put us up in a hotel. I got stuck in Amsterdam because of snow (but I was put up at a hotel – a lousy one, but at least I got some sleep and a shower). And I was with a whole group that got stuck in Hong Kong when a flight was cancelled. Apparently, they had notified most of the passengers but didn’t notify our group. So when we showed up at the airport, they had to put us up in a hotel that was right INSIDE the airport!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, so many mishaps!! Puts such a damper on your trips!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nah… most were on my way home, actually. When you’re as old as I am and you’ve traveled as much as I have, there will be delays and flight cancellations. It is part of the experience, and makes for interesting stories for your friends. Only temporary discomfort!


  2. Oh that’s so annoying! But luckily it didn’t turn out to be too bad!
    I never had it this bag with airplanes luckily! Only delayed airplanes and luggage that missed the transfer (but then they delivered it to my house the next day, which might have been even better!)


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely could have been worse! I was so afraid that our luggage wouldn’t get to the right place, so at least that worked out smoothly 👌

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you were able to make the cancellation a positive experience. This is always a fear for me when we travel because we have very limited time because of our animals. So a day delay would be horrible for us (most of our trips are only 3 nights).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no!! I was very lucky in that sense—one day out of a week is easier to stomach than one day out of three!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is true even though it all sucks. I’m just glad that you were able to make it into a good experience instead of just sitting around mad.


  4. Yep, I was flying from Ohio to spend winter break from college with my grandparents in Florida, and my flight got delayed and then rerouted three times, before they finally just canceled it. My mom had dropped me off at the airport that morning and it had snowed a bit, so I wasn’t asking her to drive over an hour from home to pick me up. I spoke with the people at the counters and managed to get booked on a flight going from Ohio to Texas and then Texas to Florida, so instead of arriving at 10am like I was supposed to, I finally arrived in Florida at midnight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, also, I always had my backpack with my laptop and 3-5 books in it, so at least I didn’t have to worry about having nothing to do at the airport with all of those delays.


    2. That’s wild!! I would have been so frustrated!!


      1. I just felt so lucky and grateful that my grandparents were willing to come pick me up that late. My grandpa is typically in bed by 8pm and awake around 4am every day. So the fact that they were willing to take a nap so they could make the 45 minute drive to the airport that late really meant a lot to me.


  5. I recently went to California, and my flight was delayed by three hours. I was super frustrated (and exhausted), but it all ended up okay and I was able to make it there without missing too much. I’m glad your flight went smoothly in the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, that’s horrible! It’s so annoying and frustrating having to wait for so long :/

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That sucks that you lost time in Oxford, but this sounds like the best thing to come out of a bad situation! I’m so glad you ended up not having a terrible time despite the delay. My most recent flight mishap was only a few days ago, when a 5 hour flight turned into a 10 hour flight because a storm prevented us from landing. It wasn’t fun, and I ended the trip pretty grumpy and not too pleased, but I did end up talking to my neighbors more than I ever have on a flight before! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH NO. That’s even worse!! I hate flying, so any extra time spent on a plane is hell to me. Glad you had chatty neighbors though! 🙂


  7. Oh no this is so, so annoying when it happens, I’m so glad it all ended up going smoothly the very next day, plane troubles aren’t always so fun. At least you got to chat with some people, it’s always fun to see how these kind of events create fun little groups of people to chat with 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true!! It’s wild to think that I probably wouldn’t have talked to any of these people if all of these problems hadn’t happened… funny how things work out sometimes! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. […] of another book blogger who’d be more fitting and perfect for this category than Holly from Nut Free Nerd. I’ve been following this spectacular, well-read girl ever since my first few months of […]


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About ME, Holly

former english major, current twenty-something book lover, allergic to nuts. drop me a line at or on instagram.


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