On Sunday, my daughter and I returned from the Cayman Islands. We were booked on an early flight out of Grand Cayman, so we had to wake up at 4:45am in order to get to the airport in time for our international flight. While our departure was earlier than that of the other people on our trip, I knew it would be worth it when we arrived home by 5pm.
We were driven to the airport at 5:30am – we were unable to check out of the hotel because the system was down, but I was assured everything would be taken care of. After checking our luggage, passing security, and clearing immigration, we arrived at the gate. We grabbed a quick breakfast (the pickings were slim!), hit the rest room, and waited as the first class passengers were boarded. When the gate attendant got on the PA system, we assumed that it was time to board. But, unfortunately, we were told that the plane was leaking fuel, and a part was going to be shipped in – leaving us with an uncertain delay and a connection at risk. Everyone on the flight was in the same situation, and we all had to pass back through immigration to collect our forms back, before heading back to the front to get rebooked.
Of course, chaos ensued. People pushed to the front because of various “special circumstances”. I tried to call American Airlines, but the delay wasn’t yet received in their system, so they couldn’t rebook me. We had to recollect our luggage and wait in line, seemingly forever. My daughter was a little scared, wondering if we’d get home. I couldn’t reach our hostesses, because the hotel computer system was down and they weren’t able to transfer a call to their rooms. Finally, we got rebooked on a 1:50pm flight and decided to hop in a cab back to the hotel.
Since the hotel’s system was down, we were able to get right back into our room. One of the dads on the trip saw us, and his daughter loaned my daughter a swimsuit (we had already rechecked our bags with Cayman Airways). I bought a new suit in the gift shop. We went from mass chaos to another gorgeous morning on the beach.
It wasn’t the worst place to sit out a flight delay.
Thankfully, our 1:50pm flight was on time, and after waiting for 3 1/2 hours in Miami (we sat it out in the Admiral Club, where we were given free dinner and I was offered a free alcoholic beverage), we got home at midnight.
A long delay. But it gave us one more time at the beach.