Rescheduled, Cancelled , Rescheduled, Cancelled, Rescheduled, Rental Car, Cancelled, New Airline

JAN to DFW by Stephanie Arnett, 2023

Los Angeles to Mississippi

Groggy, I rubbed my eyes, rolled over, and confirmed that I had woken up before my alarm — 230am… again [thanks, Pacific Time]

California did not turn out to be the “sunny & 75” I was expecting. Instead, there was a winter weather storm notice, complete with strong winds, and cold rains

I will admit, I was a little anxious for the day’s events. The day before, my flight had been cancelled, but luckily, they were able to rebook me on a very similar flight

The start of my trip was smooth

Online check-in. Easy to check luggage. Short TSA line. Aisle seat. Onboard movie. Comfort seats.

It was when I landed in Dallas, that everything went south — fast…

The second my phone connected to the cellular service from the tarmac, text messages began flooding in

It was Paul, informing me my flight had been cancelled


I took a deep breath, gathered my things, and proceeded to the terminal

Once I stepped into the open area, I stopped, sat my backpack down, and called Will. He knew the flight had been cancelled, but was unable to find me a back-up. He recommended I grab the nearest hotel, take a hot shower, go to bed early, and catch the morning flight

I didn’t want to — I wanted to go HOME

I called Paul

Paul had searched high and low, but was unable to find me a flight out


Frustrated, I knew I needed to gain my bearings. I turned my phone off, and gave my brain freedom to throw its scenarios

I’ll drive

I messaged Paul. Ten minutes later, he called back, informing me there were no cars available. I asked him to look one more time, and he texted me back a confirmation code

Hurriedly, I went to claim my baggage, but it wasn’t there. The app said it was there, but it wasn’t…

I asked the claims area guy for assistance, and with as much kindness as he could muster, he informed me that my baggage was in fact NOT there, and it wouldn’t be. They had already processed it to be loaded onto my newly, auto-booked flight to Jackson — TWO DAYS LATER


Fine, I’ll get it later — I want to go HOME!!

Before I started my journey to the rental car area, I asked one last airline rep about my chances of flying out that evening… NONE

I started my trek to the rental car area. Too many steps later, I finally found where I was supposed to catch the transit bus

Excitedly, I walked into the rental car area, ready to get home. As I found the counter Paul had scheduled me for, my heart sank a little. Rows, and rows, and rows of people were ahead of me

I called Will. As he was doing his best to convince me not to drive into the pending storm, I became more frustrated. I wanted to go HOME

The line moved at a decent pace, and I finally made it to the final row. As I did, I heard they were overbooked, and all of the other counters were out of rentals as well

**my heart sank**

I called Paul. Being the travel PRO that he is, he booked me a room at the “limited rooms available because of cancelled flight passengers” Grand Hyatt. Knowing I did not know my way around the rental car place or airport, he texted me detailed directions

Defeated, I called Will

After our previous call, he had chatted with Xan, and they had gotten excited about me being able to beat the storm, and make it home. Now, we were all defeated…

I hung my head, and followed Paul’s directions to a T

As I walked to the bus pick-up location, all I saw were rows of busses labeled “OUT OF SERVICE”. Confused, I asked one of the drivers clearing out his bus how I would get back to the airport

With a gentle smile, he told me the storms required everyone to shut down early. As he said the words, he must have watched my heart sink. He stepped off the bus, got closer to me, and asked what I needed

Overwhelmed, I explained what I could muster. With confident and direct instructions, the gentleman told me where to go, and what to say. Magically, there was a bus where he told me it would be, and two other people in a similar situation

I made it back to the airport, and headed towards the hotel. For whatever reason, as I walked past the airline counter for the last time, I stopped

As I waited in line, I couldn’t help but notice how exhausted the reps were. Passenger after passenger, cancelled flight after cancelled flight, here they stood, ready to help

After a long wait, one of the reps waived me over. Her accent caught my attention quickly. Curious, I had to ask. She smiled, and told me she was from “The Islands”. Her soothing voice, and calming demeanor, settled me instantly

As she listened, she nodded with understanding. After fifteen plus minutes of looking at every option she could, she paused, smiled the biggest smile, and in her beautiful accent, said “Honey, I will get you home to your family… TONIGHT!!”

Eight hours later, as I laid my head down, on my own pillow, in my own bed, I said a prayer of gratitude

[please add to the list!!]:


– your luggage doesn’t always go where you go

– carry-on is no longer carry-on [if it has wheels, it runs a HIGH probability of being checked at boarding]

– take your must haves with you — PERIOD [medication, etc]

– backpacks are great for your business + personal items [they will not confiscate them at the gate as checked luggage]

– pack a credit card over a debit card [someone bought a used Honda on my debit card, which in-turn froze all of my accounts]

– carry-on two day’s worth of toiletries

– create a packing checklist in your phone’s “Note” section ; rinse & repeat for every trip, and never forget a necessity

Rental Cars:

– even though it is confirmed, it does not mean it is available


– cancelled flights are a way of like, so have a back-up list of airports you have access to

– being nice goes a long way

– give your neighbor behind you a courteous head’s up when you lean your seat back [the guy next to me had his laptop and drink end up in his lap unexpectedly]

– portable mobile device battery pack

– wristlet/lanyard to carry your phone, boarding passes, ID, etc [yes, you look like a nerd, but it beats dropping everything in your hands]

– chat with the other passengers, you never know who you will meet [but do not be annoying!!]


– missing HOME is real

– make the best of a bad situation

– teammates on the ground are priceless

– have someone at home “watching” you as you travel [weather, flight updates, help w/booking cars/hotels, etc]


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