It was bound to happen sooner or later; waking up on the morning of a flight to realize I may miss that flight. I travel frequently- whether to a conference or trade show, travel agent familiarization trip, or a vacation. My most recent travels had me attending a conference in Ohio. As is customary at such an event, I turned my cell phone to silent. After all, I did not want to be the one everyone stared out when one of our fabulous speakers, such as Laura Bush or Lopez Lomong told their story before an audience of 1200 people.
On the last night of the conference, I attended the closing reception, headed back to my hotel room, checked email, packed my suitcase, set my alarm and climbed into bed. My flight was at 9:45 AM, I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, as I planned to catch a taxi at 7:30 in the morning to allow myself plenty of time to arrive to the airport.
Well, God had other plans. I woke up, not to the sound of my alarm, but you know how sometimes when you are asleep and you are having a dream, and somehow your dream reaches to your subconscious and tells you to wake up. That is what happened. I woke from my dream and looked at the clock, it was 8 AM; my flight was in one hour and forty-five minutes! I looked at my phone and the alarm was going off, but there was no sound. That is when I realized, I forgot to turn the ringer back on!
I have never gotten dressed so fast in all my life. I called the front desk to hail me a cab, climbed in the elevator and hopped in the cab. I told him my story and I think he made it to the airport in record time. I was never so thankful to be at a smaller airport in all my life. No line to get my boarding pass and no line for security- divine intervention perhaps?
I made it to my gate by 8:45 AM, 45 minutes after getting up. I have no idea how I did that because it usually takes me longer than that to get ready for work in the morning. And back home, my gateway airport is ATL. You can have trouble getting from the international terminal to the T gates in 45 minutes at the ATL airport, but I managed to make it from my hotel bed to my gate is less than an hour. I was so thankful and to reward myself, I was able to buy a tasty skinny vanilla latte from the airport Starbucks.
I thought my adventures were over, but there is just one more little detail to add to story. I boarded the plane, took my seat and went to buckle my seatbelt. The only problem was I was missing part of my seatbelt. Now, I am not a million-mile flyer, but I fly a fair bit and this is something that has never happened to me, nor have I seen this happen before. The flight attendant was fumbling about looking for the other end of my seat belt. I was a full flight, so I could not move seats and all the jump seats were full. I was starting to think my morning adventures were all in vain. But finally, they were able to locate the other half of my seatbelt from another plane.
As I write this, my flight has reached cruising altitude and I am on my way home. I have learned two lessons; have faith because even some times going on a business trip can be about the journey, not the destination. And don’t forget to reset the volume on your phone.