Anna McDougall: Houston, We Have a Problem

By the time the American Airlines group touched down in Buenos Aires, the United Airlines group was still stuck in Houston.

It started innocently enough– a mild thunderstorm, a forty-five minute delay. But delays started piling up, and eventually someone with keen skills of observation mentioned that it was midnight, so we were technically on day two of our trip. Before this point, people were only somewhat annoyed, as it’s difficult to stay in one place for a long time when you’re traveling to someplace exciting. But by midnight, the Houston group was genuinely concerned.

We finally boarded the flight at 1 a.m. with immense relief. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Because lightning had struck so close to the plane during the storm, the crew was unsure that the plane was in good enough condition to take off. The flight was rescheduled to 10:30 the next morning. And while everyone recognized that flying in a potentially dysfunctional airplane is not advisable, that did not override the sense of disappointment.

Everyone settled down in creatively fashioned beds made of airport chairs, neck pillows, backpacks, airplane chairs, and the floor. Groups of people woke up at differing times to use the complimentary food vouchers to buy breakfast and explore the increasingly familiar Houston terminal. We boarded (again) at 10:30, and passed an eleven hour flight with sleep and movies.

At around 10:30 pm (Argentinian time), the speckled gold lights of Buenos Aires appeared thought the cloud cover. MYSO cheered as the plane touched down. As I’m writing this, past midnight, we are on our way to the Dazzler Hotel.

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