Stranded in New York: The 48-Hour Nightmare


Travelling by plane has never been a major problem with us. Fairly smooth flying, no delays, no emergency landings, etc. Thank God. So when we arrived at JFK International Airport last Thursday afternoon, I was happily dreaming that in just a few short hours, I’d be home in my beloved Texas.

We found our gate and settled in for a 2-hour wait. About an hour before we were to depart, I took a motion sickness pill. I probably should’ve cut that pill in half… I’ll explain later.

Mere minutes before we were supposed to board, someone announced over the loud speakers that our flight would be delayed until 6:30 pm, as our plane hadn’t arrived yet. Weather conditions were unstable. Great. Another two hours. We were mildly distressed, but settled into our seats as comfortably as we could. Barely half an hour passed before the screen at our gate was showing that departure time had been bumped to 7:30. 7:30?!? That meant we wouldn’t reach San Antonio until almost midnight. A long line began to form at the desk. My mom and I jumped on it and stood there over half an hour before we could gain any information.

The news wasn’t good. A young man a couple of people ahead of us spread the word that we would be able to fly out of JFK, but we wouldn’t be able to leave Memphis until 9:18 the next morning. We would have to sleep in the airport all night. This wasn’t good, since I wouldn’t be able to get any SCD-legal food for hours. 

By the time it was our turn at the desk, a 9:18 am departure from Memphis had been switched to a 1:44 pm departure. Now my dad was really panicking. I’d be almost 24 hours without legal foods, and the snacks I’d packed were halfway gone, because I’d gotten so hungry waiting. Dad was instructed to seek information at Gate 11, waaaay down the corridor. He and Mom rushed over there before a line formed while my sister and I guarded the bags.

They were gone almost an hour. Erica (my sister) and I were getting fidgety. Plus, the automatic updates for our flight hadn’t come over the loudspeakers in almost 45 minutes. It was 6:45. I began to worry that our gate had been switched. I walked across the corridor to the view screens which list the departing flights. Sure enough, our flight had been switched. I knew we would have to board soon, so I struck out to find my parents. I found Dad, and he told me we’d be staying at my aunt’s house until Saturday morning.

What a relief. I felt like crying. I wouldn’t have to worry about where I was going to get food. In God’s sovereignty, there was a health food store in the very village my aunt lived, and even more wonderful was the fact that I’d given my aunt my extra yogurt instead of trying to get it through security.

The motion sickness pill kicked in soon after we returned to my aunt’s house. I was exhausted and fell asleep watching tv. All the next day, I felt woozy when I stood and walked around. It’s an awful feeling. On top of that, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I should be on my way home. The whole day Friday I felt like I was travelling… only I wasn’t.

Finally, Saturday morning we were off. I didn’t take the motion sickness pill. We reached Atlanta ahead of schedule and got to our gate. On this connecting flight, our seats were scattered all over the place, so Dad went to negotiate. What he discovered instead was that our gate had been changed–to one allll the way across the terminal. We trudged across, Dad got our tickets, and we finally boarded for our last flight home. We arrived home at approximately 12:30 pm, almost 48 hours since the whole thing began.

The end.

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One thought on “Stranded in New York: The 48-Hour Nightmare

  1. Oh my, what a nightmare! So glad you had somewhere to stay, and glad you’re back at home. Take some time and relax!

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