Indirect Flight

Shannon Cron

As I waited in anticipation for the “Seat Belts On” light to dim, I thought, “This plane is never going to take me home.” It was nearing 2 a.m., and the 22 other “Red Knights on a Mission” and I were still sitting on a plane in Sioux Falls, South Dakota–home of Mount Rushmore and not much else–despite the fact we had left Guatemala at 10 a.m.

Our plane circled Minneapolis for hours, running on fumes, as severe storms hovered over the airport. Our pilot had no other choice but to reroute us to South Dakota, where hot dish is an essential part of the social scene. We were all a little sweaty from sprinting to make our connection flight earlier, and sitting in a stalled airplane was neither ideal nor sanitary.

We all had a tough time swallowing the situation, which was surprising, considering we hadn’t eaten anything since we left Guatemala ten hours earlier. One passenger attempted to order pizza, but unfortunately when he called Pizza Hut and told them our location was terminal two, they were not able to complete the order.

There was rage in the recycled air, and I tried to brighten the mood–as if the sun rising wasn’t enough to do that–with a lighthearted story. Before I could even begin my tempestuous tale, an overly tired peer informed me that every story I tell is awful and I should never tell one ever again. He then stomped back to his seat in a fit of agitation, while I was left with a feeling of utter dismay.

I looked over to my right to see what my friend’s reaction to his insulting comment was, only to discover she had conked out, sprawled out over the tray table. Instead of trying to wake up my drooling companion–which would have been like trying raise my third grade goldfish from the dead–I just sat there, trying to figure out what to do next. Being the perma-perky person that I am, I had a hard time dealing with the level of bitterness in the cabin.

The less-than-thrilled flight attendants seemed to have disappeared for the last four hours, seeing as two of the passengers had been the ones serving water. Clearly not used to working overtime, they informed us–full of forced enthusiasm–that we were finally headed home.

I just love air travel, especially when the majority of the time is spent on the ground.