How to Survive Canceled Flights and Airport Nightmares

aircraft dawnI was fortunate enough to have a visit from a couple of friends this weekend. They came to visit me from overseas on their way to further travels and we had a wonderful time together. But their trip wasn’t quite smooth sailing.

They were supposed to leave San Francisco Airport at just after noon, but they didn’t end up leaving until nearly 10:00 at night.

What happened?

Actually, neither my friends nor I know exactly. But there was some sort of mechanical problem on the plane. Apparently there was a loud, annoying noise that would make the flight an 11-hour headache for all involved.

So they waited on the plane for about three hours.

Then, they were herded like cattle back into the airport, where massive confusion ensued. There was talk of hotel vouchers, switching gates, and canceled flights.

It was tough to track down information on exactly what the heck was going on, but my friends managed it. They found out that their flight had been moved to another plane and the new departure time was late in the evening.

There were tons of things my friends could’ve been angry about. The mechanics should’ve checked everything out thoroughly before boarding the plane. Why did they have to wait three hours on the plane before being let off? Why didn’t anybody who worked at the airport seem to know what was going on? Why such a long delay?

But they weren’t angry or put out at all. When I picked them up from their flight, they were exhausted but they weren’t angry. Like me, they’ve unlocked the mind’s natural power to stay positive even when you’re stranded at airports.

It’s a simple situation – is the glass half-empty of half-full?

My friends realized:

  •  Today’s amazing technology allows us to travel across the earth in half a day’s time.
  • No matter how hard the journey, at the end of it awaits good friends, good times and new experiences.
  • They wouldn’t have been stranded completely because the airline would’ve given something, whether vouchers, an upgrade, or whatever.
  • Everybody involved was safe and in good health.

This is why, even after what ended up being a nearly 24-hour ordeal of a travel nightmare, my friends came off the plane smiling ready to warmly embrace me.

I’ve made this all sound easy, but it’s not. When adversity strikes, it’s much harder than you think to stay positive. But as I said, it’s just a matter of perspective. You don’t have to do anything in particular, but just look at things a certain way.

Looking for the good (or bad) in a situation is a habit.

My friends could make it through the trip on an even keel because they face adversity, stress, hassles, trouble, pain, trials and life’s irritating curve balls every single day… so does everyone, and so do you.

No matter what happens to you today or this week – whether it’s a cold, bad weather, getting treated rudely, going through a bureaucratic nightmare, or anything else that tests your patience – think of it as practice to build your habit of positive thinking.

When this habit is strong, nothing can faze you.

Photo of igor Griffiths

So what's your excuse again?

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