I was stuck at the San Diego airport and, with all the planes being diverted to other airports for seven hours, the airport became very full – as in 10 gates, 100’s of people waiting and 1 set of restrooms. It was a standing room only situation and I learned a lot about how people react in situations good and bad.
Highlights of My Life Lessons at the Airport
1. When in Close Quarters We Like to Share Stories and Life Lessons
As we were waiting for updates on flight info and gate changes everyone seemed to have a story about a previous situation and how it was handled. This made us laugh, thankful and sometimes choked up but the situation in some small way brought us closer if only for a short time. We exchanged business cards, life lessons, contact information, photos, travel tips and more.
2. The More Prepared You Are the Easier It Is When the Unexpected Happens
There was a young couple with a 2 year old daughter who they took turns walking around with to keep occupied until there was no space to walk. The little girl NEVER once cried or threw a fit and had her own little suitcase on wheels that looked like a penguin. When I asked her what was inside she shared that she had packed it herself with what she would need. She then proceeded to pull out a pair of sunglasses, a cell phone, a set of headphones (with a charger) to listen to music, a book, and her favorite toy – a stuffed pink monkey. No wonder she was able to be easily occupied, she came with what she needed and was prepared.
3. We Let Down our Guard and Trust More
One of the things that amazed me was that I was sitting in the only row that had plugs built into the chairs and since we were there for all those hours, there were many people who asked me if they could charge their laptops, cell phones etc. Now that may not seem like a big deal, but, due to the crowded situation some of them had to leave their electronics charging while they sat rows away. Some needed to find the restroom or a bite to eat and be gone for the better part of an hour and I was amazed at the trust they had to leave such important devices with someone they had never met. Although, with the lack of planes, where was I going to go?
And the Bonus… I Learned a Travel Tip That I Will Use From Now On
One of the women I met shared that when traveling she brings an approved travel kit of 4 bottles that can be filled with liquids and, instead of filling with shampoo and conditioner, she fills them with water and juice. This is because when you are on a short flight the airline can only bring so much on the airplane. When they get diverted, they are unable to offer any more refreshments so you may have to go hours with no water or other refreshments.
Do you have an airport story or tip to share? Please post in the comments below!