This post almost didn’t happen. In fact, this post shouldn’t have happened. But sometimes when you travel, unexpected things happen. Unexpected things, like Boston!

Our flight from Punta Cana to JFK was going really well. We left on time and the flight was one of the smoothest I’d been on. The duration of the flight was meant to be just under four hours. After our initial arrival time had passed and several banking turns later, we started to realize that something must be wrong. Finally the American Airlines pilot came on the radio and said that the weather had deteriorated in New York and so air traffic control had instructed us to go into a holding pattern. Unfortunately we were running low on fuel so the announcement was made that we would reroute to Boston to refuel and then head back to JFK.

Still on the plane

This didn’t bother me too much. We’d only left five hours ago and I’d much prefer to land safely than try to land in a storm. We were told we were second in line for the fuel truck and we should be back in the air within 45 minutes. THREE HOURS LATER the pilot finally announced we had been refueled and were now cleared by air traffic control in JFK to head back to New York. We were told it was a short flight – 40 minutes and we’ll be there! So about nine hours since we left and we’d finally reach our destination.

About an hour into he flight back to JFK a very sheepish pilot came back on the radio to announce that the weather had actually gotten much worse since we left Boston and that all flights into NY have now been cancelled. Back to Boston we go!!  It should also be noted here that none of the staff working on the flight spoke Spanish – which I thought was odd seeing that we’d just left from a Spanish speaking country.  Karla was asked to translate what the captain was saying to all the non English speaking passengers!

Once we landed (again) in Boston we were told that due to most flights being diverted here from New York and the fact we we were an international flight and had to clear customs, there would be a short delay in getting us all off the plane. Two hours later we finally disembarked the plane we had boarded 11 hours prior for a ‘less than four hour flight’ only to be greeted with a customs line that was so long it took another three hours to get through.

We made it through customs at roughly 2am. Collected our bags and headed to the American Airlines desk to see when we could get on a flight to New York. We we’re told 10am but we’d have to fly with US Airways. No worries! As it was less than eight hours until we flew out we decided to setup camp at Boston International Airport. Karla setup her digs on our suitcase, Gabe managed to steal a foldaway bed from what appeared to be a homeless guy and Jack and I roughed it on the floor.

The next morning everything went fairly smoothly, with the exception of US Airways charging us $100 for luggage because it was a domestic flight. Very annoying but we were too tired to worry about it and just wanted to get out of there.

Bad night sleep

So there you go. The post that shouldn’t have been. We did however managed to get a Boston stamp in our passports and can hopefully assume that the worst of airport adventures are behind us!

Tips for when you’re stuck in an airport:

  • Always have a sense of humor
  • Don’t freak out at the staff – they want to go home as much as you!
  • Find a quiet, and if possible darker, part of the airport to sleep
  • Wheelchair monos offer some comic relief

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  • Kieron

    What a frustrating experience! Surely AA should have put you up in accommodation for the night? I had a similar experience in Melbourne recently but Emirates were good enough to offer accommodation (in Geelong), cabcharges and dinner vouchers.

    Good on you for making the most of your time in Boston though, totally love the wheelchair pic hahaha.

    • Angus

      AA’s policy doesn’t allow for accommodation if the reason for delay is out if their control – i.e. weather.

      That said, I don’t think I’ll ever fly with them again. I’ve never had good experiences with them. Stick with either Delta or if you can managed to check in early online, Southwest.

  • Andy Powell

    Thanks for the regular updates guys, loving the read.

    Laying here, tucked up warm in bed with a mancold, I can appreciate how much sleeping on the airport floor must have sucked. But I’m glad you’ve had some amazing experiences since then to keep the smiles going.

    Keep the entries coming, they’re inspiring and exciting and they’ll serve as great memories when (or if) you return.

    • Angus

      Rug up Andy. We’ll send you some warmth from Spain. Unless you want to come help me celebrate my 30th. Last chance!

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