Today was one of the most persistently uncomfortable days I’ve had in a long, long time, owing to a line of “weather” across the country that delayed the departure of my flight to Detroit to 3 hours (which I spent in a hot plane, both on the tarmac and returning to the gate for more fuel) and shook us up like dice in a cup most of the way here.
I missed my connection to Grand Rapids, and got rebooked on another flight, which was cancelled but not until 2 hours later, when it was too late for me to make other arrangements. The first flight they could put me on isn’t until midday tomorrow. Meanwhile, owing in part to the uncertainty of my arrival, the business matter that was drawing me to Grand Rapids was postponed to another day, so technically I don’t have to go there at all — except my checked bags are going there, and my itinerary for the rest of the week picks up there, so I might as well.
And so I’m here in the Detroit Airport Westin, waiting for morning, when I’ll rent a car and hurtle across Michigan in yesterday’s underwear to Grand Rapids to pick up my luggage, which will get there a couple hours before I do.
I could easily get quite pissed off, as I heard numerous people do in the airport today, and on the plane, and in the hotel lobby, and on and on. But if this is the worst day I have this year, I’m a very fortunate man. I’m sitting in a perfectly congenial lobby bar in a clean, inoffensive hotel (next to a large stand of lobby bamboo, which I never saw before but which ambiencewise is highly recommended), which I’m staying in on someone else’s dime, sipping a lovely cocktail (which I’m paying for) and listening to Brazilian background music and the resigned but not unhappy voices of my fellow “interrupted travelers.”
Nevermind the misfortune of not having been born American and in the twentieth century; plenty of people who meet those two criteria nevertheless had much worse travel days today than I did, and I’m objectively grateful for the pleasure of sitting in this reasonably comfortable, inoffensively tan contract-furniture armchair, waiting out the evening in peace.
I would prefer not to have been “interrupted,” but weather is weather, and on the whole I’ve been treated quite decently by Delta. (I note without particular animus that I’ve now had two of my last three trips involving a Delta Connection carrier be “interrupted” with an overnight hotel stay, and I’ll probably get in the habit of opting for mainline flights a little more religiously,)