A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher
Perhaps modern airlines should erect this quote in prominent places throughout airports.
They seem to believe in it, despite what their patrons expect.
Case in point:
Before the holidays, Domer told me one of his friends had managed to snag tickets to the Notre Dame-Clemson football game Dec. 29 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
He was beside himself with excitement.
This was a playoff game, and it had been several years since ND had reached this pinnacle.
Since Domer would be home for the holidays, he booked his flight from St. Louis to save on time and costs.
It was to be a quick trip, leaving Friday for the Saturday afternoon game and returning on Sunday.
I fretted a bit over the possibility of icy roads (it being December and all), but Friday dawned cloudy and on the warm side.
Domer and I loaded his suitcases into my car and drove to the airport, leaving plenty of time for check-in, lunch together, and proper good-byes (since I refused to drop him at the curb and run).
Anyway, while we were eating burgers and fries, he got a text from the airline that his flight had been canceled.
No explanation, no rebooking options, nothing.
And when he tried to access their website, it refused to load.
I checked radar, which indicated everything was clear. He texted his buddy, who said his flight was still on schedule.
What could be wrong?
Trying not to panic, I suggested we were this close so we might as well go to the ticket counter and find out.
The representative told us they’d had wicked weather in Dallas the day before and were doing everything possible to play catch-up.
She said they didn’t have a crew to man Domer’s plane, but they could get him on another plane, leaving around midnight Saturday and returning the next day.
Right, and he’d miss the entire game.
We asked if he could be transferred to another airline.
Everything’s full, we were told. It’s the holidays.
After assurances that Domer’s money would be refunded, we carried his luggage back to the car and drove home.
Disappointed, but realistic.
After all, we know we’re not “good travelers,” based on Lao Tzu’s definition.
We fix our plans and have every intention of arriving on schedule.
People like us probably should drive instead!
P.S. When Domer watched the game on TV and saw the final score (ND lost 30-3), he realized the cancellation wasn’t a disaster after all.