Trying to Leave JFK
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Woke up at 3:45 am, got ready, hopped in my cab and was off to JFK. I knew I needed to get to the airport a little early because from prior experience I knew the lines would be long. They're always long for the flights to the Caribbean. I arrived at JFK, got in line and was told my flight would be a little delayed getting in from another airport. Okay, no problem, I called my friend Robert who was leaving from Newark aiprort on a different flight to tell him I would be delayed and to just wait for me at the airport in St. Martin/St. Maarten. He's a buddy of mine who had some free time and decided to accompany me on this trip, his first real Caribbean trip. I decided to find a Starbucks. Once there, I ordered a bagel with cream cheese and my tall decaf mocha with whipped cream and just relaxed a bit.
Afterwards I made my way to the gate, found a seat, turned on my mp3 player and waited to be boarded. I waited and waited. After waiting for almost two hours, we were told once again, that the flight would be delayed a little longer. Okay, no problem, it was still early and I could still enjoy most of the late afternoon on the beach once I got there (my flight was originally scheduled to leave at 6:30 in the morning. ) Okay now it was 11:30 and finally we were boarded. So now we are sitting in the plane on the runway, everyone has boarded, and the luggage is all on. An hour later we're still at the gate and have not moved. Everyone on the plane is starting to get really inpatient. The captain then makes an announcement over the loudspeaker saying that the flight has been cancelled. Now everyone was starting to get pissed off. First we were delayed a few hours and now the flight was cancelled. I was getting pissed. He went on to tell us that the flight has been cancelled and all other flights leaving for the Caribbean that day due to the volcano eruption, again, on the Island of Monserrat. There was just too much ash in the air (which if it gets in the engine of a plane is not a good thing, can bring it down) so they were not going to risk having flights passing over that. I could not believe it, what a nightmare. Why can't I just go on vacation without a hitch. Anyway, so we got off the plane and made our way to the American Airlines ticket counter. What a madhouse, it was sheer madness. People were yelling at the agents, they were looking frazzled, it wasn't their fault any of this was happening but unfortunately they were taking the brunt of everyone's frustration and anger. It was chaos. While everyone was screaming at the ticket agents, I calmly went over to one and explained that I was on the flight to St. Martin that was cancelled. She informed me that they had already booked me on the first flight out the next morning. It was already late afternoon and I was starting to get a headache there was no way I was going to go back home and get up at 3:30 in the morning to get back to the airport. So I asked if they were putting anyone up at a hotel. She said yes, gave me my vouchers for the hotel by the airport and some food vouchers too. I then went to baggage claim got my luggage and headed out to the hotel. Now, as all this was happening, I wasn't sure what happened to Robert's flight. There were rumors flying at the airport that some were diverted to San Juan, Puerto Rico. So once I got checked in to my room at the hotel, I managed to reach him on his cel phone. I was like hey Robert where are you? He said "where am I, I'm waiting for you here at the airport in St. Martin". Okay so he made it. At least one of us did and was going to be able to check into the apartment. I explained what happened and told him I would call the management office of the apartment rental and let them know he was on his way and I would see him tomorrow. I reached the management office, explained to them what happened, they said no problem.
I was exhausted after being up so early that morning, so I went downstairs ate a light dinner and went back upstairs to my room, watched some TV, set the alarm and fell out.