Yes, it definitely provided a bit of comfort among the chaos at the desk at the gate. Like, at least somebody hears us, le stranded. Then, about half an hour after this exchange, we get word: "Ladies and gentlemen, we need everyone on the plane NOW, as we've just been told that if we don't take off by 855, we will be stuck here much longer."
Carla and I and much of the gate let out an appreciative "WOOOO!" And got into line. I'd been texting with Melissa, stuck out on another flight, just waiting on the tarmac for the go-ahead to take off. The flight now, eleven hours after I arrived at Rochester Airport, was a bit different: nearly everybody had been drinking, and there were a few empty seats due to people opting out of the long wait. A woman in my row, about sixty, barely said a peep in our three hours together in the morning - now she was so happy to be on a flight, and kept on repeating, "Jorge, oh, Jorge, you latin man, get me home!" - as our pilot's name was Jorge. It was kind of incredible, and I'm pretty sure it was due to vodka.
Everyone, including myself, was still anxious. We didn't know if we'd actually be able to take off. And then the pilot came on: "Folks, we're going to have to wait another 50 minutes..." LOUD GROANS. My head was in my hands, exhausted as there was NOWHERE to sleep or lay comfortably in the airport and I had still only slept about five hours the night before. Two minutes later: "We just got the go-ahead! We'll be taking off in a couple of minutes!" Seriously, there was excitement in his voice and the whole cabin clapped and cheered and there were many a drunken hollering.
It was 912 PM, as I shut my cell off - I had just texted Melissa telling her "I think we are taking off now?? XO" and her last text to me was - "We're heading back to the gate :("
As soon as the plane took off, I passed out. The next thing I know, the bumpy landing wakes me up as the plane's tires hit the tarmac at JFK. WOOOOO!
I text Melissa - she is still in Rochester. The airline has chartered a BUS for her and the rest of the passengers to take to JFK, which is an 8 hour drive. There are no flights to JFK out of Rochester for the next two days, as they've all been booked. Bum. Out.
I'm still exhausted today, and have a very busy week ahead of me at work. I do only have a four-day week. Guess where I'll be on Thursday night? ANOTHER AIRPORT! YAY!