Stranded without basics at DFW a lesson learned

Published on Monday, 9 December 2013 23:00 - Written by DAYNA WORCHEL dworchel@tylerpaper.com

The American Eagle flight left Tyler Pounds Regional Airport on Thursday just a little bit later than I had planned because of the bad weather in Dallas.

I just didn’t think the sleet and snow would be bad enough to actually cancel flights — but my mind was soon changed after I saw the ice begin to collect on the airplane wings and windows as I sat on my flight headed south. Every 15 or 20 minutes, the pilot would come on to say that our plane was in line to be de-iced, and that our departure time was being pushed back.

I was heading south on some personal business, and I really needed to get to where I was going. With each announcement from the pilot, my hopes sank further and further. At long last, the dreaded announcement came — the flight had been cancelled.

I felt a sense of dread as I got off the plane and found out there wouldn’t be another flight leaving for my destination until late the next morning. Not long afterward, I learned most all of the hotels near the airport were filled, and those further away had stopped sending shuttles because of the icy road conditions.

The realization hit and it wasn’t pretty: I was going to be spending the night at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and the cots that American Airlines had placed in Terminal A were quickly snatched up by other stranded passengers. I was able to grab a blanket, some water and a nutrition bar the airline provided.

Across the terminal, passengers were settling in for the night, setting up their cots and getting comfortable. I picked a remote spot on the floor with just a small blanket for cover. I wanted to cry — I missed my husband, my daughter and my cats. And I felt like a bag lady inside of the airport brushing my teeth and washing my face in the ladies room.

On Friday, I was fortunate enough to snag a room at a nearby hotel where I quickly grabbed a shower and some food — only to lose power at the hotel. But thankfully, it came back on quickly.

I never did get to my final destination — after many more cancelled flights, I gave up and called my husband, Harris, to come and get me. The roads in Dallas were treacherous, but we made it back home in one piece. Never again will I take the comforts of a nice, comfortable home and bed for granted.