From January 2, 2015
The seats at gate 63 were beginning to fill up. Everyone had arrived with precisely one hour of time to get to the gate, anticipating an on-time departure. Everything was going smoothly. No delays at the ticket counter. No hold-ups at security.
And then the announcement burbled out of the garbled intercom. Our flight was delayed, the plane having just left Denver. It would be over an hour until it reached us in Kansas City.
A and I sighed. I so much wanted to be home, curled in a chair sipping tea and napping. A mild soreness scratched at my throat and my body was starting to ache. Home, it appeared, wasn’t in the near future, but tea was still possible from the Starbucks across from our seats. After much discussion with the cashier about what was in stock, I ordered a passion fruit tea, hoping it would make me feel better.
Tea in hand, I settled in to people watch. The Starbucks was quite popular, in part because of one of the baristas. He talked happily to everyone who approached the counter.
I sipped the tea slowly, but found it still too hot, so I popped open the lid and set it on the floor. I was starting to zone out when inadvertently, the cup got kicked over, spreading a lovely violet stain across the blue carpet. Before I even had a chance to despair, the third Starbucks barista rushed over with a box of super absorbent towels and helped us dab up the puddle. And then, without even hesitating, she asked if I would like another cup of tea, mine having hardly been consumed at all.
Her kindness immediately erased my grumpiness and a few minutes later I relaxed with a second cup of tea. The gregarious barista, sensing that our flight would soon be arriving, offered me a cup of ice to help cool the tea and as the plane was touching down, I finished the last of it, feeling infinitely better.
Having a flight delayed is usually completely frustrating, but wonderful people, like those at the gate 63 Starbucks definitely turned my attitude around and reminded me that there are a million worse things than a late flight.