Typically, a flight to the beautifully vibrant islands of Hawaii is about five hours for those of us in California. Most of the time, these trips are uneventful and result in a marvelous, relaxing visit. In fact, the Hawaiian Islands are one of my favorite vacation spots. I love the brilliant, clear skies and the scents of tropical flowers. Five hours in the sky seems nothing compared to the joy I experience once I’ve landed. Nevertheless, on this particular trip, one disaster after another nearly quelled my love of travel.
Planning our trip
It was a well-deserved vacation to the main island of Hawaii, better known as Oahu. My husband and I chose a date and a reputable airline specializing in flights to Hawaii. At the time, I had mobility issues requiring use of a wheelchair. I notified the airline about my specific needs and all seemed perfectly planned. Nevertheless, no one can possibly plan for what happened next.
Our flight goes very badly
All began as it should with our flight departing on time. However, roughly half way through our flight, we received a dreaded message from the pilot: “There appears to be a gas leak, so we will need to return home.” Consider this; we were 2-1/2 hours into our flight, which meant we would be in the air for the full five hours and yet no closer to the sunny skies of Hawaii.
Disappointed as we all were, most remained positive expecting repairs to go quickly. However, as time clicked by, moods darkened. Dark moods worsened, as we didn’t take off for another five hours.
Hawaii, here we come!
Once on the plane, we remained there until arriving in Hawaii. Deplaning hundreds of passenger into a dark and empty airport in the middle of the night was another drama-filled event. However, the real drama was about to unfold.
Wait; is that my wheelchair?
Tired, sore from sitting for over 13 hours in cramped seats we wait for my wheelchair to be returned to me. What arrived looked more like a pretzel than a brand-new wheelchair. At two in the morning, shocked and nearly in tears, my options were limited to an airport wheelchair. It was huge with tall poles on each side, but it worked. To this day, I can’t keep from chuckling about what other vacationers thought when they saw me wheeling toward them in that oversized airport-issued wheelchair.
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