I’ve Been Flying for Almost Thirty Hours and the Flight Attendants Won’t Stop Crying
Thirty hours ago I hopped on a late-night flight from New York heading to Los Angeles. After boarding I saw that I had an entire row to myself. Take off passed without incident, and soon I was stretched out for a nap across the row.
I slept for a few hours, I don’t know how long, but I woke up to some severe turbulence. It’s possible that the lights in the cabin went out for a moment, but I was so disoriented that it’s hard to say.
I checked my phone to see that it was 4:03 AM, which I figured gave me about an hour until we landed. When I looked out my window, I was shocked to see nothing but wide open ocean. My jaw dropped; there’s obviously no ocean between New York and Los Angeles.
I hit the button to call the flight attendant and spent the next few minutes wracking my brain for a lake that could’ve been possibly been big enough to explain what I was seeing. I jumped when the attendant flipped off the light. She was grinning from ear to ear, and tears were pouring down her cheeks.
“How can I help you sir?” she asked.
I froze for a moment at her reaction before deciding to just ask my question. “Where are we? Why does it look like we’re flying over an ocean?”
She wiped her cheeks to clear the tears, still grinning wildly. “Sir, we’ll be landing in about an hour.”
“I, uh, OK, thank you,” I said.
After she left I checked the clock on my phone again. 4:03 AM blinked back at me.
It hadn’t changed.
I had to have been waiting with my call light on for at least five minutes. How was it possible that it hadn’t changed at all?
I opened up my laptop and saw it too displayed 4:03 AM. I pulled out my phone, started a stopwatch in the app, and spent the next two hours looking back and forth between the clocks, waiting for them to change.
They never did.
I tapped the shoulder of an older woman sitting in the row ahead of me. She looked back, an annoyed expression across her face. “Yes?” she asked.
“Do you know how long until we land?” I asked.
She narrowed her eyes. “That flight attendant said it would be about another hour.”
I shook my head in confusion. “That flight attendant? We talked almost two hours ago! We should’ve landed already.”
She stared at me as if I was crazy. I was going to continue trying to convince her, but I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun to see a male flight attendant grinning down at me, tears pinging off his cheeks onto my shoulder.
“Sir, I’m going to ask you to calm down, or I’ll be calling the Captain.”
I told him that wouldn’t be necessary and sat back. He removed his hand and stepped away.
The flight attendants continued to stop by every few hours offering meals. My stopwatch continued to tick up and is now telling me that I’ve been on this plane for more than thirty hours.
I’ve explored all of coach and tried talking to some of the other passengers, but they’ve all told me that they’re expecting to land in an hour or so.
Around three hours ago I tried getting into first class. I made it past the curtain but was escorted back by two grinning flight attendants. Their grip on my arms were like iron.
“Sir, the seatbelt sign is on,” one said. “Please remain in your seat with your buckle fastened. We’ll be landing in about an hour.”
I’d just about given up hope when a woman came down the aisle dressed in a business suit. She didn’t look at me or slow down, but she dropped a piece of paper onto my tray as she made her way to the bathrooms at the back of the plane.
I shot a look around before unrolling it.
It said, “Are you stuck too?”
I pulled out a pen and wrote “Yes. It’s been thirty hours.”
I folded the scrap of paper up and set it on the tray closest to the aisle. She left the bathroom and picked it up as she passed.
It’s been twenty minutes since then. I don’t know why, but I don’t think the flight attendants would like it if they knew we were talking. It doesn’t matter. I have to do something. I’ll update you all with whatever happens next. Click Here to Read Part 2