11:15am, December 24th
Hi, Mom, I'm in the cab on my way to the airport, trying to call Delta but it's busy. Can you have Rick look up my flight on the internet? I don't know the flight number, but I leave at 1:05.
Bad news, it says her flight is canceled.
I arrived at Reagan National to a line 4 football fields long, checked the departing flights, and sure enough, my flight and all of the flights to various points in Florida were canceled. I stood at the end of the line and called and called 1-800-221-1212. Finally, they answered and the man was on the phone with me for over an hour, checking flights out of Reagan, BWI, Dulles, Philly, and Richmond and into West Palm, Orlando, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Melbourne. Nothing until December 26.
What about other airlines?
You'll have to ask at the desk. I can't look that stuff up.
I finally get my shot at the Delta desk in Reagan. I politely tell the woman behind the counter that I need her to check other airlines for me so I can possibly get home for Christmas. She says, I've been looking at them all day. We're all in the same sad situation. There are no flights. I'm sorry.
Crying, I phone home to break the news to my family. Rick says he just saw a JetBlue flight that leaves from Dulles (5:00) and lands in Ft. Lauderdale (8:30). And $270 later I was watching the little TV screen on JetBlue and home in time for the Christmas Eve candlelit O Holy Night singing church service.