She asked the attendant if the airline could help them find accommodation or point them to a nearby hotel. But instead of answering her, the attendant furrowed her brows with irritation in her eyes.
She didn’t offer her and her daughter assistance, only insisting that the flight had been postponed to the next day. Before Kerry knew it, she and her kid were in an empty parking lot swallowed by thick snow at 2 AM.
When Kerry Alban and her daughter decided to book a flight to Juneau, Alaska, they only wanted to spend their Christmas with their family away from the hustle and bustle of New York.
Kerry was finalizing the last of her nursing exams for the holiday while her daughter had already cleared her first-grade tests. A simple trip home would result in one of the most distressing experiences of their lives.
As with many Americans during the holidays, Kerry and her kid were sure to book their flight early enough to avoid any inconveniences caused by delays.
Kerry, who hadn’t been home for nine months, couldn’t wait to see her family and old room again. She cleared her exams, packed their bags, and hopped into an airport-bound cab as quickly as possible. She had no clue what awaited her and her daughter at the airport.
Kerry and Leila, her daughter, had secured a 9 PM flight that would last seven hours in the sky. Kerry hoped they’d sleep through the flight and wake up in the snow-covered north she called home.
They made their way through the many airport halls to their terminal, ready for their long flight together. But trouble was already barreling their way.
“I thought that the airline crisis wouldn’t affect me, but it turns out it did,” Kerry shared, telling her story on a popular social media platform.
Many travelers had been facing nightmares while trying to traverse the country that winter. Kerry had heard several heartbreaking stories of flights being canceled. She never thought she’d suffer a far worse fate.
“Leila and I waited through six delays until our flight was canceled,” said Kerry. The flight that was supposed to take off at 9 PM was first pushed to 10 PM because of weather changes.
The delays kept coming until, by the end of it, six hours had passed, with Kerry and her daughter still waiting at the terminal. Although she tried to stay hopeful throughout the ordeal, Kerry couldnt help but admit that they wouldn’t be flying that night.
The flight attendants assured the mom and daughter, among other passengers, that they would fly that night. But a few minutes passed 2 AM, and they announced that the flight was pushed until 2 PM the next day.
Since most airport terminals didn’t operate past 2 AM, an attendant insisted on accompanying Kerry and Leila to pick up their luggage. Afterward, he sent them to the main terminal. The nightmare was about to begin.
The attendant who helped Kerry get her luggage informed her she’d get further assistance at the main terminal. But now that she and Leila were here, no one else was in sight.
Growing a bit worried, Kerry decided to reach out to one of the attendants from the airline she’d booked. It was too late in the night for her daughter and her to return to her college apartment, and she wondered if the airline could offer them accommodation.
Kerry asked the attendant if the airline could help them find accommodation or point them to a nearby hotel. But instead of answering her, the attendant furrowed her brows with irritation in her eyes.
She didn’t offer Kerry and her daughter assistance, only insisting that the flight had been postponed to the next day. Her nightmares were only beginning to take shape.
“I held my composure,” revealed Kerry. “I was shaking, and I was very, very distraught by the way I was being treated. They didn’t even have the decency to give us three names of nearby hotels that may or may not have availability that we could check.”
She tried to ask for directions to nearby hotels, but the attendant called security to escort her and her daughter out. Before she knew it, they were alone in a snow-swallowed parking lot at 2 AM.
Kerry and Leila were locked outside of the airport past midnight. “There was no soul on that lot except Leila and me, and we’re standing there with all of our belongings,” Kerry said.
She revealed that she had all her: cards, passport, and ID with her. “Someone could have easily pulled up with their car and caused harm to us.” She felt lost, hopeless, and vulnerable, praying that she and her kid would make it through the night.
Kerry was forced to think fast, calling all hotels in the area one after the other. She managed to book a room for seven hundred dollars, which was meant for her student loan payments.
“I couldn’t risk my child’s health and safety. I had to do it.” They would spend the night in a warm hotel room away from the snowfall. But in the morning, Kerry would begin her quest for justice.
Kerry called airport management the following day, detailing her experience. But management told her it could do nothing since the people she’d dealt with were employed by the airline.
But when she called the airline, their representative told her the airline was neither liable for the weather change that caused the delays nor the airport closing. But it didn’t stop there.
“We’re not liable for our reps berating you,” the airline stated. “We’re not liable for anything.” The airline and airport representatives would throw Kerry into limbo after directing her to customer care, where none of her calls would go through.
Giving up, she and Leila would board the 2 PM flight and head home. Kerry would share her story online for awareness, not knowing the results it would garner.
Kerry’s story went viral. In a caption accompanying the post, she wrote, “I love traveling because I love learning more about the world and seeing so many different corners of the world.” “I never really have had any disastrous trips, but it sucks that I’m going to look back on this particular trip that had good memories while I was there tainted by the bad memory of me trying to just go back home.”
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.