That time my grandma got a plane to turn around and come back for us

If I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes, I would never have believed it. No one gets a plane to actually turn around and come back for them – especially post 9-11. Inconceivable, you might say!

No one, that is except for my wonderful, amazing, one of a kind grandmother.

Here’s the story. My grandma was turning 80 years old, and my birthday present to her was a cross-country road trip. I had traveled to Ruston, Louisiana, for her family birthday party, and the plan was to fly back to California (where I was living at the time), to drive back East. My grandma and I were all decked out in our very large-brimmed hats that we had naturally purchased for the trip, and we were having a grand old time waiting for our flight.

When they announced we had a two hour-delay, my grandma demanded we call my brother and dad who had just dropped us off, and tell them to come back to take us out for margaritas. Oddly enough, they were easily persuaded. We figured we were swimming in time. Sure enough, when we finally got back to the airport, a few margaritas later, the plane had just left. Note to self: when a flight is delayed, it doesn’t necessarily mean you leave the actual airport.

Two things were in our favor, though. One – we were at the Monroe, Louisiana airport. Up until a few years ago, this airport was so small that you picked up your bags on the curb outside. True story. Two, my grandma ran up to the desk, and started telling our story. I don’t remember much, except for her repeatedly saying, “I’m 80, I’m 80, I’m 80!” It must have been something about our grandma-granddaughter road trip pulling at their heartstrings, or maybe the fact that she has a way of simply wearing people down, but sure enough, they actually turned the plane around.

I taught middle school for years, so I know a lot about hostile crowds. Yet I can safely say that no crowd has ever been as cold as the crowd we encountered on that flight. My grandma, thankfully, was completely oblivious. She made her way down that aisle, smiling and greeting everyone. Mind you, we were still in our huge road-trip hats, which kept making it difficult for us to move forward in the plane. Eventually, we took them off, and shuffled back to the very last row, where we were sitting. That journey down the plane aisle felt never-ending, but finally, mercifully, we sat down, and escaped the stares and glares.

As we took off, my grandma turned to me, smiled, and said, “Being 80 is going to be so much fun!”

Do you have any crazy road trip or plane stories to share?