What started as a short trip stretched long into the day, fog the culprit.

The pilot, unable to visualize the runway to land, circled three times over the fog. Finally, he announced the plan to divert to another airport with clear visibility, get gas and borrow time for the weather to improve.

Touching down for what the pilot assured us was a ten minute stop for a ‘splash of fuel’ at an airport not on my itinerary, I felt annoyed. Ten minutes stretched into thirty, passengers shared concerns about connections. Finally, the flight took off for the original airport again and the fog had lifted enough to land.

In the end, I missed my connecting flight, as did most of the other passengers. The two agents assigned to help one hundred passengers re-book flights were more patient than the passengers. The line extended between gates and caused even more confusion for arrivals and departures. A woman crying and nearly hysterical pleaded with one agent. Another family with small children struggled to entertain them while waiting in line for thirty minutes. Several people frustrated about missing a golf outing congregated contemplating a rental car. The family headed to San Juan for vacation re-booked for the next day. Some angry passengers assumed the airline would pay for the inconvenience. With a weather-related delay, this did not happen.

As I stood in line, I decided to take one minute to feel the weight of my backpack. I lifted my shoulders, rotated them slowly back, finally dropping them again. With each movement I felt the weight in a different way. Shifting from my left foot to my right, I noticed the impact of the weight on my ankles. Walking and pulling the roller bag behind me, I noticed my body leaning forward, straining against the weight on my back. I took a deep breath in, shifted back slightly, and relaxed my arms and hands.

I learned I had six more hours to enjoy this airport before my next flight.

Mentastics Minute:
Carrying a backpack and/or managing luggage through an airport

Take one minute to feel the weight of the backpack. Lift the shoulders, rotate them slowly back, and drop them again. With each movement feel the weight across the shoulders, the clavicle, the back. Shift slowly from left foot to right, notice the impact of the weight on the ankles both while standing and then while walking. Are you leaning forward, straining against the weight? Take a deep breath in, shift back slightly, and relax the arms and hands.