This vacation was no different. We were headed for Anguilla. Our flight had a connection in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for what was indicated on our itinerary and boarding passes, was two hours. As Danielle I exited the plane in San Juan, with intentions of going to get some lunch before boarding our next flight, I started walking "right" to check the flight schedule board when Danielle said, "c'mom, it says we re-board at 12:29 on our tickets, let's just go get lunch." Foolishly, having traveled all around the world, and knowing how flights have been known to change, I listened to my impatient sister, and headed left - the opposite direction - to go eat.
We did have a lovely little lunch, laughing the whole time, reminiscing about silly stuff. Then, at 12:00, we realized we better get moving to board our flight. There we were, walking a nice, comfortable pace; following the signs directing us down an escalator to the gate. All excited, all smiles, boarding pass in hand, we approach the desk, where "Rafael" was standing. I noted to myself how there was no line - were we early? Had everyone boarded already? With a friendly and cordial smile, Rafael says, "Hello Ladies, can I help you?" We hand him our boarding passes, chatting and making small talk with this cute Puerto Rican man. Looking at our boarding passes, Rafael's facial expression soon changes from relaxed and friendly, to concerned and worried and replies, "That flight took off ten minutes ago." So, now, I glance at the the board behind Rafael and see that the flight time was 11:50AM. Trying to make sense of what is happening, I immediately want to kick myself HARD in the butt for listening to Danielle and not re-checking when we first landed.
Ever optimistic, I say, "Ok no big deal, what time is the next flight?" The answer wasn't one that either me or Danielle was prepared to hear. He replies, "the next flight to Anguilla is 9PM tonight." 9 HOURS AWAY!! What in the hell do we do at the San Juan Airport for nine hours!!! I silently want to kill Danielle. Our airline friend was kind enough to give us passes to the American Airline lounge, so we can at least sit in comfort for the next nine hours and even grab a bite to eat.
So, off we go, carry-ons in hand, to the lounge to spend the entire day. Clearly after this debacle, I wasn't about to leave the grounds of the airport for fear of missing yet another flight, so we decide to stay put. Thankfully, Danielle brought a video camera, so between talking, laughing, trying to nap, playing cards and eating snacks, we made silly videos of each other. This was before cell phones, so our only method for communicating with the outside world was to make "credit card" calls to our parents and friends, only to be met with laughter at how stupid we were.
Counting down the hours keeping a tally as each hour passed, it was finally time to board our 9PM flight. Had we actually spent all this time in a lounge?? At last we boarded this one and one-half hour flight and made it to our island destination of Anguilla for nine days of relaxation! You can bet, I NEVER rely on what my boarding pass says and I always double check the flight boards!!