On crash landings and sleeping in the airport (Thanks, JamboJet)

Stranded at the airport

When I shared some photos on social media of my kids spending the night at the airport, a lot of you asked what happened. After our incredible Thanksgiving weekend at the coast, our family spent a horrible night at the airport in Mombasa. Here’s how it went…

During our flight back from the coast, another plane made an emergency landing in Nairobi, so we were rerouted to Mombasa. There was NO communication from our airline (JamboJet, if you’re wondering) for the next SEVEN HOURS. JamboJet finally made an announcement at 1 AM. “We regret to inform you that all flights have been cancelled.” Needless to say, there was chaos in the airport. Where were our bags? What was supposed to happen next? No one told us.

My family and I were forced to spend the night in the terminal, along with hundreds of other stranded passengers. We managed to get the kids to sleep in chairs, but we had to sleep on the dirty, insect-ridden floor. It was not a good situation for anyone.

Our flight was eventually rescheduled for 8 AM, but by boarding time there was still no sign of our plane. We found out later that the crew had gone to a hotel at 9 PM the previous evening, and had not yet returned. We also found out that our luggage had been offloaded the night before as well. In the end, our flight finally took off sometime after 10 AM.

If the airline had informed us that the crew had departed and that our baggage had been offloaded, stranded travelers would have been able to decide whether to remain in the airport or find a hotel. Our kids could have slept somewhere clean and safe. Instead, we spent a horrible, uncomfortable, sleepless night on the floor of the airport. I’m not even asking for a free hotel room here – just information. That’s all.

Meanwhile, our family is back home and back to normal now. We felt about a million times better after a full night’s sleep in our own beds once we finally made it home. I’m amazed at how resilient children are! They are such troopers.

Thanks for all your thoughts and wishes – we were so happy to finally be home!


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