January 21, 2020

Travel Diaries: The Time We Got Stranded on the Wrong Island

Posted in: Story of Us, Travel Diaries

Wrong.  It was all wrong.  No luggage.  No connecting flights.

Weston and I were blissful newlyweds.  As in we just got married two days prior.  We had traveled together on mission trips and with our families, but this was the first time it was just the two of us.  Our first flight from Pensacola to Miami was delayed.  They assured us it would not be a problem.

Except there was a huge problem.  When we landed in Miami, our connecting flight to Antigua had already boarded.  It took off before we could even get off the plane.  The nightmare had begun.

We rushed to the other side of the airport where we were supposed to connect flights.  The flight attendant instructed us to see customer service about getting on the next flight.  Once we made it to the counter, the representative was already annoyed from dealing with travelers before us.  We explained the situation.  She told us the next flight to Antigua was the following morning.  “But wait!”  she said.  “I can get you on a flight to a nearby country that has a connecting flight to Antigua tonight.”

Since we didn’t want to waste a night we had already paid for at Sandals Antigua and the opportunity to visit another country was staring us in the face, we decided to book it.  The airline didn’t offer to pay for it (even though all of this was their mistake).  We didn’t mind though because we were making progress to get to our destination.  Or so we thought.

Within a couple of hours, we were on our way to St. Kitts and Nevis.  We had never heard of it, but we were excited to visit a new place.  The layover was supposed to be 9 hours, which would give us a little time to explore.  Once we landed, I was determined to find something fun to do.  Weston on the other hand, did some research as we were walking.  As it turns out, we were in one of the most dangerous countries in the world.  He no longer thought it was a good idea to explore the island.  Party pooper.

We walked back into the airport, me dragging my feet and him walking as fast as humanly possible.  There was exactly one restaurant in the tiny airport.  We devoured those sandwiches like it was our last meal.  Only 8 1/2 more hours until our connecting flight.

After another 4 hours, we went through security and waited on the other side so we could quickly board.  We waited and waited in the eerily empty airport.  With only 3 hours left until our flight, an employee came over to us to ask what we were doing.  What an odd question.  We told her we were waiting on our connecting flight to Antigua.  She responded that our flight was cancelled… yesterday.  YESTERDAY!  The airport in Miami sold us tickets for a connecting flight that was cancelled!

We were stuck.  Somehow our luggage was still in Miami.  We had no clue what to do, so we did what any adult in our situation would do.  We called our parents.  Thankfully, Weston had used a travel agent for our trip and she was able to get us on a flight the next morning.  She also convinced Sandals Antigua to change our reservation to give us an extra night!

The airport graciously provided a hotel and transportation for us since we had to stay overnight.  After a long day of traveling, we were so thankful.  Unfortunately, we were also so unprepared.  We didn’t have any extra clothes or toiletries.  All we had was the clothes on our backs and our travel documents.

The hotel restaurant stayed open for us to eat dinner and then we were off to our room.  No hot water.  Great.  No air conditioner.  Perfect.  After a cold shower and a restless night’s sleep, we were back at the airport.  Finally headed to Antigua to start our relaxing honeymoon.

When we arrived at Sandals, the concierge was quick to suggest that we head to our room to shower and rest while we waited on our luggage to arrive.  We must have looked rough.  But a hot shower and a nap was exactly what we needed.  We felt so refreshed and the rest of our trip was complete paradise.  The airline even hooked us up with first class tickets on our return flights to apologize for the mixup.  Maybe getting stranded on the wrong island wasn’t so bad after all.

  1. Kathi says:

    Good one!! I don’t know what I would have done. Oh the anxiety!

    • Ashley Mason says:

      I’m glad it all worked out! The anxiety definitely got to us though. We didn’t fly for 4 years after this! And now we always pack a carry-on bag with extra clothes and toiletries.

  2. Douglas Shelton says:

    A great trip down memory lane.

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