Well, at least the plane’s not on fire!

That’s my new motto. :)

Want to hear the story? Well, I was heading back to Austin from CHA Chicago — finally! — there were thunderstorms and several flight delays and the plane was 2 hours late for takeoff and it looked like it was going to be more. I was so glad to be sitting there, and looking forward to seeing J soon. We were just taxiing along. I was thinking about everything that happened the past week — it was all a huge blur!

All at once I smelled something like burning matches.

It started getting stronger.

I asked the girl sitting next to me if she smelled anything. She said no at first, then she smelled something too.

Next thing we knew the cabin was filling with smoke!

The flight attendants ran around checking the bathrooms to see if anyone had left a cigarette in there, but nope.

So they asked is to keep calm, leave everything, and exit the plane.

I was in the next to the last row and I thought, “well, I’ll either make it off or I won’t” — I really did feel calm. Especially after a whole bunch of fire trucks roared up. (Go Chicago Fire Department!)

I grabbed my wallet and cell phone and made it off okay.


They brought busses to take us from the tarmac back to the terminal. Should have snapped a photo of all the planes we held up on the runway but didn’t think of it.

After that it was a whirlwind of waiting for our carry-on luggage to come off the plane, waiting to see if we could get another flight to Austin (we did, a whole new plane!) and waiting some more. (They had to wait 3 hours to move our checked-in luggage to the new plane.)

In the meantime, something truly magical happened: everyone on the flight became good friends. Really close. We all looked out for each other, and helped each other. What could have been something really bad turned into something really good. I’ll never forget meeting the sailor (it was his second plane ride — he was coming home to get married and then he’s off to Japan for four years) and talking with my seatmate about le Tour de France and knees (what are the odds of meeting a fellow female cycling fan who had knee problems?).

And I made it home to J, yay!

So now you know the story behind my new motto. It really made me stop and think.

And so thankful for how everything turned out.

Hugs to all of you, and it sure is good to be back!

38 Replies to “Well, at least the plane’s not on fire!”

  1. What an experience! I am so glad everyone made it off the plane safely! YAY for new friendships and for getting home in one piece ;)

  2. Brenda Speck says:

    Glad it had a happy ending!

  3. Grateful for your safe return home, along with the rest of the passengers!

  4. Good to hear you made it home safely! I was just thinking about you today – after seeing Shimelle’s blog post about the Hero Arts stand at CHA – and swung by here to see if I’d missed any posts from you. And now I find you’ve been on an adventure! Welcome back. :-)

  5. Jeepers – glad you are all safe! It certainly puts a bit of an airport delay into perspective!
    Take care, Rx

  6. Wow, what an experience. Glad you are ok Lisa. We must meet for lunch sometime soon.

  7. What a story, Lisa! I’m so glad you’re home safe too! I saw the cutest photo of you today, over on Vera’s blog, from CHA. Sure wish you could come to Scrapfest in September! Would LOVE meeting you! Can’t wait to hear more about CHA and the cool stuff you saw! Big hugs and welcome home! :)

  8. Oh my goodness! I’m glad you’re ok and everything was handled well. The after perks is a bonus for sure. :) Good to know you’re ok.

  9. Welcome Home Lisa…..Wow…Pretty Scary!! Sorry your flight was so delayed…I bet you were anxious to get home!! Glad it turned out OK…Big Hugs!

  10. Wow! That kind of excitment you probably didn’t need. Glad you made it home safely!

  11. Pretty scary, LIsa, so glad everything turned out okay. That kind of thing really makes you stop and think about what’s REALLY important; we probably all need an experience like this a couple times in our lifetime. Did they ever tell you what caused the fire? And, uh, which airline was this? ;)))

  12. Glad everything was okay in the end!

  13. Virginia L. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! That must have been quite an experience! I know I got really freaked out one time when our plane got caught in the midst of thunderstorm. We had to make a detour to another city for landing..anyhow I’m so relived that things worked out well and that’s what matters!! You are so right about the title :)

  14. Well that was an adventure! I’m sure it will make for great storytelling in the years to come. It is really remarkable how people manage to come together to make the best of a scary situation. I’m so glad you are home safe and sound!

  15. Lisa! How scary…so glad you are okay!!!

  16. Wow – what a story! We just have to appreciate every minute we have, don’t we? So glad it had a good ending. You did get to see some cute firemen – ha – just kidding. Hope the knew did well on the trip. Nice to have you home!

  17. so happy to hear how a scary situation turned out alright! welcome home!

  18. so glad to hear that you made home safely. it’s nice to know that everyone become friends from this unexpected accident. thanks for sharing!

  19. Oh so glad you and others made it back safe. Thank God.

  20. Phew! that is quite a story. Glad to hear that all are safe!

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