What constitutes an emergency, I wonder?
Right now, I’m on a plane bound for Tokyo, but this was not the original flight I booked.
My flight was scheduled to leave at 10:10 am with Jetstar Japan. However, due to mechanical problems, the flight was originally delayed. On further questioning, the ground staff said that at that point, it was difficult for the people in charge to make a quick decision. Things needed to be checked carefully for the safety of everyone. They needed time to check that everything was in working order with the aircraft.
I checked with the staff later to see whether the flight was still scheduled to fly. They said that they didn’t know for sure and asked us to wait. They would tell us as soon as they knew.
Fair enough. For safety reasons, I definitely do not want to fly on an airplane that was iffy at best.
I wasn’t in a rush so I didn’t need to be on the flight soon. In fact, I had all day to get to Tokyo.
Another hour goes by and they still haven’t made any decisions on whether to fly or cancel the flight.
Thirty minutes later, several of the passengers have given up and started to line up to either cancel or make other arrangements. They also gave us an estimated time that the flight might leave. They said that everything might be okay in about 5 to 8 hours. At best, the flight might be available at 4:30 pm.
I took my time and thought more about what I should do.
I was supposed to meet with my husband today. I called him and talked about our options. I could wait until 4:30 to get on the same flight with Jetstar, or I could get on another flight with a different airline. I’d been checking other flights already so I knew there were available flights on the same day. The only catch was it was going to be expensive. Flights were at least $200.
Hubby wanted me to get to Tokyo as soon as I could. Meanwhile, I was a little bit leery about getting on a plane that had to be grounded because of mechanical problems. It was just too fucking scary.
We decided to book another flight on the same day. Thank goodness for technology. I opened up the app on my phone and booked a flight leaving in 45 minutes. Everything went smoothly. I was able to call and cancel the original flight and was on the next plane bound for Tokyo. I got a refund for the original flight but spent an extra $350 for that one way ticket.
But for that price, it was worth the peace of mind. I just didn’t want to ride a plane that might crash. I know I’m probably being paranoid, but I just didn’t want to risk it.
In any case, I’m set to land at Haneda in twenty minutes. I’ve even had the time to write up a quick blog about it on the flight.
If you’ve read everything up to this point, thank you for hanging on. There is a point to all of this: flexibility, or the ability to get to my destination despite a big problem. I am extremely grateful for the fact that I could do so.
I’m not going to gloss over the fact that I was lucky to be able to solve a problem because I have the monetary means and the tools to do so. Like I’ve always said, I am grateful that I can. We have enough money in savings to cover something like this. I also had a working iPhone to book a ticket. There is also the fact that I live in a city that had so many available flights bound for Tokyo.
I think about the people who wouldn’t be able to do what I could because they just don’t have the money to cover the price of that flight.
This whole thing just brings home the point of being flexible and having the ability and resources to adapt to changing situations when you are financially independent. This experience has made me even more determined to save and spend money wisely because I have the power to do so.
The fact that I also had time to think and decide was a blessing. Because I was off and had time to spare, I wasn’t panicking as much as the other passengers. I think I would react differently if I had to worry about having to be at a specific place at a specific time. Because my time was my own, I wasn’t under too much pressure.
Having flexibility is true power. Being able to adjust my time and my resources to something unexpected means I don’t bend under tough circumstances. I would be able to adjust my plans accordingly. I may have altered the path, but it still means I move forward on the road that I have chosen.
Financial independence means having flexibility to adapt to many unexpected things. It’s something I will strive for. This is why I think spreading the message of financial independence is always such a great thing.