The Lady At The Airport

I arrived in Marquette, Michigan two days ago to celebrate Christmas with my boo and his family. Two days ago our luggage was also lost somewhere between Chicago and the great white north. It was 25 degrees, starting to snow, and all I had were some Victoria’s Secret leggings, my chapstick, and some boots that are not meant for snow. At all.  

Now, as you can imagine, after a day of traveling and realizing that I was about to walk out into the cold with what might as well be nothing, I was slightly… peeved.

Before we get to the Woman You’ve Never Heard Of who I want to talk about, I need to set the quaint scene that is the Marquette airport. First of all, the Marquette Airport isn’t really in Marquette. It’s in the woods somewhere past the ski mountain and the winding road that people drive too fast on when it’s snowing. “If you hit Houghton, you’ve gone too far.”

There is one terminal at the Marquette Airport. They did just put in a second bathroom on the other side of security. Prior to this upgrade, you had to relieve yourself before getting the pat down and hope the puddle jumper you were taking to civilization had a bathroom on it.

There are just a handful of employees at the Marquette Airport. Three flights come in every day, and once the last flight is in, the place closes up and everybody goes home. We were on the last flight of the day.

Now back to me being peeved. I noticed that the same young woman waved the plane in with those glow sticks, unloaded all the bags, drove them to the terminal and unloaded each one all on her own. Tough Michiganer type, eh?

After all the bags were in, it slowly sank in that we were up Snow Bank Creek with no long johns. We looked around for someone from the airline to help us and the airport was… empty.

Then, from the cold, in a neon yellow jumpsuit, came the woman who was doing everything at the airport that evening. Before we even had time to ask for her help, she flashed a smile and asked, with a thick Yooper accent, “How can I help you guys?” We explained our situation. She marched us over to the counter, started tapping away on a computer that probably saw the Regan administration, and within a couple minutes had located our bags.

As she was doing whatever it is airline people do on those computers, she told us about the deliveryman who would bring us our bags. “This one time, a passenger was, like, I’m deer hunting, your guy will never be able to find me to give me my bag.” She said with a roll of her big brown eyes. “Found ‘em in ten minutes. Or one time, I asked for this guy’s address to deliver his lost bag. You know what he said? I live in the woods. The middle of the woods. Your man ain’t gonna get this bag to me.” She smiled. “Got it to him, no problem.”

She finished clicking and typing and pulled a few pieces of paper out the printer. “Here’s a personal apology from the airline and a voucher for two free checked bags next time you fly with us!” We thanked her and started to leave. “I bet you guys need some tooth brushes or some soap. Want me to get you some?”

This girl was literally parking a plane minutes before our interaction and was now offering us toiletries. That’s class, y’all, Hard-working, loving class. Her kindness, humor, and Michiganer warmth turned a frustrating situation into a story that we will now laugh about… or blog about. She’s a woman you’ll probably never hear about but she deserved a shout out. Thanks, lady at the airport!

* The picture above was taken in a Marquette coffee shop called Babycakes. We went there to escape from the snow storm. I didn’t have a picture of the airport… but you get the idea.