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Persevering Air Traveler Rewarded with Empty Plane

Conventional wisdom says that good things come to those who wait. That axiom rarely applies, however, to the drudgery of domestic air travel as most people go through the modern air travel system. Phil Stringer, however, is not most people.

Stringer travels for work quite often. So, when his early morning flight from Oklahoma City to his hometown of Charlotte experienced a maintenance-related flight delay, he took it in stride, relocating from the gate to a nearby Starbucks.

But then the delays continued, dragging on throughout the day. Eventually he outlasted the staff at the airport Starbucks, who had to kick him out so they could close. When he finally heard the boarding call, however, he was confused.

Stringer said in an interview, "I had thought that everyone had boarded and I was late, because no one was there But [the gate agent] was like, 'No, honey, you're the only one left.'" Everyone else, fed up with the lengthy delays, had sought other options.

The airline, however, could not simply cancel the flight, because the plane and its cargo were needed in Charlotte. So, after being unceremoniously summoned from their nearby hotel, the crew of four flight attendants went through their normal routine, despite having only one passenger. Stringer spent the two-and-a-half-hour flight laughing and joking with them, quite bemused by the novelty of the situation.

He captured his unique scenario with a video and uploaded it to TikTok, where it went viral with over eleven million likes. Stringer said, "We were like, look, we can either be negative about the situation and make a bad situation worse by our attitude. Or we can be positive, lighthearted, and try and make something of this and at least just have fun."

Stringer made some good friends that day, and made plans to see the group of attendants in their home base of Dallas the next time he comes through. He also heard from many people on social media who were encouraged to keep a positive attitude when their plans go awry.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Patience is a virtue precisely because part of the Christian life is waiting patiently on God for outcomes that only God can accomplish or control. When we exhibit patience, we are continually putting trust in God to accomplish the things God has promised.

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