Flight cancellations, like plan cancellations, are painful. Everything must be redesigned, reset, and restarted.

This reminds me of the story by Sir Richard Branson in his book ‘Screw it, Let’s do it.

Richard Branson, then 28 years old, and Joan, his future wife, had just returned from a vacation in the Caribbean and were on their way to Puerto Rico. When they arrived at the airport, however, they were informed that their flight had been canceled. Everyone on board appeared to be disoriented and wandering aimlessly.

Because nobody else was taking action, he made the decision to take action himself, despite the fact that he had no idea what he was doing or why he was doing it. Soon after, he learned that he could hire a private plane for only $2,000. That comes out to $39 for each individual passenger when it’s broken down like that.

Therefore, he took a blackboard and wrote, “Virgin Airways: Single flight to Puerto Rico: $39” on it. The appreciative passengers quickly purchased all of the available tickets. He was even successful in obtaining two complimentary tickets and turning a modest profit. In the midst of a relaxing vacation, Richard Branson had the inspiration to create Virgin Airlines.

In the period of 24 years, Virgin has gone from renting a plane to Puerto Rico to space travel [through Virgin Galactic], despite the fact that the actual airline didn’t begin operations until a few years later. Currently, Virgin travels to more than 300 destinations.

It is incredible how creative thinking and imagination can save the day as compared to emotional paralysis, aimless roaming the airport, and yelling at airport officials.

The next time when your plans don’t go through, whether because of a cancelled flight, a delayed flight, a missed flight, or a very awful flight, try to come up with some innovative alternatives.

Easier said than done, but can be done.

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