Gate 8 Changed My Life

Jet Blue Gate 8-Buffalo Niagara Int'l Airport

Jet Blue Gate 8-Buffalo Niagara Int'l Airport

There are certain places that remain important to us, no matter how busy life gets.  One of the most important to me is Jet Blue’s Gate 8 at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.  I was reminded of this last weekend while flying  from Buffalo to NYC.

Let me explain.  Remember the great blackout in the Northeast in August of 2003?  If it hadn’t occurred, I would never have met my husband, Rich at Gate 8.

At the time, Rich was living in Manhattan and working as a guidance counselor at a middle school in the South Bronx, NY.  He had flown home to Buffalo to spend some time with his family while on summer break.  His dog and companion Sam had just died while they were both in Buffalo.  With an open-ended ticket on JetBlue, he suddenly felt the need to return home to NYC and booked his return trip to depart on Thursday, August 14, 2003…the day of the Northeast blackout.

After speaking to JetBlue, he was rebooked on a flight departing the next morning.

I had been in a go-nowhere relationship and decided that it was time to say good-bye.  My boyfriend at the time lived in New York City and I had just graduated from SUNY at Buffalo and was looking to move ahead in my life.  As I debated with him on the phone about the visit, I waited to press the “purchase” button on the JetBlue website until we had stopped arguing. I booked the flight from Buffalo to NYC as a farewell trip, welcoming the thought of some alone time afterwards.

The morning of our flight was a bit chaotic.  Flights in and out of NYC were delayed by several hours to make up for the flights that were grounded the previous day.  I nervously paced in the gate area debating whether or not to board the flight with such an unpleasant task to attend to on the other end.  Little did I know that I had caught the eye of one of my fellow passengers who was waiting in the gate area.  When we were finally asked to line up to prepare to board the flight, I noticed a handsome, smiling stranger next to me in the line.  We muttered a few words about the delay to each other, smiled and were separated by the mad rush of  impatient passengers.

After making my way to my assigned seat, I sat in the middle of three seats and got comfortable.  To my surprise, the handsome stranger I had briefly spoken to sat down next to me on the aisle…he was assigned to the seat right beside me!

Needless to say, the handsome stranger was my now-husband Rich.  We chatted for the one-hour flight and after exchanging numbers, he flew back home to Buffalo to take me on our first date that next weekend.  The rest is history.

photo by Fisher Creative Image

photo by Fisher Creative Image

Call it fate, luck, a blessing…all I know is that sometimes when you’re least expecting it, through many twists that may have prevented an event from occurring, what’s meant to be becomes reality and life changes in an instant.  Needless to say, Rich and I are both big fans of JetBlue and their seating system  🙂


9 responses to this post.

  1. This is so awesome, it gave me the chills, I do believe there are moments of fate or circumstances that are there for a reason and it is up to us to recognize them and take action or maybe just to learn a life lesson.


  2. What a great story! I remember when this was all going on… it’s amazing how things have a way of working out they way that they are supposed to. Hooray for happiness!!


  3. PS: Is that Rich’s Atrium? Where did you get married?


  4. Jennifer, It IS Rich’s atrium. They were a great venue for the wedding and staff is like no other.


  5. What a wonderful story, Melissa! Thanks for sharing it with all of us!


  6. Posted by winewithmark on July 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Congrats! I had to throw my wife over a fence when we first met in high school because a gate was locked so weird things turn out really, really well sometimes.


  7. As a single New Yorker, who has watched way too many episodes of Sex and the City, I have to tell you how inspired I am! I guess I should start booking more flights on Jet Blue. 😉


  8. Hi Erica, I’m also a fan of Sex and the City and had started to get comfortable with the possibility of not finding the right guy when I met my husband. We were in our mid-late 30’s and just knew when we met that we were right for each other. We had some challenges of course, but got through them and recently celebrated our 3rd anniversary…so far, so good 🙂 Keep shining and being yourself and the guy who notices and pursues you for that will stick by you through the tough stuff too.


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