Traveling with one little kid is tough. Traveling with multiple small humans — all under the age of 8 — is even tougher. Throw a lengthy flight delay into the mix and, well… we’ve got two words: horror story. But apparently none of that can faze actor James Van Der Beek. The former Dawson’s Creek star star traveled with all five of his littles over the Fourth of July weekend and faced an 11-hour flight delay (yes, you read that right) with so much poise, grace and humor that we’re bowing down.
Can you say #parentinggoals.
The trouble began Saturday afternoon, shortly after Van Der Beek and fam boarded their flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport. According to Van Der Beek, mechanical problems kept the aircraft grounded for three hours before passengers were told they’d need to change planes. Passengers were then bused back to the terminal.
Unfortunately, for Van Der Beek, his family and the other passengers, their ordeal was far from over. According to the actor, they waited four hours to board their next flight and — once onboard — the “nonstop” flight was forced to make an unexpected landing. The flight crew timed out, and a new crew needed to be acquired. And even after arriving in California, their final destination, there was trouble.
“Despite all the apologies for all the inconvenience they’ve caused, they don’t have a gate agent here to let us off,” Van Der Beek explained on Instagram.
Yes, Delta was forced to keep the passengers onboard until a gate agent arrived.
The Van Der Beek’s eventually arrived home at 5:27 am — and while entire experience sounds like a nightmare, it seems James and his wife Kimberly were able to keep their cool.
The couple documented their experience on Instagram and joked about their new #travelfriends.
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Sat on a tarmac for three hours before getting bussed back to a terminal w/ no AC for another four hours, then our nonstop had to stop in Minneapolis at 3am for a total 11 hour delay. People kept asking how we were doing this with five kids… I kept secretly wondering how they were doing it without them. #fatherhood #mycrew
Van Der Beek also admitted that, in spite of all the drama, he was thankful. “People kept asking how we were doing this with five kids,” he wrote, but “I kept secretly wondering how they were doing it without them.” And, as a parent, I get it. My kids are my light and my life. That said, I am thankful I’ve never faced a travel delay of this magnitude because I doubt I would have been as positive as Van Der Beek. Scratch that: I know I wouldn’t have been as positive.
So kudos, James and Kimberly: y’all are inspiring — and patient as hell. And oh — if you’ve got any magical tips for traveling with kids that you employed to keep your crew cool? We’re all ears.