CLEVELAND (WJW) – Four strangers desperate to get home for Christmas took a road trip they will not soon forget.
Their flight from Florida to Cleveland was canceled, and after a little bit of anxious thought, they all piled into a rental car to make it home for the holidays.
For some, this may be the best time of the year, but it was under the worst circumstances for four people trying to make it from the Sunshine State to the Buckeye State in time for Christmas.
Their scheduled flight from Tampa to Cleveland was canceled on Thursday.
“I’m thinking, ‘I’m not going to get on a flight today. Everybody’s trying to get home for Christmas. There’s not going to be any other flights… Even if there are, they’re going to be expensive,'” said Greg Henry.
Henry started walking to other airline counters when he ran into Shobi Maynard.
“We start talking to each other. ‘Hey what are you going to do?’ ‘What are you going to do?” said Henry.
Greg had thought about renting a car when he and Shobi ran into two women from their flight also trying to get to Cleveland.
“They guy said no flights until Saturday night. I’m like ‘My decision’s made up. I’m going to go.’ They were a little leery. I’m like, ‘I don’t think they’re going to come with me,’ because we don’t know each other,” Henry said.
However, Greg, Shobi, Bridget and Abby split the $200 for a rental car and began their drive to Cleveland. Bridget documented the trip on TikTok, which turned viral.
“The first half of it was not bad at all. We just kind of missed the whole storm, but towards the middle, we kind of hit the West Virginia mountain area and it was just very foggy and then, all of a sudden, just kind of rainy and then rained turned into partial snow, which turned into major snow,” said Maynard.
“We wanted to be somewhere because Christmas was coming up and we knew the snow storm’s coming,” said Henry.
Friday morning, the four one-time strangers made it to Northeast Ohio with new friends and plenty of stories to tell — now able spend time with their families for Christmas.
“It was fun. We all got to know each other and hang out and we had a lot of deep conversations, so we had a good time,” said Maynard.