After a flight cancellation left travelers stuck in Orlando, a motley crew of 13 banded together to drive a leased vehicle more than 10 hours north to their ultimate stop. They discovered viral stardom and, perhaps, lifelong friendship along the way.
This is exactly what happened on Sunday, December 4, when, after two delays, Frontier canceled the trip to Knoxville, Tennessee entirely.
“They were like, ‘Well, we can get you out on the next flight, which is Tuesday night,'” Michelle Miller said on December 7. “That’s like 48 hours later! We can’t wait two days to go back, people have things to do!”
Miller claims that while others wandered around in line and at the customer service area, one lady called Amy assumed command and announced that anybody who wished to drive north to the final location in a rental vehicle may join her.
“The line was super long. I was like, ‘I’m just gonna let my mom handle it,'”Alanah Story stated. “And she shouts over to me, ‘Alanah, we’re headed downstairs to get this van with all these people!'”
Story, astonished but eager for the challenge, joined her mom and godmother in the party of 13 for the trip north to Knoxville.
She posted a TikTok about their unexpected situations and introduced their ensemble of characters after they hit the road in a leased van.
@alanahstory21 I cant make this up. Road trip! 🚐 @The Farm Babe @StarrPuck @doerksen92 @Renee @robinwharton976 @CozumelAutentico ♬ original sound – Alanah
So they publish the video and, like, they’re not really expecting anything to come of it, but within, like, 30 minutes, it starts getting hundreds of thousands of views, Story says, adding that it ended up being a very, very loud journey.
People in the vehicle are constantly reloading her page, saying, ‘Oh my god, we’re at this many views’… and they’re reading the comments out loud the entire time, she laughs. She thinks she slept for around 20 minutes.
Story, who works in media and lives in Knoxville, was joined by her mom and godmother, Miller, an agricultural influencer known as The Farm Babe, a family visiting their adolescent daughter at the University of Tennessee, and two Europeans who became farmers in Mexico.
They kept followers updated on Story’s TikTok until they reached the next morning, Dec. 5, about 8:30 a.m. ET.
@alanahstory21 Replying to @lul.ken and thats a wrap folks! #roadtrip ♬ original sound – Alanah
Mikayla Puckering, who was visiting the University of Tennessee with her mother, Laura Puckering, and prospective stepfather, Carlos Cordero, arrived on time. After the tour, a local influencer, @shamelesscloutchaser, hunted them down to film a video. Along the way, Mikayla published from her mother’s TikTok account, including one that said she was simply trying to go to her college tour and wound up on a road trip with a bunch of strangers from the airport in a spooky white van.
The narrative of the gang circulated quickly online in the days that followed. Miller believes it is because individuals desire more positive news in these difficult times.
Story expresses similar views. She believes that individuals want hearty enjoyment and people just being trustworthy of one other.
@shamelesscloutchaser So honored to have met this family and help them see this campus! Go vols!🧡 #maxtinterview #college #utk #roadtrip ♬ original sound – max t
She feel like a big part of it is, since one can clearly see their differences in her video, and she feel like they’re so divided right now, and to be able to see just a ragtag group of strangers who are completely different from each other, come together and just appreciate a crazy situation together, she said. She thinks it speaks to a lot of people.
It was kind of therapeutic for her, Tale says, adding that she believes people hear her story and discover a little bit more compassion and empathy.
The two clarify that those who wish to keep in touch are presently chatting in a group chat. Story goes on to say that she hopes to go to karaoke with one of the other Knoxville-based passengers, Q, shortly.