When their flight home from Boston’s Logan Airport was delayed last month, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard decided to camp overnight on the floor with their two young daughters.
The couple said they couldn’t find a hotel room, so they documented their solution — $600 worth of new blankets and neck pillows laid out on the ground — and joked with their Instagram followers that they were passing time playing cards and eating snacks.
But as often happens on social media, what was intended as a funny story didn’t go over so well. On his “Armchair Expert” podcast Monday, Shepard discussed the blowback to the Logan posts during a conversation with Bell and co-host Monica Padman.
“A lot of people just get on the Internet and ... they want to be angry about something,” said Bell, star of “The Good Place.” “It was anything. Like, ‘You’re not being kicked out. Of course there were hotels. I can’t believe you spent $600 on pillows.’”
Then Shepard quoted one of his “favorite” comments among the skeptics.
“‘No hotels up to your standards.’ And I was like, yeah, we’re sleeping on the floor,” he said.
The couple said they were taken aback to discover their airport experience had gone global and the “inordinate amount of comments” on the post, Shepard said.
“I would hate for people to think that we were upset or complaining about the experience. I just thought it was novel and funny,” Shepard said. “It was just the anxiety of making the right decision.”
Bell and Shepard said they had been on an “incredible, life-changing” vacation on Martha’s Vineyard visiting old friends before they headed to Logan, where they encountered heavy traffic because of the closure of the Sumner Tunnel.
At the airport, they discovered that friends of theirs — director Lawrence Trilling and his wife — were on the same flight home to Los Angeles. But for hours, weather and then a mechanical issue delayed their flight.
Around 10 p.m., the flight was postponed until the next morning and passengers started scrambling to find a hotel. With the late hour, airport construction, and other flight cancellations, there was no “place to sleep within 50 miles,” Bell said, so they decided to hunker down.
The Trillings said Shepard, Bell, and their kids could stay at their friends’ home in Wellesley, an offer they accepted after learning around 1 a.m. they couldn’t stay in the post-security part of the airport.
“It felt so special to have that weird camping trip in the airport and then also be involved intimately in the space of these strangers who were so generous,” Bell said. Shepard agreed it was “really, really incredible.”
“So I guess I was confused when I saw these really angry comments on my post,” he added.
Bell said the experience has become nearly universal on social media.
“It doesn’t just happen to us. It happens to every single person no matter how known you are on social media,” she said. “Someone makes a comment and you just have to ignore them because they’re not on your level. People suffer from outrage addiction.”