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Published: January 15th 2020
So as always for any trip I make a list of last-minute things I have to do...buy extra batteries, get snacks, make sure my family has what they need while I’m away, etc. Terry drove me to New Martinsville, was helping me out,
and would also take my car home once I linked up with the rest of the group. While waiting at the plaza we learned Randy, Diane, and Debbie were in a fender bender at McDonald’s. It caused a lot of excitement and delayed our departure to Pittsburgh. Once they arrived, we loaded up and had an uneventful trip to the airport. We were later than we planned but we had plenty of time.
Debbie and I were the first the check in with our bags. I dug through my purse...no passport. I dug through my carryon...no passport. Then I remembered hearing a noise in the car and thinking something fell out of my purse but then the wreck happened and I just forgot about it
I immediately called Terry...no answer. I called Earl (my farm hand) he said my car was in the garage, but Terry went to our
St. Marys house. I called Chrissy who was off for the day as she had a back treatment that morning. She quickly found my passport and starting driving to Pittsburgh. It’s at the very least a 2-hour drive from our house to the airport if there’s no traffic. It’s 3:30. Out flight leaves at 5:30. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure I’m not going to make that flight. No problem. I’ll just take the next flight out, right??? There was not any other flight to JFK that night. The best thing I could do is fly to La Guardia and make my way to JFK. Easy, right? They are only 12 miles apart....but those are NEW YORK CITY MILES!!!!
All of our group went on through security and to the gate, promising to retrieve my luggage which was already on its way to their plane. I sat down and waited.
I went to the Delta counter. An elder gentleman was helping me, but he was someone who saw the glass as half empty. “You’re going to be spending the night at JFK. There’s no way you’ll make it from La Guardia to
JFK in time. This flight is delayed 20 minutes and won’t land until 8:30 then it’s at least an hour to JFK if you’re lucky enough to get a cab” and so on and in and on. I was getting stressed to say the least.
Now I’ve been to Israel 3 previous times so no big deal if I missed a day of the trip...right? Problem is I’ve always wanted to go to Jordan. The first two days of this trip is in Jordan. If I miss our flight from JFK then essentially I miss Jordan...the big reason I signed on to this particular trip.
The Delta guy was not very encouraging or helpful. He kept going to the back and consulting with his superiors. I’m watching my watch and know that Chrissy will be arriving soon, and I don’t have a boarding pass for the flight to La Guardia. Panic is setting in. It’s nearing 5:30. The next flight boards at 5:50, I don’t have a boarding pass, and I still must take to shuttle to the other side if the airport and make my gate!!! When Delta guy goes to the back
room again, I approach the women that originally checked us in and explained my panic. She goes to the back room and out comes the supervisor. He types in a few numbers. I get my boarding pass. Chrissy pulls up, window down, hands my passport to me and I look up and see what was probably my original flight, take off overhead. Now remember I still must go through security and take the shuttle to the other side and make my gate. It’s 5:36.
I like flying Delta. I’ve always had great experiences and I have many thousand sky miles. So, for this trip I ungraded myself and Debbie to first class!! Good thing as I could run through first class security...no one in line! I run to the shuttle and it pulls in immediately. I run to the gate. Of course, I stop at rite aid and but gel inserts for my shoes (always time for a little shopping). I board my plane and start planning for my next dilemma...how to get across NYC to JFK. I message Chrissy...she says spend the money...take the taxi. I message Benjy Kile.. take the taxi....shuttle will take too long.
I am still pretty keyed up as Delta guy has me convinced, I’m not going to make it. I been in planes where the head winds are great, and they make up time so I’m praying for that result. Announcement by the pilot... “51 minutes to touch down!” My thought...wait that’s 7:24. Even if it’s an hour to JFK I might make it….. My first glimmer of hope as I had already decided if I didn’t make the international flight I was going home!! I hear from the rest of the group that they have landed and are taxiing to the gate.
My plane lands. I grab my bag and run. I ask the first airport official I see where the taxis are and take off running!! I’m seeing all these signs that because of construction you have to take a shuttle to the new taxi stand...not good but I see all kinds of people grabbing taxis so I throw my hand up. There’s a guy helping people in and out of taxis. I quickly tell him u need to make a flight at JFK so he puts me in a taxi, tells the guy to make
it quick and away we go. I load my GPS and it says 17 mins to JFK in current traffic....then we hit a traffic jam. The rest of the group is at the Lufthansa counter checking in their luggage...and mine. The traffic jam gets moving, my cab pulls up to Terminal 1. It was only $32.00. I pay, run in the door, spy the Lufthansa counter and literally run in to Bill Dawson and Deb and Rod Windom…with my suitcase!!
Lufthansa was wonderful! They check me in. We took a few celebratory pictures and I was reunited with my group. I made it! Now I know there was Divine Intervention as I had all my prayer warriors working overtime, so prayer works and I give all the glory to God for putting all the people in my path that helped me make that flight.
Of course, that’s not the end of the story.
Lufthansa made several people check their carryon bags and did the same with me. I tried to argue that I needed it, but I’d already caused such an uproar, I just gave in and let them check it.
While we were in the security line (and it was packed) I realized that my laptop was in that bag....you know a laptop with lithium batteries that aren’t supposed to go in the luggage hold. I’m thinking I’m going to cause the plane to blow up!! So once I’m through security I run to the gate and tell the attendant my dilemma. “No problem. Well just pull that bag and retrieve your laptop. Just listen and we’ll announce for you to come to the counter”.
When all was said and done, I didn’t get my bag as it was at the bottom of the pile and would delay the flight. They were more worried that the laptop might come up missing but It didn’t, and I didn’t blow up the plane. The rest of this trip should be pretty uneventful as all the stress happened for our group at the beginning!
We had relaxed but long flights, some interesting airplane food, and a very short night of sleep. I can now relax and even laugh at the “Passport Fiasco”.
We are staying in a very nice Crowne Plaza hotel
right at the Dead Sea in Jordan. It was weird but we ate our dinner at 10:30 pm. I couldn’t wait to get really good humus!! Tomorrow is our first full day of touring! Nite all!!
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