I drove to Minneapolis and before I could even board the plane we found out that the plane we were supposed to take had mechanical issues. This caused the plane to turn around and head back to Chicago. By the time the plane was ready and on its’ way back to Minneapolis, our flight from Chicago to Dublin was about to take off. All four people I was traveling with from our group jumped on the phones with American Airlines. Three of the four of us had purchased travel insurance, but each of us was put on different flights to different places. I was supposed to have a 26 hour layover in Chicago which would cause me to get to Dublin a day late….and I would travel the rest of the way alone. One of the girls didn’t even have a flight. This was when we met Kathy. Kathy happens to be a travel agent from the UM-Twin Cities and she was there sending off her study abroad group. She happened to know Ingrid, one of the ladies working for American Airlines, Ingrid was our savior! She was able to reroute all of us on the same plane, leaving an hour earlier for Chicago but we cut it so short we got on board without our luggage or any boarding passes for the rest of the tripe…we got on just before it took off. Not knowing what to expect in Chicago we ran to the check in desk to receive our boarding passes….this time we were flying into London, not Dublin. The lady was able to get us all seated together! Once we finally boarded the plane for London the pilot came on the speaker and notified us that the auxiliary was broken and we had no air conditioning. Within 10 minutes a huge storm hit while we were on the runway….the rain, and winds were shaking the plane and the lightning was glowing inside the plane. The pilot announced that we would be delayed. After sitting here for two hours we were told that it had reached 101 degrees, everyone was sweating and very very grumpy…not to mention the screaming baby in our row, accompanied by the family who wore no shoes. The plane finally took off and we made it safely to London 8 hours later…..but due to the delay, we had once again missed our flight from London to Dublin. Immediately once we got off the plane we were handed another boarding pass and told to run. We had 35 minutes to get to another terminal, go through a chemical screening, and security before the plane would take off. Needless to say, we missed another plane. This is where we met two amazing men in the London airport. They redirected us and we only had a 3 ½ hour layover in London. This went smoothly and we finally landed in Dublin…..where to our amazement, our bags had landed with us!! Oh! And I forgot to mention…I have seven boarding passes, ended up in country I wasn’t supposed to be in and set off EVERY SINGLE security alarm I had to pass through. My back pack was searched in every security line, and once I even had to have a private room pat down by TWO TSA AGENTS. But I am finally here, with my bags, and all four people. And all the trouble caused us to meet so many wonderful people.
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