Today begins my first trip to another continent. I’ve been so excited to go to Israel since my dad told us we could come about a year ago. Today, we traveled to Miami, and we are hopefully going to be able to board a plane to Tel Aviv.
We drove to Bellevue Church of Christ to meet up with some of the others in our group going on the trip.
Once we got on the bus to head to the airport, I heard my dad say that our flight to Miami had been delayed by 40 minutes. Knowing that during his previous trip to Israel, he’d missed his original flight to Tel Aviv due to his first flight being delayed, this scared me, especially since we only had a one and a half hour layover. Not five minutes later, our flight had been delayed so much that we would miss our flight to Tel Aviv. I was in a big panic.
When our group arrived at the airport, our co-leader, Bruce Zupa, went to the American Airlines help desk to see if we could get a new flight, and we waited for about two hours in the lobby.
While it turns out that we happened to come during the busiest weekend for flying in years, we were able to figure out a hopeful solution. Because it would cost more money to rebook a flight for our entire group and because we wouldn’t get another flight for a couple days, American Airlines agreed that they would hold the flight to Tel Aviv as long as they could.
Knowing that we would be able to move forward, we moved through airport security and had a nice dinner at Swett’s BBQ. I had some great pulled pork with a side of mac’n’cheese and fried apples.
When we got to the gate for Miami, we found out that American Airlines could only hold the Tel Aviv flight if the captain of the flight decided to hold it. If we got lucky, we’d have a gate attendant who would hold the flight maybe 10 more minutes to let everyone get on. If not, the flight would leave without us, holding us in Miami for a while.
However, when we touched down in Miami, the flight had already left (only waiting for us for six minutes). Some tears were shed, but it’s all okay.
We have a flight scheduled now to JFK airport in New York (so excited to spend a bit of time back in my favorite vacation spot!), and we then will board a connecting flight to Tel Aviv. In the meantime, the airport booked us a hotel for free and got us meal vouchers for both the hotel and the airport.