Everything was going as planned, until a huge storm system hit the Midwest and then headed toward New York.
I usually love a good storm – we like to open the blinds, sit in comfy chairs in the living room, and enjoy God’s fireworks. His work is utterly awesome!
But when the storms hit our area yesterday, I wasn’t so happy. In fact, I was sad.
I was supposed to catch an afternoon flight out of O’Hare, land at JFK, and meet up with my group of journalist/bloggers to board a flight to Amman, Jordan.
I was all packed, all prepped, and all ready to embark on this fabulous journey. Then the first text arrived on my phone: flight delayed one hour. Not long after, another: flight delayed a little more than two hours. Just as we were leaving the house, the final message: “Flight XYZ from ORD to JFK has been cancelled. We have rescheduled you for Flight ZYX, departing ORD at 10:30am April 10.”
My flight for Jordan was leaving that night from JFK. Getting to New York twelve hours later just wasn’t acceptable. And, it’s not like I could just catch another flight, because Jordan flights from JFK to Amman happen only every few days.
I called the airline. The best they could do is get me to JFK on one of their partner airlines either at 10:04pm or from Midway Airport arriving at 9:30pm. No way that was going to work! I got forthright with the agent, she got snitty with me. End of conversation.
I knew for a fact that there were other airlines getting folks out to JFK, because my colleague, Denise Bossert was at O’Hare that very moment, ready to board a delayed flight to JFK on a non-partner airline. The woman on the phone was handing me a lot of phoey.
My sweet husband and I decided to head down to O’Hare anyway to see what could be done. En route, I called the Jordan Tourism Board (our hosts) main office in Virginia for guidance. Their advice was to go to the airline ticketing counter at O’Hare and insist that they get me any flight on any airline in time for the 10:30pm flight at JFK.
I’m generally not good at getting mean with people, but in a case like this – pow!
I didn’t actually have to get mean. They guy behind the counter (Renaud – cool name, eh?) with the marvelous French accent got the whole picture and its urgency. He searched every single airline for a flight to JFK, Not only were there not many, but the few they had were filled and then being cancelled as the bad weather moved toward New York.
After 20 minutes of desperate searching, Renaud sat back, shaking his head.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I can’t find anything for you.”
Dumbfounded, I thanked him and walked away from the counter.
“Okay, if it’s not this trip, it’ll be the next one,” I told Sweet Hubby. I’d placed this journey into God’s hands at the start, and it still was – still is – in his hands. He rules. Period.
Another call into the main office and some hard and rushed work on the part of their amazing staff scrambled me up a direct flight from O’Hare to Amman tonight!
I will indeed get to go to Jordan after all! I’ll meet up with my group once I get there and carry on with the rest of our adventure. I’ll only be missing the first 24 hours of the trip.
That is, unless God has other plans. Stay tuned!
I encourage you to check out the blogs of my Patheos Catholic colleagues, who have just landed in Jordan: Deacon Greg Kandra, Diana von Glahn, Frank Weathers, and Max Lindenman. We’ll all be giving you different perspectives of this incredible trek through the eastern part of the Holy Land. Join us!
Image: Boby Dimitrov from Sofia, Bulgaria, CC