Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adventures in getting back

i cry whenever i leave my folks. usually, the israelis have the decency to ignore me and i am traveling alone. this time, poor adam was subjected to my intermittent sniffling on the train to ben gurion airport. we bummed around duty free and sat while a flight paged two passengers about twenty five times. when they finally appeared the gate agent yelled at them, gesticulating that they were horrible people who should never be allowed to take their inconsiderate selves on a plane again and didn't you hear us page you about 80 times??

we were sitting by ourselves, which was great, but the plane was no personal screens to watch movies on this time. luckily we were exhausted, so sleep came easier. About 7 hrs into the flight, i woke up to a man two seats ahead of me, turned around grumbling loudly about how he couldn't go into business class to see his father...who apparently was hyper tensive and had a broken arm and thus couldn't feed himself. they are going to kill him, the man repeated over and over in a thick Hungarian accent. the colonel and his wife sitting in front of us indulged the man, perhaps because he was basically leaning over their seats too...asking him questions about his past...that's how i learned the accent is hungarian and not russian, that he once took on the KGB, and graduated with honors from medical school.

About 9 hrs in, said gentleman had managed to piss off the flight attendants by being rude and refusing to sit in his seat. lord knows in a time of security trouble, on an already high security flight from tel aviv, this is exactly what you want to do. the co-pilot came back to speak with him, explained that it was a security violation for him to go back and forth between cabins and told him that either he sat down and stopped making a scene or they would face possible arrest. the man then started are threatening me? i want everyone to see this man is threatening me, you are an a%%hole! you are going to kill my father, a holocaust survivor.

the co-pilot calmly went back to the front. about ten minutes later, the magic on board moving map changed...we were now aimed for bangor maine. because the man was sitting in a an exit row, it took him a long time to realize we were diverted...but when he did he started yelling agian about them punishing his father. the flight attendant sitting closest (since we were about on the ground) calmly told him that not only did he not bother to tell anyone at the gate in tel aviv about these problems, but he didn't get seats together and refused to let his father move back to coach to be with him...finally it was really his own fault, since he had chosen to escalate the problem.

we came down in bangor maine and it took two hours for homeland security and the fbi to get him off the flight and take everyone's statements....bye bye connection. A tried to get a picture, but forgot to turn off the flash...resulting in someone making us delete the picture in front of them...hahah. bangor seems like a pretty place, cold with snow and nice sunrises over rolling hills. it also looks very very boring.

with the connection gone, we were granted a 10 hr layover in new york so we could get on the next seattle flight and we were given two seven dollar meal vouchers each. the guy putting bags back on the carosel whispered to me that i should write delta a letter. i grumbled, but to no avail. A suggested over our lunch that we use those magic red phones over in the lobby area and see what we could do about this. after a brief, you call, no you call, no-wait, won't call?? i called and the red phone gods were with us. The girl on the other end moved us to a different airline...hallelujah. only misfortune was being seated behind the two worst behaved little girls in the history of plane flights.

back at last.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure the two little girls were residual karma from when we flew as kids.