Last year at Christmastime I made flight arrangements to fly from John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to Orlando International Airport, and I prayed that I would make it there safely as one year I had the scariest flight I could ever imagine! I took the local train to the JFK as usual, and I arrived in good time to pick up my pre-ordered flight tickets. The first sign of trouble ahead was that when I went to board, I was told I had to be bumped off the flight because of too many passengers, but that they would find another flight for me or pay for me to stay at a local hotel. I had never had this happen before, and I was scared out of my wits as I am one of those passengers who has to keep constantly busy either asking the stewards for service of a drink or snack, a pillow, some water, of you might see me reading my bible or praying my rosary. I was pretty lucky in that the ticket agent was able to find another flight for me as no one else wanted to give up their flight and everybody showed up to use their tickets.
When I boarded my new flight, I was told after about a twenty-minute wait that the flight was delayed because of too many flights taking off at about the same time. When we finally flew into the air about forty minutes later, I was startled when I heard that there was a thunder storm over Orlando and pilots were having to wait to be allowed to land. When our plane finally arrived in the Orlando airport area, there was an announcement that the pilot was ordered to fly in a hold pattern because of the bad thunder storm. I took out my rosaries and put my crocheting away, as I realized it was definitely time to do some heavy-duty praying! There was so much turbulence that people around me were having to reassure some passengers. I tend to be quiet when I’m scared, but this time I turned to my neighbor to say that I hoped we would be allowed to arrive soon as I was quite worried! She agreed that this was an alarming time for us, but she said she had perfect trust in the pilot and she assured me that she was sure we would be landing shortly. After flying in the hold pattern for about twenty of the longest minutes I could ever imagine, the announcement came over the speaker that we were given permission to land. Everyone clapped and cheered as they happily smiled and talked with each other. A nearby Mom soon calmed down her crying baby, and life seemed hopeful again! I don’t worry as much about flight delays anymore, and I now feel that pilots are usually quite responsible and capable!
When my friend, Ann, picked me up at Orlando Airport and we headed to her home, near my grandchildren, the first thing we decided to do was to have a glass of wine and relax. It turned out to be the best Christmas visit I ever had as my grandchildren were very young and especially excited to see me. I will never look back to how scared I used to get, as I feel that I’ve truly grown and I rely on my faith in the Lord and my fellow man! This Christmas holiday trip was the worst travel experience that I have ever had. Merry Christmas to everyone, and, if you run into trouble at the airport or on your flight, remember that you most likely will get through it successfully, and just persevere and try to enjoy yourself! Life is too short to worry about what might got wrong!