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Friday, October 7, 2011


The trip does not start auspiciously. Five hours after arriving at Logan airport, I am still there. My plane has been delayed, then finally boarded. Just after we are all settled in the plane, the pilot announces there is a mechanical problem, he can’t predict the repair time, we should all disembark. I join the forming line at the desk, people with connections that need assistance. Oddly, exactly the same thing has happened to Loring and Dennis on their way back from Utah just two days ago, and they had similar problems on the way there.

Although I’m only 4th in line, a half hour later they are still dealing with the second people. When I get to the front, the agent says at this point I still have plenty of time to make the connection. My itinerary has been Boston to Kennedy to Istanbul to Tel Aviv, with 2 1/2 hour layovers at each stop along the way. She then disappears for about 10 minutes. I am trying not to feel frustrated, especially as there are 40 or 50 people behind me in the line, presumably with similar problems. The ones in front of and behind me are going to Beijing and Madrid.

Before the agent returns, they announce that they have to fly in a part, and the flight to NYC won’t leave until 6pm, which is after my flight to Istanbul is due to leave.

The agent, who is actually quite pleasant, says they will reschedule me, comes up with a rerouting from Boston to Paris to Tel Aviv, which doesn’t leave for three more hours, after 5 pm, has a 4 hour layover in Paris, but still gets into Tel Aviv less than 2 hours after my original flight.Then she realizes that since I was only booked on Delta for the Boston-Ny leg, Turkish Air the rest, she wasn’t sure she could book it. But after a phone conversation, she tells me I am all set.

I had been pleased with the original routing, only because I thought if I had gotten stranded by a missed flight, Istanbul would be a cool place to get stuck. I was there when I was 18 and have always wanted to return. It never occurred to me I could get stuck before I ever left Boston. But can’t complain about Paris as a potential place to get stuck, and only two flights instead of three. Of course, they have to pull my bag from the original plane, I have to shuttle over to the Air France terminal, recheck in, go thru security again, kill another couple of hours. Oh well.

So, here I am on Air France, just having finished my meal. I like airplane meals, . Not because of their gourmet quality, but because I think it’s fun opening all the different packages, I like the little white plastic dishes, etc. What can I say, I also like generic packaged mac and cheese and ramen noodles! But it is interesting to notice the small differences between airlines. Leave it to the French airline to serve the bread from a basket lined with a cloth napkin. And, better still, to serve free cognac after the meal. What, I wonder, am I missing by not having flown Turkish Air? Hookahs? I guess I’ll find out on the way back, assuming I don’t have similar problems.

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