Monday, January 8, 2018

Chaos at JFK

Annamaria on Monday

I was a bit apprehensive because the day before I was supposed to fly, New York City was hit with The Bomb Cyclone!  

A storm like that could cause cancellations, backups, all sorts of inconvenience.

My trip started out okay.  At check-in I was allowed to check my bag through to New York.  

The snack at the airport bar was typical of Italian food service--WAY better than average.

The first sign of trouble was a delay on the first leg--from Florence to Frankfurt.

I arrived in Frankfurt Airport with only thirty-five minutes to make it to the next plane.  I found out that I can still run FAST.  I made it with inches to spare.

The Lufthansa Frankfurt to NYC flight was uneventful.  I worked.  I chatted with my seat mate.  The dinner was not exactly disgusting.

We landed at JFK, right on time: Wheels down at 8:35 PM.

Little did we know that CHAOS already reigned.  We found out pretty quickly.  No gate was available for us.  We would have to cruise the tarmac until one opened up.  "It could be as much as an hour," the Lufthansa pilot told us in German and English.  HA!

Would you believe four hours and five minutes?  Believe it!

Immigration was crowded but not bad at all.

And then...  And then...

The best estimate on how long it would take for the bags to arrive at baggage claim was two hours.  

It was going on One AM at that point.

At two-thirty, filled with doubt that bag had even made it onto my flight, I took matters into my own hands.  I left my fellow beleaguered passengers at the carousel and went in search of a Lufthansa rep.  When I found her, she told me that the bags would not be coming out.  She gave me a business card with a number to call.

Volunteering my services to try to relieve the torture we were experiencing, I went back and announced the news to the folks gathered around carousel #5.  I read out the contact number twenty or so times and went out to brave the frigid 3 AM temperatures and wait on a long line for a taxi.

I made it home just under eight hours AFTER my plane landed.

And I was one of the lucky ones.

Today (Sunday) a water main broke at the airport.  And two planes collided while taxiing in search of an open gate.

The news media in NYC is reporting that some people were kept on planes for up to twenty hours after landing.

My checked bag is in the hands of a delivery service that seems to have only an ambiguous notion of when I may ever see it again.

I hope my "luck" holds.  


  1. It's utterly amazing. I mean unbelievable. Then again, since you stopped training managers things have gone to hell in a hand basket...not suggest it's your own fault or anything like that, sis. :) Welcome home and kick butt at the new book launch.

    1. I am sharing that launch with Sujata, and really looking forward to being with her.

    2. Every best wish for Sujata too! Would you bring me a copy of her book (signed) as well as yours? Thanks!

  2. Well, with your launch coming up, this may be the equivalent of being told to break a leg. All the bad luck is out of the way now!

    1. Thank you, Michael, and hopefully all that complicated travel that I am looking forward to on my way to Jo'burg will be blessedly on time!

    2. &es, Michael. It will be my pleasure to bring you the books!!

  3. God blessed you with fortitude and the ability to smile. And you can always get a crime novel out if that- one of the few locked room scenarios left; the airplane on the runway, the luggage hall in lockdown.....a body on the luggage belt....

    1. Funny you say that, Caro. My first published crime fiction was a short story called "Baggage Claim." My original idea was a large suitcase on the conveyor belt leaking blood. I never could figure out how to make that premise into a short story. It needed at least 80,000 words to tell it.

  4. Hi Michael, YES! it will be my pleasure to bring both to you. pk

  5. Thank you so much! Looking forward to seeing you!

  6. What an ordeal! I've been stuck on the runway leaving an airport, (2 hours once) but I cannot imagine what it must be like after a long flight and needing to be home. Welcome home!