Around the World in 69 Days - Fall 2007 travel blog

a welcome face


It was touch and go for a while there, but we did make it home. When this trip was first booked, we were flying home from Ireland non stop. We were not happy to receive an email from American Airlines notifying us that this flight was cancelled and we had to fly home via London. Not only is Heathrow a horrendous airport on the best of days, we were flying an hour in the wrong direction. We rose at 5am to make the first flight and were surprised to be told that while American had notified Aer Lingus to expect us for the flight to London, they had not bothered to pay them. The agents at Aer Lingus were very nice, but did not want to let us on the plane without $$$. Go figure. The clock ticked and ticked as they sat on the phone on hold with American Airlines. As far as we know they never did get an authorization number, but they finally waved us through. Whew!

While we weren't happy to have a four hour layover, we needed the first hour to walk from terminal one to terminal three. Then we were acosted by a security agent who told Ken that his carry on was too big. It was the same carry on he had just flown around the world with. I was told that I could not have a purse and a carry on even though I had also flown with this same configuration around the world. Disposing of my purse and its contents was NOT an option! I put on the fleece vest and took out my computer and was able to smash the purse into my carry on. That made it through step one of security. Then another line for shoe inspection security. Bear in mind that all these inspections took place even though we had just been inspected in Ireland.

The flight left early and we started to relax when an "Is there a doctor on the plane?" PA announcement alerted us to the fact that the very frail old lady sitting behind us was in respiratory distress. She had come on the plane with a walker and appeared to be flying alone. Eavesdropping told us that she had severe asthma and had just flown to London from India, where she had last taken her medicine. She had no medicine with her and was planning to fly from Chicago to Austin TX. Three doctors volunteered and hovered around taking her blood pressure, administering oxygen and trying to assess her condition. The pilot stopped by to interview them and try to determine how to handle this medical emergency. After they moved the lady to first class our eavesdropping stopped, but we watched the flight route on our TV's closely as we approached North America. Would we be landing in Gander, Newfoundland? Apparently whatever the doctors did got her stabilized. After we landed paramedics rushed on board and whisked her away. We were left with unanswered questions that were none of our business about why she was flying alone without her meds, and happy to be on the ground.

A big welcome home hug from the kitty and to bed.

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