April 10, 2009

More Transatlantic Troubles for Tatiana
Giv'atayim, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Excitement had really been building these past few days. The time was getting near for Tatiana and Aidric's return to me from the Americas after spending the past 12 weeks apart.

Last Monday night (the 6th) she took an overnight flight with Spirit Air from Peru to Florida, arriving tired and with Tatiana still feeling ill (after a week of being sick with something she picked up in Lima).

The Plan:
The original itinerary we had worked out for her was an afternoon flight from Miami to Orlando (American Airlines) on Wednesday the 8th, with a connecting overnight flight from Orlando to London (British Airways). All this was followed by a very long layover, after which she'd take her third overnight flight with Israel's national airline, ELAL.

Alas, things never seem to go as planned for Tatiana and Aidric when it comes to Transatlantic flights (see the previous disaster from January: Tatiana's Troubled Return to the Americas).

The two should've been back by my side this morning… not still in the United States. When she should've been transiting at London Heathrow yesterday, I received an e-mail titled…

American Airlines is a Piece of Shit

[Thursday, April 9]

We were already sitting on the plane and ready to take off (in Miami) when the captain announced we'd be a few minutes delayed because they were checking on "a leak". After at least half hour they made us leave the plane because maintenance people put the aircraft out of service!!!

So, of course I missed my connection to London, which had just left as we were finally arriving in Orlando. We arrived at 7:40 pm and left that stupid airline office at 11pm. Aidric wouldn't stop crying and screaming.

We were put in a hotel at the airport and he cried all night and was cold in spite of wearing fleece everything. Now he's got a fever and I still have no resolution for all this bullshit. I'll eventually be sent to London, but the thing is that I have to take care of the ELAL flight myself. No one wants to take responsibility for my arrival in Israel.

This is too much, especially for the baby. I'd never seen him cry the way he did last night. Wish me good luck on this stupid ordeal caused by this shitty airline.

Labored Dealings with ELAL

I just called ELAL. They have a flight tomorrow, Friday morning, at 9:40 am but from London Stansted, which means I won't be able to make it because it takes 2hrs and 45min to get there from Gatwick (the soonest these people can get me to London is 6:40 am). The other option would be my same flight but two days later because they have no flight for Friday night, so it'd be on Saturday night.

Communicating to the Family

I'd sent out a quick blurb to my family as soon as the dust had settled:

Since all of Israel shuts down on Saturday for the weekly sabbath, there's no public transportation or national airline flights. Tatiana has had to reschedule her flight to depart Saturday night from London, arriving on my birthday, at the same (pre-6am) time as her previous reservation.

American Airlines has comped her a great room in the airport Hyatt for two nights (Wed & Thurs, the 8th & 9th), then she'll take a flight from Orlando to Chicago to London tomorrow morning, ultimately connecting with her departure from Heathrow on Saturday night (after spending a full day waiting around at Heathrow).

Flight details to follow from Tatiana.

Our CS hosts for Saturday (and beyond) are actually OUTSIDE of Tel Aviv, living in the West Bank, so I need to work on the logistics of who I'm going to stay with and how I'll get to those two that morning.

Just a mess.

//craig in israel
April 9 | 20:12

The Night Before Takeoff, After a Long Day

This is the third time in my life that something annoying happens with an airline, and what a coincidence that all three times American Airlines is involved…

So this is my new itinerary for tomorrow (Friday the 10th):

Orlando - Chicago: departs 5pm, arrives 6:55pm
Chicago - London Heathrow: departs 8:15pm, arrives 10am (+1 day)
London - Tel Aviv: departs 8:20pm, arrives 5:20am (+1 day)

(sigh…)

And I'm exhausted, I also had a bad bronchitis. Just walking up a flight of stairs feels like I've run a marathon. Aidric seems to be doing better. He had fever this morning, but he was fine all day. Just now his temperature was rising again but I just gave him Ibuprofen. Off to bed we go. Good night, please wish me good luck.

Getting Transport/Home Figured Out

While Tatiana was trying to sort out the terrible mess with the airlines and a baby with severe diarrhea, I was working on trying to sort things out my CouchSurfing hosts. She was supposed to have arrived this morning, relocating with me to a home out in the West Bank tomorrow afternoon (that has no real access to any type of public transportation).

To make a long, amazing story short: After talking with our pre-scheduled hosts for tomorrow (and beyond) they've offered to not only drive me from Tel Aviv back to their home (halfway between Jerusalem and this city), but to wake up before daybreak and drive me to pick up the two up from the airport. Just an amazing amount hospitality/generosity. They really saved the day.

This Sunday, the 12th, will be my 29th birthday. This year it also coincides with Easter (with me here in the Holy Land, of all places), and hopefully with Tatiana and Aidric's arrival. Their safe return will be all the b-day gift I need this year.

Comments:

The United States

Erik

July 28th, 2009

Ugh. That sucks. Airline problems happen but statistically it's only supposed to happen this often to people who fly more often than Tatiana.

The AA/BA flights and LY (El Al) itineraries were on two separate tickets, I'm assuming? If so, I know it's cheaper to book that way, (I do it, albeit without a child) but you see the risk when problems arise. AA only wants to get you to their ticketed destination, nowhere else.

If AA/BA/LY was all one ticket, a delay of more than a day may not have happened. AA would have been responsible for getting your family all the way to TLV - possibly by routing on LY from a US city or endorsing over to DL for their ATL-TLV non-stop.

Canada

Maya

July 28th, 2009

what a messy shit! I just cant imagine my poor cousin there and the baby… or anyone for that matter!!!! airlines that treat you like that… just took AA out of my list. Hope everyone reading this do the same… My boss just had a similar experience…. delays delays delays… AA too…

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