I hope you come prepared for a laugh. Here is a brief overview of my first international flight.
10:30 – My team and I left for the El Paso airport. Because my flight was booked late, I was on a separate flight than all of my other teammates.
11:00 – We make it through security.
11:30 – We sit down to eat lunch.
12:00 – We say good-bye and they leave for their terminal on the opposite side of the airport.
12:15 – While in the process of boarding, Pat, my teammate, finds me. He tells me that my flight was canceled. I responded with a remark like, “You’re crazy, I am boarding it right now.” After a moment of confusion, we approached the service desk. He was right, sort of. I was originally scheduled to fly from El Paso to Atlanta, then, from Atlanta to Buenos Aires. Due to a volcanic eruption (yes, that is the true reason), my flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires was canceled. The representative gave me two options. (1) Board the flight to Atlanta as planned and figure out another flight to Buenos Aires once I land. (2) Do not board and take a different flight to Dallas/Fort Worth and then another flight to Buenos Aires.
With only minutes to decide, I chose option two. It sounds great, right? Well, I forgot one piece of information. Because my Atlanta flight was boarding, my luggage was already loaded and there was no way to remove it. So, once I arrive in Buenos Aires I will have no luggage! The representative said that I can make a claim once grounded. Considering that I know less than 5 words in Spanish, I foresee this as a huge problem. However, there is not much I can do.
12:30 – I go to tell my teammates of the change.
12:35 – I go to the service desk to print my tickets for the new flight.
12:40 – I am informed that my flight changed again! Instead of flying out of El Paso at 3:00, I will be now flying out of El Paso at 1:30. Although the constant flight changes were stressful, it all worked out. When the dust settled, I was on the same flights and seated beside my three teammates all the way from El Paso to Argentina. Only God could instrument something like this.
What I find interesting is the airliner’s lack of communication. I did not know about any flight changes until I inquired about them. So, if Pat never found me, I would be in Atlanta right now with no connecting flight to Argentina. And if I did not go immediately to the service desk to reprint my tickets, I would have missed my flight at 1:30, because I thought it was at 3:00.
Thankfully, I have some great teammates. Now, I must concentrate on locating my baggage that is somewhere within the United States and have it brought to Buenos Aires. Sounds easy, right?