I intended staying in Harrisburg less than 24 hours because of pressing work at home. On Thursday afternoon I returned to the airport to retrace my flights, first 5:45 pm US airways to New York, then (after an hour's layover) American to Chicago. Simple? No, the 5:45 was so delayed that I would miss the only available connecting flight in New York. The clerk switched tickets for me to catch another flight straight to Chicago. The delay had worked to my advantage! Was I pleased!
Boarding the plane on time we taxied out and came to a halt. Something in the tail was malfunctioning. We sat for an hour and then returned to deplane. After another hour we were told the flight was cancelled and alternative arrangements would be made. But no more flights to Chicago were possible that day. After two hours, they gave me fresh tickets for Continental Airlines at 6:00 am the next morning, for Chicago via Cleveland, with vouchers to stay overnight at the Sheraton. After limited sleep I was back in the airport. With fresh hope, we boarded on time, taxied out and came to a halt. The stewardess' microphone was faulty. We sat for an hour and then returned to deplane. After another hour we were told the flight was cancelled. Then began a frantic time which involved me in two failed attempts to be transferred to other flights where I joined lines at other gates only to be rejected because my paper work was faulty.
Eventually, I was the last passenger left after at least a 100 others had been sorted. With weariness they booked me on United (my fifth airline) for a flight straight back. I felt weary too. Mercifully, this plane actually took off and I was back home 18 hours later than planned.
Hopefully, its rare for two successive planes to fail like this. Again, it helps me to moan ....and to offer warnings: always take your cellphone, allow for detours and never take travel for granted. I was reminded of James 4:13, 14 - 'Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city"...why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. '