Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Unfriendly Skies"

      We   returned this weekend from a much anticipated vacation with family.  Unfortunately, thanks to the "unfriendly skies" of Delta Airlines, almost two days were stripped away.  Our son along with his wife and five children were to make a connecting flight out of Dallas at Memphis.  Being consumer hostile rather than friendly, the flight out of Dallas was delayed and boarding was denied at Memphis International.  I said denied.  The plane was still at the gate but the attendant refused boarding as the gate had been closed.  The only option offered was a flight seven hours later and $6.00 meal tickets. Diapers were supplied at a cost to parents of $3.00 each. On the later flight, the children were separated from the parents and dispersed throughout the plane among strangers.   

Connor's Mega Meal!
      The family finally arrived at the Orlando airport after midnight, without luggage!  After much checking and more delays, it was discovered part of the luggage including a necessary child restraint had been sent to Germany.  I can see how they could easily confuse the two destinations!!  Really??! We finally settled in at the house around 2:00 am.   Part of the luggage arrived at the house around mid-afternoon the following day.

      Still we had a wonderful though exhausting time at Disney.  The stress and frustration with the airline gave way to shrieks of joy and excitement from the grandchildren.   Even with rainfall the first day out, it was still Disney.

On the return flight the saga of the dysfunctional travelers continued. Upon check in the airline could only produce one boarding pass for daughter in law Becky.  Even with receipts and confirmations, they could or would not guarantee seats for the remaining family members.  So, did they expect a mother to fly off and leave her babies in the trustworthy hands of Delta? I don't think so.

     Finally, one among dozens of indifferent Delta employees offered us compassion and competency.  Very quickly he issued boarding passes with the entire family seated together. He was not assigned to this gate but discovered in passing that it was not staffed.  With our plane scheduled to depart in minutes, he realized there were passengers stranded on the arriving plane without staff to let them off.  Do you think Delta has it together?  Dan tried to get this employees name to write a letter of commendation.  But, understandably Delta employees provide first names only.

     Thankfully the entire family finally arrived home together absent a car seat floating about somewhere in Germany.  With our experience with Delta, that in and of itself is a miracle!


    We were so exasperated at one point; Dan questioned why God was not answering our prayers.  In retrospect, perhaps He was. Who knows?  Without Divine intervention, our grandchildren might very well be lost in a foreign country!

Psalm 17:6-8 I call to you for you will answer me, O God Listen to me! Hear what I say! Accomplish awesome, faithful deeds, you who powerfully deliver those who look to you for protection from their enemies. Protect me as you would protect the pupil of your eye! Hide me in the shadow of your wings!

1 comment:

Becky Breland said...

You and your family had your share of problems with airplanes, but the trip looked wonderful!! Glad you got to spend some quality time with family. Ain't Disney grand???