Thursday, March 27, 2003

Before Takeoff

I get to the airport on Sunday all ready to hop on to Turkish Airlines flight 0007 to Istanbul, catch a connecting flight to Tel Aviv after a nice, but very brief, stop over and be in Israel sometime Tuesday afternoon.

That did not happen.

I got to the airport and I was told that because of the war, no planes were leaving Turkey on Monday. I would have to stay over in Istanbul until the next flight at 1 AM and arrive in Israel at 4:30 on Tuesday. Now I really could not afford to cut it that close. Also, I would have to stay over in a hotel, which they would provide, but. . . I would have to shell out $100 for the honor of entering the country itself, which they would not provide. My alternative was to spend 13 hours in a crazy hotel.

So after checking in, L, who drove me to the airport with S, says to me ``why don't you call the travel agent and see what they can do." But the travel agent was closed, but his ``emergency'‘ number was working fine. So after a whole bunch of backs and forths with El Al, Turkish Airlines and my luggage, my travel agent drove to JFK and personally handed me a new ticket for the El Al flight.

It was Five Star Travel in Boro Park, Brooklyn. THAT is service. Thanks.

(note added later: The following day there was a Turkish Airlines flight hijacked. I do not think it was the one I was supposed to be on.)