My Long Day’s Journey into Night

15 Aug

Ben Gurion Airport

Vintage posters for Keren Hayesod decorated one wall at Ben Gurion Airport.

View from Business Class

My view from business class of the approach to Philadelphia

I arrived at BWI airport last Thursday night after a long and tiring journey from Tel Aviv. My flight left Tel Aviv at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. I left the house at the ungodlier hour of 1:30 a.m., allowing plenty of time for travel to the airport and getting through security at Ben-Gurion. Going through security was not as bad as I’d anticipated but I didn’t mind getting there early. If I’d left the house later I’d’ve fretted away with worry about getting checked in on time.

Little did I know that a minor panic attack was just around the corner. When I went through security, I’d been so concerned about tucking my laptop securely away in my backpack, that I walked away without having retrieved the pouch I was using to carry my passport and boarding pass. I realized my mistake when I’d taken only a few steps away, but when I returned to the security carousel my pouch was nowhere in sight. Yikes!! After a few anxious moments while I tried to explain my dilemma to a seemingly unconcerned security worker I was overwhelmed with relief when another security worker reached down and nonchalantly retrieved a bin from under the belt with my pouch lying in it.

That crisis over, I proceeded to my gate for the first leg of my trip, Tel Aviv to Frankfurt, a 4-1/2 hour flight with a 4-1/2 layover in Frankfurt. I was so tired by the time I boarded the plane I actually managed to grab a bit of sleep. The next leg of my journey, Frankfurt to Philadelphia, was the longest—a nine-hour flight. It started out as a typical flight but ended up with a wonderful surprise and two firsts for me.

About halfway into the flight I discovered that my video monitor was not working; and because the flight attendants were unable to get the monitor to work I was compensated for this inconvenience with a seat in business class. This was my first ever time in business class. And I had the whole section to myself. My own bathroom! A comfy blanket and pillow. A chair that could be moved electronically into different positions…and with a massage option. If only I’d noticed the problem earlier; my tenure in business class lasted only three hours.

The other first came when we deplaned at Philly. I was the first passenger to step off the plane! In rapid succession I went through immigration, retrieved my checked bag, went through customs, rechecked my bag for the final leg of my trip; the flight from Philly to Baltimore.

That flight was almost a joke. As soon as we’d finished our ascent from Philly we began our descent to Balmer. Retrieving my luggage took nearly as long as the flight from Philly to Baltimore. As soon as I did retreive my bag, I flagged down the shuttle to the rental car facility just before it began to drive away. I was a fastbreak member of Budget Rent a Car, so breezed on into the garage to select one of the four cars available in the category I had booked. I chose a sporty red Ford Focus; drove on out of the garage and within minutes I was staggering up the steps to my sister’s apartment.

It was going on 8 p.m. Baltimore time meaning I’d been on the road for about 24 hours. What a long strange trip it was.

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2 Responses to “My Long Day’s Journey into Night”

  1. SA Esterly August 15, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    It sounds much like our recent trip to Colorado from TA. It is a long haul to the home fires. Have fun!!!

  2. Lenora Genovese August 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Hi Shirley. Yes, a long haul, but now that I’m here, well worth it!

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