You’d think I’d learn my lesson and not travel on Friday!
This past Friday started off just fine. I was in NY for a bris, and was scheduled to take a 12:45pm flight back to Florida for Shabbos.
Of course the flight was delayed. 3 hours!!
To make matters worse, the plane we were to take (to replace the plane with a mechanical failure) had fewer seats than the number of people booked for the larger plane. So the airline (SW) was asking people to volunteer to go on a later flight that day, or even Saturday or Sunday.
[Had it not been Friday, I would have taken their offer in a heartbeat. Refund on this flight. Rebook to whichever flight you want (to same destination). Plus $600 voucher to fly whenever and to use for whomever.
Why is it worse? Because they were planning to bump the last few people who checked in if they didn't get enough volunteers! Of course, I'm number 3 on that list, so if they don't get 3 people to volunteer, I'm sunk and stuck in NY - despite my pleading and explaining why I couldn't get on a plane after 4pm.
After an hour of nervous nail-biting, a woman (I'll call her my Shabbos-guardian-angel) came along and asked about the vouchers, etc.
She was hesitant because she was traveling with her two granddaughters who were "excited to go to Floirda today." I was there as she deliberated, and I extolled to her the virtues of taking $1800 in vouchers from the airline and convincing her granddaughters that going the next day would be the greatest chesed to me in that moment.
She thought about it, called her husband, and a few minutes later I was called by the flight attendant to come pick up my boarding pass!!!!!!!!
I thanked her, thanked her granddaughters, thanked the airline people, thanked Hashem, and got on the plane 1/2 hour later. It took off around 3:40, landing 6:40, and I was in shul by 7:18pm.
Hair raising, but all worked out in the end!