I left Tuesday, September 28th from O’Hare @ 9:20am. The plan was to go to JFK via Pittsburgh arriving JFK @ 1:50pm. I also had a flight from JFK to Istanbul that was departing @ 4:45pm. My flight from O’Hare left on time and without a hitch. I landed in Pittsburgh on time and discovered that I had the perfect connection. I arrived at the same departing gate for my flight to JFK. Within 30 minutes we were boarding the same plane for our on time flight. All on board we were expecting an ealy departure. Wow, what a perfect connection. This is when it all went wrong. The pilot with his pilot voice announced that we will push back but have a 20 – 30 minute delay. We would park on the tarmac and wait for our take off time. After the 30 minutes passed another announcement was made that we would have another one hour delay. After that hour passed another announcement was made that there would be another 1 1/2 hour delay and due to passenger rights we would have to return to the gate. Upon returning to the gate we were told to not leave the gate area because we could get the all clear at any time. So we waited. Then we were told that our 12:30pm flight would now leave @ 4pm. So I started checking other options to get to JFK to make my Turkish Air flight. It is now 2:30pm and I think I can still make it. As I’m on the phone checking options an announcement is made that the flight has been canceled. Everyone approached the counter. Side note. Why do people cut in line? It’s the one thing that really gets my goat. It’s rude and unacceptable. What I don’t understand is why others allow it to happen? Any way, back to my 10 hour flight from Chicago to JFK. One by one we told our stories and the airline assisted us with rebooking on another airline. In the mean time I called the group leader @ JFK to advise that I would not make my connection in JFK to Istanbul. She put me on a prioity waitlist for Turkish Air’s 11:35pm flight. Finally, I’m at the counter and I get the last seat on USAir from Pittsburgh to Laguardia. The scheduled arrival is 6:30pm. Plenty of time to get from LaGuadia to JFK. I am told that my bag will be transfered from my original flight to my new flight. I really don;t trust this and I think it smells of a lost bag. I have faith and proceed. I head down to the gate and guess what’s displayed. That’s right “Flight Delayed”. But that delay turned out to be a delay at all. Shortly after we boarded the plane for a pretty close to on time departure. We pushed back from the gate and our pilot makes an announcement in his pilot voice……We’ve been advised of a delay of 20 – 30 minutes so we’ll push back and wait for our time of departure. De Ja Vu anyone??? This time 20 – 30 minutes was all it took. We took off and headed to LaGuardia. I actually arrived @ JFK @ 7pm. My luggage arrived as well. I approached Turkish Air and advised that I am still on Prioity Waitlist and won’t know anything until 10pm. So I wait. I get a beer and a sandwhich and I wait. @ 11:00pm I’m finally cleared, issued my boarding pass and hand my bag over to security. Once again I’m worried if my bag will make it to the plane in 30 minutes but I put it out of my mind and head to the gate. I am pleasantly surprised with Turkish Air. Clean plane, good entertainment center, I got an aisle seat and the food was pretty good. I arrived in Istanbul, Turkey and the flight took 9 hours 40 minutes. Less time than it took me to get from O’Hare to JFK.
I cautiously approach baggage claim expecting that my bag would not have arrived and wouldn’t you know it…there it was…a thing of beauty going around the carousel! I eagerly grab my bag and off I go to my hotel. I’m now in Turkey having a wondeful time.