Family Friday. Confusion with Airports and Flights

Brendan and I were visiting our daughter in Edinburgh in July of 2012.   She and her husband had just returned to live in Scotland from Switzerland.  We had flown with Easyjet to Edinburgh from Belfast International Airport.  We were happy to see Ruth and Stuart again after she had settled into her new accomodation.  It was nice to relax and catch up with them.  Brendan needed a longer break so I suggested he stay on for a few days.  

I arranged to pick him up on his return.  I headed off to Belfast International Airport in good time.  In Belfast the traffic was held up.  It was the Twelfth of July and there were Orange Band parades through Belfast.  I had to wait while all the parade passed.  I got anxious that I would be late getting to the airport.  After an impatient delay I eventually was able to be on my way.  I reckoned I would get there on time.

When I arrived in the airport carpark I got a call from Brendan.  He was outside the front entrance waiting for me.  I told him okay,  I was just parking and would meet without further delay.  I walked over to the entrance but Brendan was nowhere to be seen.  I called him on my mobile phone.  He kept explaining he was at the entrance to the airport.  I was perplexed.  He was nowhere to be seen.  I got more exasperated.  He got more annoyed at the other end of the phone.  

Then it dawned on both of us.  I went to the wrong airport to pick him up.  He had arrived into Belfast City Airport on Flybe.  He had changed from  Easyjet to Flybe to get home.  We were both upset with each other.  He suggested he would get the bus home.  I said ” Go ahead. You may get home before I do.”  

I drove off in the car still upset.  After a short time I settled down and called Brendan and said I would pick him up on the way through Belfast.  We decided to forget about the misunderstanding of not going to the right airport.  From then on I make sure I check which airport I am to go to if I have to pick someone up.  Once bitten, twice shy.

We were returning from Canada recently.  We had to get an inland flight from Vancouver to Toronto.  We arrived at the airport in good time to get checked in.  We stood in line at the Westjet desk waiting to check in our baggage.  There were quite a few passengers ahead of us.  When we gave the attendant our tickets she said “I am sorry sir you are flying with Air Canada and pointed us in the direction of the check in desk.”  We had wasted precious time at the wrong desk.  

I asked an attendant could we skip the queue because our flight was leaving soon.  She said,”I’m sorry Madam, the desk is closed.  You are too late to check in.”   We are going to miss this flight and the next connection to Ireland from Toronto!  I ran up to the desk and asked could someone help me.  Thank God a lady helped us.  She opened her desk again and checked our luggage through.  She even gave us a ticket to fast track the security gate.   Phew.  That was a close call.  

We had a very pleasant flight with Air Canada to Toronto.  I was so stressed, I hadn’t realised we had taken off and were airborne.  I was so thankful to God we did not miss the flight home.  God promises me I am under his daily care so I don’t need to fear.

Psalm 71:15. I cannot count the times when you have faithfully rescued me from danger. I will tell everyone how good you are, and of your constant, daily care.


On Good Friday this year our Son Isaac returned home from Canada.  He had spent six months there on work experience.   We were looking forward to seeing him.

Brendan and I set off to Belfast airport to pick him up.  I got a call on my cell phone from Isaac.  He missed the connecting flight to Belfast.  His flight from Canada had been three hours delayed.  He was distressed.  He was ringing from a public telephone and the money was running out.  I rang him back.  I tried to reassure him that he could get the next flight and we would pay the extra.  Still he was upset.

I tried to tell Brendan what was happening with Isaac and get his advice what to do.  Pressure was rising.  Brendan suggested to go to the flight desks and see if there was any space on any Easyjet flight to Belfast that evening.  After a while Isaac got back to us.  All the flights were full that evening as well as the following day.  It was Easter weekend, one of the busiest weekends of the year.

I wondered why Isaac was unusually stressed.  The full story unfolded later.  Isaac had set off from Vancouver, said goodbyes to friends and was looking forward to restful journey home.   He was already missing the new friends he had made.

About two hours into the flight from Vancouver, one of the passengers began to upset a flight attendant.  This passenger was drunk.  Isaac and four other men were asked to help quieten him.  They has to restrain him for an hour, while the pilot re routed  the flight to Banff Island, where the unruly man was arrested.  Bad behaviour on airlines will not be tolerated and invite a severe penalty.

The flight continued on to London but three hours late. This incident was reported on the evening news in Canada, so Isaac’s friends heard about it.  They realised he would have been on that flight.

Brendan and I returned home.  He looked up on the internet for a flight to get Isaac home that night.  There was a British Airways flight to Belfast, but from a different airport!   Brendan booked it.  Isaac had to get over there as soon as possible.  He paid a taxi man a big sum of money to get to Heathrow.  Isaac  wanted to get home at all cost.

We picked him up later that evening.  He was glad to be home and we were so happy to have him back safely.  He slept for twenty four hours.  The airline gave him a free return flight to Canada.

I know a friend who prays for anyone she knows who is going on a journey.  She prays for the pilots, the works of the plane and to keep everyone on board safe.  She must have been praying for Isaac that day.


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