A Turbulent Flight Home

Yesterday my husband and I were enjoying chatting and having lunch with friends, our last meal together before we left Israel. We sat on the balcony enjoying the sunshine and warmth which had returned after much rain. Our hosts had made a Greek salad with bread and Calamari Pasta. I savoured and had plenty of the delicious food. The meal strengthened us for the journey ahead. We had just finished when the taxi man called to say he was waiting outside. After quick farewells we got the taxi to the TelAviv airport.

We checked the times of flights at Ben Guirion airport. Ours was the only one that showed the flight was delayed. When it came time to board old and young, babies in arms, Arabs, Jews and returning tourists gathered at the Gate for departures. An infant cried the whole time. There were Orthodox Jews on board, some old, feeble, humble men with long white beards and black hats. The attendants welcomed us on board and helped settle mothers with young and the old.

We were allocated our seats at the very back of the EasyJet aeroplane. This economic airline has no frills or extra comforts, but gets you places one could not otherwise afford to go. We didn’t mind because we had an unoccupied seat on the inside giving us space to stretch and have a sleep if need be. We were thankful.

The pilot spoke before our departure and apologised for the delay due to baggage handling back in the UK. He announced the flight time would be five and a half hours, which seemed a lot longer than our flight there. He didn’t tell us about the turbulence on the way over. The pilot has to slow down through turbulence. There were no frills but plenty of spills and thrills ahead of us.

We were strapped in our seats for the first two and a half hours of the trip home! The plane shook and jerked. Mothers and babies were sick. The flight attendants were going up and down the aisle giving out orange plastic bags and cups of water to help the sick.
I was praying as I do when turbulence hits on a journey. But never has it lasted so long.

I thought of the scripture when Jesus was asleep on a pillow at the back of the boat in the storm! Brendan and I were at the back of the aeroplane in a storm. He rebuked the disciples for being fearful and having little faith. Mark 4 v 38 to 40 KJV

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

I decided not to be fearful and trust in God. I prayed for many others who were vulnerable. Brendan sang in my ear a song “I feel pretty”. We heard it in the movie we watched one night on Netfix. It’s called Anger Management staring Jack Nicolson. He got his clients to sing a song if they were in a difficult situation. Not only was Brendan singing but he ordered some snacks and a drink from the attendant. He was not fearful but enjoyed a few treats in the storm.


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.


This blog was inspired by: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/daily-prompt-safety/