Back home, with no help from El Al or Jet Blue

If you read my post from June 23,  you got the story about how we had to make all these last minute changes to get to New York in time to catch our planes home. Well, the story was just starting!

We got to the airport in Tel Aviv and went to the El Al security. We told them we were a group and they got us all together. That started to look good, and we went through security fairly well. BUT- when we went to get the tickets and boarding passes, we were not in the system. I showed them the confirmation emails we had received when I had their customer service change the flights, but (apparently) the person sent the confirmations but never completed entering the information so there were no tickets for most of us. Well, now it was rush to the cashier, rush to get the boarding passes (with everyone else on line needing to get theirs, as well), then rush to get to the airplane in time to board it. Consequently, we did not have any time to go to the VAT (sales tax return) booth and recover all the sales tax we paid on items over $100. Not that it was a lot of money, but to some of us that would have been $30-$60 dollars back in our pocket.

Then, the plane sat on line for almost an additional hour! By the time we got off, we wouldn’t have time to make the switch to Lufthansa when we reached Frankfort. Besides having to get to the terminal, we all needed to have our boarding passes printed out because there wasn’t any time to do that in Israel.

Lufthansa held the plane (we weren’t the only ones that needed to make the switch) and we got the passes done. Finally- we are on the way to New York and we did land in time for everyone to make their flights.

That is, everyone landed in time, but not everything. For most of us, the luggage didn’t make it to the plane back in Germany. So, we thought we had time to get to our flights, but in fact we still cut it close (for some) because after we got through customs we had to go to the Lufthansa lost baggage area and file a claim. They said they would ship the bags back to us at our home- I expect mine to be here tomorrow.

To top it all off, my Jet Blue flight that was supposed to leave at 1800 was delayed until sometime around 2100, and I finally got back to Orlando the next day (officially, since it was after midnight.)

I was awake from Thursday night at about 2200 until Saturday morning around 0200, except for a couple of cat naps lasting less than half an hour, each. Somewhere in there is a 7-hour period loss to account for the time zone change, but I honestly have no idea how that works- do I add the time or subtract it?

I am home now. As soon as my clothes join me I can say the trip is complete. I have created a separate page on this site for the Israel trip, so when you look at the top of the home page, you will see it. Click on the “Israel Trip-2016” title page to get a run-down of the trip, and each day has a link to pictures of that day.

I have to confess it isn’t totally accurate- I did keep a folder of pix for each day with a run-down of the places we went to, but I was so tired and the blog site won’t let me upload folders, only individual pictures, so those of you who were with me may note some things are a little off. Please let me know and I will correct them in the next few weeks, but for everyone else, unless you are really, really familiar with Israel, these pictures will be great to view.

Now I have to figure out how to get Donna to go back with me.


  1. Steven R. Bruck
    rickeyg June 27, 2016 at 19:31

    I was part of the group with Steven and I would like to offer confirmation for all that he has reported here. I must also add what a great pleasure it was to get to know him. He really is a great guy. First thing I did on getting back to the U.S. (after sleeping, that is) was to order his book. I look forward to reading it. Shalom!

    • Steven R. Bruck
      Steven R. Bruck June 28, 2016 at 06:01

      It was great to get to know you, too, and I look forward to keeping in touch. I didn’t know you played the soprano sax- I play the alto (poorly, I might add) and all the brass instruments. Well, I used to- now the only wind instrument I work with is the Shofar.

      • Steven R. Bruck
        rickeyg June 28, 2016 at 20:53

        That’s an old pic, I mostly play bass guitar now, but I still have soprano/alto/tenor sax, flute, and trumpet. And harmonicas and strum stick and native american flute…but no time to play them lately. I’m not so good either, but it’s fun to play in the church band.

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