Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

February 25, 2019

An Unexpected Surprise


My yearly visit to my homeland was scheduled to begin on Thursday, February 21st. As I prepared for my journey my wife and soulmate, Nancy, arranged my flight schedules. The plan was for me to standby for a flight to Atlanta and connection to Brussels. From Brussels I purchased a ticket on Turkish Airlines to Ankara via Istanbul. My sister and brother-in-law would pick me up in Ankara.


My wife is a Delta Air Lines retiree. But honestly like many other retirees, her mind never really retired. Whenever we travel Nancy plans our itineraries as if she still was on the Revenue Management payroll. I am not complaining. But it is the same stress she went through when she was handling Delta flights for the Caribbean.

On the day that my long journey was to begin, we woke up to thick fog. Fog changes everything. She worried about flight delays both here in Pensacola and in Atlanta. She evaluated three flights to Atlanta for me and at the last minute she changed my listing to an earlier flight. She made her executive decision.

At 9am we left the house so that I could try for the 10am flight which was now delayed until 10:55am. She insisted that she was going to drop me off, park the car, and she would come in and wait until I was cleared on a flight.
Traveling non-revenue on bad weather days can be exceptionally challenging.

I should explain. Non-revenue means that Delta employees as well as retirees have the perk of traveling standby and are cleared depending on seat availability.

After Nancy dropped me off at curbside, I checked in and handed my passport to the baggage agent. She located my listing to Atlanta and my connection to Brussels. I placed my bag on the pad to be weighed.

“You are three pounds over.”
“Okay. I’ll pay the excess charge.”
“$159.00?”
“For three pounds of extra weight?”
“That is the rule, honey. You can take out a sweater and a blue jean. That should be about three pounds.”

Since she was the expert, I opened my suitcase and asked if she would please pick what she thought would be about three pounds. She took out my blue jeans and two of my novels which I was planning on giving to my sister. The agent put one of the novels back into the suitcase. So I was left with my blue jeans and my novel, “Voice of Conscience.”

“Put the jeans in your backpack and you can read the book during your flights.”

“I happen to be the author of this novel. Would you like to have the copy?”
“What is it about?”
“It is a literary novel. A tragedy.”
“Can you sign it for me?”
“With pleasure. What is your name?”
“Sandra.”
So, I wrote: “To Sandra. With all good wished as you follow your dreams.”

She smiled and thanked me. I was pleased that I had gained a new reader. I figured I can always give my sister another copy.

PS: I did make my flights and am writing this from my mother’s home in Ankara.