Have you ever asked yourself what happened when the Air Force One and Mr. President is in the air? No? I didn’t either. And didn´t expect that I ever find that out in my life…
My first Solo-adventure in New Orleans
It was the year 2014 when I decided to start a new “Travel-Life”. I always wanted to see the world with my own eyes and didn´t want to wait any longer. So I chose New Orleans, Louisianna for my very first location to travel to. The “Big Easy”, eating some nice Cajun food and take a boat ride on the Mississippi were things which I really wanted to do. I thought this could be a good start to begin my own adventures. Everything went smooth, I booked the flights, the car, and the accommodations. I was that full of excitement and happiness that I really would do it. Traveling by myself, don´t need to make any compromises, no waiting for someone else. I couldn´t wait that the journey would start.
Check-in and a first surprise
The time went by and departure date came closer and closer when I suddenly got a message from the travel agency that my flight has changed. The plan was to have a stopover in Chicago without waiting too long but enough time to get my bags checked back to the other plane and find the other gate. The agency told me that this has changed to a stop with about four or five hours waiting time. No good news, especially, when it´s your first run as a solo traveler and you don´t have any experiences what to do in such a situation. But “no worries”, I told myself. I called the travel agency, where I booked the flight and told them what happened. I asked them to help to re-arrange the flights in a way, that I still meet my schedule. As I agreed a specific time with my host of my apartment in New Orleans, I was very happy and eased to hear that everything is back in order and my original flight was still available. Once again I thought everything is fine and nothing else could go wrong. I also was a bit proud of myself that I managed this situation so well. 😀
On that day I checked in successfully, for both, the first flight and also for the second, still everything ok. I dropped off my suitcase, passed the security and passport control without any incidents and sat in the boarding area relaxed, calm and full of pleasant anticipation.
Stopover in Chicago and waiting for the President
Till the moment I entered Chicago O´Hare Airport, the journey went very well. Besides of this little issue with the changed flight, which I could correct beforehand. I was so pleased that I thought I could rule the world. 😀 After I got my bag and checked it back for the second part of the flight, I went to my next gate. On the way, I got myself a coffee and sat down to read my book. Reading a good book while waiting for anything is the best way to kill some time and relax.
So I was sitting there in the waiting area and I looked onto my watch from time to time realizing that the boarding time came closer but nothing happened. Of course, now the time has come to become a little bit nervous. The minutes went by and the time was running and still, nothing happened. No information, no explanation! I started to become more than just bit nervous. I tried to find some free wifi to inform my host of the delay, so he could adjust his schedule as well. With the less experience I had in traveling alone, I think it was just natural that I started to panic that I´ll miss the check in for the apartment.
Suddenly, the Co-Captain of our plane came to us and explained why we couldn´t start the boarding and the take-off. He said that he and the crew were waiting for the Captain, who is still in Detroit. Actually, Detroit is not on the other side of the world, but on the other side of the lake. Usually, it just takes half an hour to fly from there to Chicago. So why the heck he couldn´t just fly over from there? I couldn´t image any acceptable reason. Well, I continued to be nervous. Then the Co-Captain continued his explanation. He found out that the reason for all the delays at that time (we were not the only ones) was the President of the United States, Mr. Obama himself (at this time). As he was in the air with his plane Airforce One on his way to somewhere anyone else had to wait. According to the Co-Captain, it is not allowed to start or land any airplanes as long as Airforce One is in the air. The president himself was the reason that the Captain couldn´t take-off in the Detroit and land in Chicago. And that´s why we couldn´t take-off in Chicago with him or another Captain. No one else couldn´t leave the airport by plane. We were, literally, waiting for the President.
Every half an hour the Co-Captain came to us and informed us that the situation hasn´t cleared up and we still have to that the President has landed. He repeated this status for the next four hours. Overall we waited there about five hours, till Mr. Obama has left the air and was back on the ground safe and sound and the regular processes at the airport could start to work again. The Captain could fly from Detroit and take over our plane and finally, we were able to board.
Happy End and Arrival in New Orleans
After a long period of waiting and seconds thoughts about the stories about the President of the United States they told us in Chicago, the plane arrived in New Orleans. Five hours later than planned but in the end with a really good story to tell. I shared a taxi with some guys from England, I arrived at my apartment and met the host. Eventually, I fell into my bed exhausted but happy that I survived the first struggles of my journey and to continue my adventure.
This is a story for the blog parade from refund.me about one of my craziest experiences with traveling. I hope they like it.
If you like it and want to hear more about beautiful New Orleans and Louisianna stay tuned. There will be another post in the future in which I will tell you more about the town and things to do.
Meanwhile, if you also have some crazy stories from your travels, leave me a comment. Love to hear your unbelievable stories.