JKF Strikes Again

February 7, 2018 2 comments908 views

I kissed mum and dad goodbye before putting them in an elevator to take them up to the Emirates lounge in Zurich Airport. The family holidays had come to an end. Previous day flights into JFK had been cancelled for days due to the “bomb cyclone” snow storm that had been blasting the northeast for the last week, but our flight was ready to go with no cancellations. It’s a 9 hour flight from Zurich back to New York and it’s a 21 hour flight from Zurich to Adelaide. We laughed with mum and dad saying we’ll be home and unpacked and they’ll still be on the first leg of their flights home. We boarded the plane and settled in. It was a pretty uneventful plane ride until towards the end half of the flight when the Capitan announced on the loudspeaker to that we had begun our descent into Boston. He apologised for the inconvenience, and explained that it was due to customs being closed for at least the next 6+ hours at JFK.

JFK strikes again.

A little excitement stirred in me as I’d always wanted to go to Boston, but I was wondering how we were going to get home.

The flight crew didn’t have much other information for us; so, we were going to Boston.

As we landed in Boston we were stuck on the plane – the crew needed to get approval from customs to open the doors and let us out. We were sitting there for around an hour wondering if we were going to be stuck on the tarmac for 6+ hours until JFK opens or if we were going to be spending the night in Boston.

Eventually we heard that Boston was going to allow us in. But how do we get home? The airline said we could do a few things: catch the Amtrack train to NYC, hire a car or stay the night. Unfortunately, due to the bomb cyclone a lot of planes had been diverted or stuck in Boston over the last x3 days, so all the hotels were full and there wasn’t much choice in hire cars either. As we had just returned from skiing, we both had additional luggage and were carrying our suitcase, hand luggage, skis and boots. Amtrak would only allow x1 piece of checked luggage on the train, so that option was out. We frantically looked for a hotel for the night and found something (super overpriced) but luckily the airline was paying for it. We thought we’d go get our bags then decide on what to do depending on the time we got out of the airport. We could perhaps drive home that night – if there was a car available to us.

We left the plane and went to line up for customs – where we’d had the best customs experience yet – much MUCH more friendlier than JFK customs. We were cracking jokes, talking about places to go for dinner, NYC vs Boston in baseball etc. With two GO stamps in our passports, we entered the US into a luggage jungle nightmare. As we weren’t the only flight to be diverted into Boston we were battling to find our bags or find some order to the chaos that was unfolding ahead of us. While we were told our bags would come our at carousel 2 they in fact came out at carousel 4. Normally, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, if the baggage carousel claim area wasn’t jam packed like sardines with people. We eventually found all of our bags, skis and boots (miraculously) and headed for the bus to take us to the car rentals.

A good 20 minutes of struggletown later, we arrived at Avis. We were in need of a big car to fit all our luggage and the only car available to us was dirty as the car wash had frozen and the team wasn’t able to clean it for us. It wasn’t a bother, we just wanted to get the keys so we could get in the car and turn the heater on. It felt colder than Finland and the wind was like ice.

It was 4am (our time) but only 10pm in Boston. The night was young but we were buggered and couldn’t face a x4 hour drive. We decided to find a hotel, stay the night and drive back in the morning.

We found an overpriced Westin which we usually love, but this one felt much more casual than the Westin’s we’ve previously visited. (Such first world drama). Whatever, I just wanted to go to bed. Not so quickly! Remi said. As the airline was paying for the night, we first had to ensure we each had an expensive meal. For a girl whose world revolves around food, you can imagine how much of a fight I put up. None. We headed to the hotel restaurant and ordered an enormous seafood boil and steak filet mignon – and THEN we (were allowed) to go to bed.

We were up and at it on Monday morning; but apparently so was everyone else who was stuck in Boston. With our dirty rental, we made our way through the thick snowy highway. We realised it was going to be a long drive when we discovered Avis didn’t use an antifreeze solution for the windscreen and wipers. Our four hour journey took us a good seven hours, and i’ve never felt so relieved to see the inside of our tiny NYC apartment.


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