A Heavenly Travel Agent

We had to get to L.A. fast, but all the seats on the plane were taken.

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- Posted on Mar 26, 2009

An airliner taking off from a metropolitan airport

My husband, Wally, and I had been sitting in the Pittsburgh airport for the last few hours, sad and overwhelmed. Wally’s dad had died unexpectedly of heart failure. We were trying to get from our home in Richmond to Los Angeles as quickly as possible.

Wally’s sister, his only sibling, was waiting for us, and Wally, as the executor of the estate, needed to take care of some legal matters right away. “I hope our flight leaves on time,” Wally said now, running his hands through his hair.

“Everything will be okay,” I said gently. Just then an announcement came over the intercom. Our flight had been cancelled.

“For those of you still looking to go to Los Angeles,” the announcer continued, “there is Flight 466 leaving out of Gate 3A in twenty minutes. They will take passengers on a first-come, first-served basis...”

All at once there was a stampede of people running through the airport trying to be one of the few to make it on that flight. “I’ll stay with the bags,” Wally said. “Hurry and see if you can get us seats.”

I ran as fast as I could, but still there were at least 20 people in line in front of me. Lord, please get us on this plane, I prayed, afraid I was too late. When I finally reached the agent, my fears were confirmed. The flight was full. “When is the next one?” I asked.

“At five this afternoon,” he said, “but that’s fully booked too.” There were no more flights until the next day.

“My father-in-law just died,” I stammered, “and we need to be with my sister-in-law as soon as possible.”

“I’d love to be able to help,” the agent, “but everything’s booked. Let me take your name and I’ll call you if anyone cancels.” I gave him our tickets and he typed our information into the computer. Then he looked up. “But Mrs. Hutchinson,” he said, “you’re already scheduled on this flight.”

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