Yes, back to the terminal the plane went. Then we are told to take all our things from the plane. So much for the clapping and cheering now. It’s more like grumbling and muttering. But we all do make it off the plane. As one would expect no one anticipated a long delay. People were finding places to stake out a small space for them fairly close to the gate. The plane is already a couple hours late and keeps getting later. Trying to find out any news can be a difficult thing. Finally though the news breaks. The monitor has our flight scheduled for 6 in the morning. It says confirmed. Then you get the text from the airline stating the same thing. Now what? As it is now about 10:30 p.m. and word spreads that vouchers for dinner are available. That would seem to be good news. However, it is a mixed blessing. By this time all but one store has shut down for the night. It is a place where you can buy an already made up sandwich and a few other things. Unfortunately, the voucher was only enough money to afford a sandwich and a drink or chips. To make it worse, you have 300 or so people all in the same store so the line was long even with 3 checkers. But you did get some food.
After eating it was time to find a little real estate for yourself in the airport to wait. Ran into the 3 guys I met earlier in the day. They had been on the same plane to Iceland. So the four of us hooked up together to find a place to hole up. But before we could do so, the airport workers and the security there came by and told us we all needed to move upstairs because the airport was closing the gates for the night. Up the stairs we went, along with all the other passengers from the plane. My little group found an uninhabited section of chairs and we decided to wait the night there in the terminal. We discussed going to get a motel but then did the math. A long line at the customer service counter would mean almost an hour wait. A 30-minute bus ride from the airport to a hotel means we would not be in a room until around midnight. With the flight scheduled at 6 a.m. to be back to the airport and through security by takeoff, you would be leaving the hotel at 4 a.m. So we opted to make a night of it in the terminal.
And a night of it we did make. Thinking ahead we decided to stay awake all night. With a nine-hour flight ahead of us, we figured we could sleep on the plane. We would leave at 6 a.m. Iceland time and be at LAX by 10 a.m. California time. The theory was that this would help with jetlag. All night we talked. We solved all of America’s problems and most of the world’s too. At 4 a.m. the airport started coming alive. Restaurants opened and we heard there were vouchers again for food. This time there was enough to get a decent meal. Two big slices of pizza and a Pepsi later we were ready to go to the gate. By 6 a.m. no plane yet. It was out for a test drive. Then the miracle. We were getting back aboard the plane around 7 a.m. Everyone held their breath as about an hour later, we taxied to the runway. The throttles go forward and the engines roar. Down the runway, we roll. Faster and faster. Takeoff! Wheels were off the ground. Clapping and cheering from all of us passengers.
I am very happy to say I was able to get a few hours sleep on the trip back. It was that uneventful. Yes, when on a flight, that is the best news ever. The flight you were on was uneventful.
After the successful flight and landing in LAX, customs was the next hurdle. I had prepared for this. I was not sure how it worked but I have Global Entry. I went through the same lane as the flight crews do and used a machine similar in looks to an ATM. Put in my passport and it took my fingerprints. A few simple questions and in 5 minutes or less I was through customs. Global Entry is well worth the money it costs. It is only $100 and is good for five years. On to baggage claim. I was the first one there. A short wait for my bag and then on to my new start in life.