You take the high road …
It’s not often that someone goes to the airport for an international trip and arrives home the same day.
But that’s what happened Thursday to 30 Harrison Countians scheduled to leave Louisville International Airport for a 90-minute plane ride to Chicago’s O’Hare airport, where they were to make a quick plane change for Glasgow, Scotland.
On Friday afternoon, instead of seeing the sights in bonny Scotland, the group was in the band room at Corydon Central High School, discussing new travel plans. Bad weather in the Windy City had kept them grounded in Louisville.
‘I’ve been on the phone more this morning … ‘ said tour organizer Kevin Trobaugh of Corydon.
Trobaugh is a veteran CCHS teacher who has organized and led similar trips the last eight years. This is the first time he’s had to contend with a major delay that shortened the tour by days.
‘Little’ delays in the past have created minor inconveniences. For example, one year, on an excursion to Rome, the group didn’t get to see Pompeii, Italy, because of a timing glitch. Last year, when Trobaugh’s group was back in the States, bad weather delayed their flight out of St. Louis to Louisville for a short time.
‘It’s the first time we’ve lost three days,’ said Ben Hayes, CCHS band director who has gone on the annual excursions.
Four adult chaperones, three CCHS graduates and 23 members of the Class of 2004 met last Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Louisville airport, anxious and ready to go. After checking their luggage and receiving their boarding passes, they waited for the short flight to Chicago. Once there, they were supposed to be on a plane for Glasgow in just over an hour.
Instead, they sat in a plane in Louisville for three hours.
Justin Lynton, who had never flown before said, ‘They could have at least gone around in circles’ on the runway.
Trobaugh said airline officials finally gave him 11 minutes to decide if his group would prefer to return home Thursday night or fly on to Chicago with no confirmation about when they might leave for Europe.
Trobaugh opted to postpone the trip.
‘I’ve had some interesting conversations with American Airlines,’ he said.
Departure was rescheduled for Sunday. Unfortunately, the airline couldn’t book all 30 passengers together on one flight out of Louisville. The 30 Harrison Countians left for Chicago in small groups on six flights at different times.
‘It’s a new game: ‘Meet your friends in Chicago’, ‘ Trobaugh told the group when he outlined the new itinerary. Those who arrived first at O’Hare were to greet the next group at their gate and show them where they would depart, together, on Sunday night.
The first group to leave Louisville ‘ Deborah and Cory Williams ‘ was the only one that did not fly directly to Chicago. They had a more circuitous route: Chicago via Dallas.
‘We’ll try to use this in the concept of a learning experience,’ Trobaugh said.
In Glasgow Monday morning, the tourists were to pick up their original itinerary.
If all goes as planned, well, they’re supposed to return to Chicago on Sunday night, spend the night there, and get back to Louisville, in two groups, the next day.
‘The kids were really good about (the delay),’ Trobaugh said Friday afternoon before heading home to fine-tune the schedule that included an overnight train excursion from Edinburgh to London. That is, if all goes as planned.