Leaving Orlando turned out to be a bigger headache than I expected. Right when I was in Animal kingdom, I got a text from United saying that my flight was delayed 15 minutes. No big deal, but then I got one saying that it was delayed 30 minutes, then 45.
Now I was panicking a little. From Orlando, I had a 45 minute connection time in Newark to get to my plane to Paris. If the plane to Newark was going to be 45 minutes late, then I might miss the connection and the whole trip could be ruined. Luckily, the plane only ended up being 20 minutes late taking off, but by the time we arrived at Newark, I had only about 10 minutes to make the flight to Paris.
I was third off the plane, and I literally ran through the terminal, getting to the Paris plane just as they were announcing “last call”. I sat in my seat, and then I realized I’d left my iPad on the other plane.
I asked the flight attendant what could be done, and assumed that the best case scenario was (if it was still there) that they’d have to send it to me after I got home. Suddenly, the captain appeared and asked what seat I was in on the last flight. I told him, and he dashed off. A few minutes later, he reappeared with my iPad (he must have run as well), and we departed on time.
After we were airborn, I thanked him profusely, and explained about my trip (which, btw, I booked entirely on united.com). Turns out that his niece is a Disney Channel star. (I want to say “Jessie”, but I can’t remember for certain.) He was extremely enthusiastic about my trip, and we exchanged info.
Captain Robert L. Hain, thank you so much! You really went above and beyond the call of duty, and saved me a lot of headache on an already stressful journey. I hope we keep in touch, and you’ve certainly earned my respect and loyalty as a United flyer! Plus, you’re a pretty cool guy too. Say “hi” to your niece from me, and I look forward to flying with you again some day soon.
Ps: We arrived at Paris 30 minutes early, which meant I could catch an earlier train, and spend more time at Disneyland Paris! So, thanks for that too!