Evacuation of the German Airport – nearly passed NY orientation days

Authored By:

Angela C.

At August 7th I was supposed to fly on an airplane from Frankfurt to the airport Newark. Everything was fine, we said sadly said goodbye to our families and went through all the police checkpoints. 

But 10 minutes before we could board the airplane, a lot of policemen were coming and evacuated our airport area. At the end of the day, we got the information from the newspapers that over 7,000 people had missed their flight that day, and we were part of them. Furthermore, the airport area had to get evacuated because a security guard didn`t pay attention, when a family went through the checkpoint with a positive bomb alarm. It turned out to be a false positive alarm. 

The airport services had so much to do, that we had to wait for hour in lines. The whole time I tracked the flight on my phone, but it continued to be delayed. Thanks to all the challenges, I could not think about missing my family and friends or going to another country on the other side of the planet for a whole year; learning a new culture and meeting new people. All the thoughts I had when we were waiting to enter the airplane left my head in all the chaos. Finally, after 6 hours of waiting and checking my flight, we went through the police checks again.  Nearly at the same moment, we got the message that our airplane just took off without us.  So, what are we going to do next? They said that there were no more flights today, should I call my parents? Do I have to delay everything? In the end I waited in another line with everyone else who missed their flight for a taxi to bring us to a hotel at midnight. I was totally tired. 

The next day, we had to wake up very early, but they had great news, they said we are going to fly today! But obviously there had to be some bad as well: The group I was to fly with had to leave on separate flights. So, we flew in groups of 3 to 4 people, and had connections in London or Canada or France etc...  I was so afraid. Me, a person who never flew before, should fly nearly alone without any guardians and had to make a connection in another country.  In another huge airport I have never seen before but in the end, the few students I flew with knew what to do and everything worked perfectly. 

When I was sitting in the first plane, I was so excited and nervous, but when the engine started, and the airplane started to take off, I had so much fun! Obviously, I am a person who enjoys flying. 

Even though we arrived at midnight in the New York, it was so great! In the plane we could see all the lights from the city, and when we finally touched down in the USA...it was just amazing. After all the challenges, I doubted I would ever get here, but I made it!  At the airport one of the CIEE teamer picked all of us up. She was very nice and friendly. She took pity on us and took us straight to our hotel, where I fell happily asleep.  

Typically, the orientation days are from Tuesday to Friday morning, but we arrived on Wednesday at midnight.  So. we only had one day left and missed all the great stuff. But CIEE managed to organized a tour in a private bus complete with a tour guide, so that the students who missed their flight could see as much as possible from NY. 

Even through all that challenges at the airport, I can say it is worth it. My first flight and first steps in another country was just an amazing feeling.