I had to ride from Long Island to the airport in Westchester to catch my XO flight to Palm Beach. We drove up to the terminal, remarkably titled “Million Air,” created by the Mary Kay family for private and charter flights.
I decided to fly private because of my injury. I didn’t want to get jostled and decided to indulge myself. I took my bejeweled walker and was “driven” to the plane in a wheelchair.
There is no ramp to get onto the plane, so I had to navigate four deep steps. But with the strong arm and great patience of XO employee Valeria, I slowly made my way one step at a time. I made it and, with a big sigh, traversed the aisle to my fourth row seat, one of 16 on the plane.
The plane is a product of Bombardier, the same company that operates the JFK AirTrain. The plane had single seats and the front had single seats that faced each other. I had a ledge to put my feet on as I nestled into a comfortable position, ready for my adventure on a private jet with 11 other people, babies and dogs.
Our departure time was 10:30 a.m. and I was ready for take off — but the plane wasn’t.
The two helpful stewardesses told me we missed our departure time and would need to wait for air traffic control to clear us. Our new departure time was 1:30 p.m., so I decided to stay on the plane — those steps were intimidating — but the rest of the passengers went back to the living room-like “terminal.”
To kill the time, I read, made some calls, checked in with my kids and even booked some business with old friend Chuck Callahan, who is looking to expand his court stenographer classes at Plaza College. I was amazed that he had dozens of requests for graduates to fill job slots for a career with a starting salary of $100,000 and an opportunity to make much more. We brainstormed a plan to achieve his goals.
Then at 1:30, the stewardess told me that our departure time was now 2:30 and could possibly be even later! So I decided to disembark the cold plane and wait in the warm, cozy-looking terminal.
Slowly and with help, I transversed the steps to the tarmac. The plane is parked a few hundred yards away, so this time I used my walker and an SUV driver got me to the automatic doors, making sure they stayed open as I made my way inside.
The sitting area with comfortable, deep leather armchairs was vacant, so I had the space all to myself.
Lunch had been served on the plane, so I relaxed and made more calls. But staying calm was a challenge.
A few hours later, after being told there might be more delays, I was grateful when we finally boarded at 5 p.m.
The only issue was I had to go to Ft. Lauderdale instead of my ticketed destination of West Palm Beach, which would’ve been only 15 minutes from my hotel.
I decided it was better to fly to another airport and get on my way!
I remembered my dear Sheila Levy lives in Delray Beach and I called her to see if she and Barry could pick me up! They agreed and were off to my rescue!
While waiting in the terminal, I noticed a propeller plane had just landed and four men walked out. I thought to myself, well, maybe it will be someone I know. Sure enough, there was Senator Chuck Schumer arriving from Washington, D.C.
I said hello and we bonded over the fact that his mom lives in the North Shore Towers, where we publish a monthly newspaper, and that we both grew up a few blocks away from each other in Brooklyn.
Of course, I asked him about the fiasco with the Republicans taking so long to select a House leader.
He shared that the group holding up the vote was filled with Trump supporters who were intransigent with their agenda. We both agreed that Trump has incited hate in our nation, including antisemitism, even though his daughter is Jewish.
I also asked him about Congressman George Santos and he shared with me that Santos has no power and will have none, but frighteningly, the Republican “holdouts” do.
We bid each other adieu and he said I can call him any time. His aide gave me his cellphone number and I called it — I’m not one to be shy!
Ten minutes later, I boarded and we were off to sunny Florida!
P.S.: Over my few days here, my recovery has been remarkable. I feel like I’m ready to do a marathon! What a difference a few days make!