Instead of running off on a honeymoon, newlywed religious Jewish couples celebrate the week after their wedding with daily feasts known as Sheva Brochos, hosted by friends and family with blessings of joy for the new couple.
Flight operations over the past week have been disastrous, with passengers stranded overnight at airports up and down the east coast.
When DDF member Shmulie’s newlywed brother and sister-in-law’s flight was delayed on Friday morning, he was on top of things. And when they got bumped off their flight, he naturally turned to DDF for help.
DDF, or the DansDeals Forums is now 14 years old, and is home to a community that I’m rather proud of. Over 30,000 DDF members have respectful debates about every topic and members from around the globe contribute excellent deals, advice, and humor every day. The DDF community is awesome and I’ve been able to meet up with forum members from across the globe. I love the Destination Guides and Trip Reports boards where there is tons of great info shared to create the perfect trip for just about anywhere on this planet.
Many of the deals we post here on DansDeals are sourced from DDF posts. Top contributors have received prizes ranging from $1,500 Amazon gift cards to 40 year old bottles of scotch to a free DDF dinner in Manhattan. There’s a real sense of community that you don’t get on a Facebook group or Whatsapp and that shines through all the time. The community sticks together, through good times celebrating births, engagements, and more, DDF meetups at member weddings, through needy times for COVID relief funds, a DDFer in legal trouble or a couple in need to make their wedding, as well as raising money for the widow of a young DDF member. There has even been a DDF shidduch matched between 2 members!
Last March, I wrote about how DDF was able to reunite a 141 year old Siddur, that was found in a dumpster, with its rightful family.
That story inspired another member, a Chabad Shliach, to reach out to DDF for help researching family lineage and DDF members came through and helped ensure that a Jewish Doctor in Fargo, North Dakota got a proper burial.
On Friday just before noon, DDF member Shmulie asked for help finding alternate options for the newlywed couple to catch a flight to Detroit after they were bumped off American’s flight from LaGuardia to Detroit. They were having Sheva Brochos over Shabbos in Detroit. With sunset at 9:11pm, they had about 9 hours to find and catch a new flight and get settled into their accommodations in Detroit.
DDF member yelped was first out of the gate with a flight suggestion from Philadelphia to Detroit at 2:30pm, but there wasn’t enough time to make that flight.
I found a 1:33pm-3:20pm flight from LaGuardia to Columbus, a 3 hour drive from Detroit, but it had just 2 seats left and they quickly sold out.
AJK suggested a Delta 5:05pm-7:15pm Delta flight to Detroit, but it too quickly sold out.
I searched from NYC airports to cities like Cleveland and Grand Rapids, but everything was sold out or cancelled. It didn’t look good.
But then Yehudaa chimed in with the best suggestion yet, a Delta flight from Allentown, PA departing at 5pm and arriving into Detroit at 6:42pm.
Allentown is a 2 hour drive from NYC.
That was an excellent find. It’s not a flight that religious Jews would take in normal circumstances as a delay would make things problematic for Shabbos, but in these extenuating circumstances it looked like this would be the only viable option of getting to Detroit before Shabbos. I suggested having a Plan B in place in case of a delay that forced them to spend Shabbos in Allentown and Yehudaa noted the Chabad there.
There were just 2 first class seats remaining for sale, so once again, they’d have to be quick to grab them. Luckily seat availability from Allentown was not nearly as volatile as from the major NYC airports.
When Shmulie tried searching for the flight on Delta.com, the website indicated that it was sold out. I was also able to replicate that sold out message on Delta.com.
However I pointed out that via the Google Flights link to Delta.com it was still showing 2 seats for sale. 5 minutes later I noticed they were gone from Google and posted that I hope he nabbed them for the couple.
Sure enough, they had booked the last 2 seats on the flight.
And that’s the internet in a nutshell. So much potential for bad, but such a powerful tool for good.
Now we were invested in this and needed updates.
While we waited to hear that the flight took off, JJ asked for the couple’s wedding registry, which was provided.
I wondered what would have happened if they told the gate agent that they were newlyweds on their honeymoon. If they took video of the encounter while saying that, would the gate agent really have bumped them? And if yes, how viral would that have gone and what would American have to do to make it up to them?
JJ brought that back into reality by pointing out that perhaps the gate agent figured that denying them a flight to Detroit was doing the bride a favor. 😉
And as Yehuda57 always does so expertly, he gave the full transcript of how that encounter would have played out.
After a half hour delay, the plane took off and the couple was finally en-route to Detroit. And Shmulie posted the update that they landed in Detroit, some 2 hours before sunset. A beautiful Shabbos was had by all. Congrats to the new couple and may they have a Binyan Adei Ad!
Another day, another happy ending on DDF.