Now that I am allowed to sit down again, I buckle in and hope that my embarrassment will dissipate over the 6 hour flight. Then the pilot comes on the speaker. "Well," he starts out (never a good sign), "We're having a problem. (of course we are) The auxiliary power gave out. (hmm, that sounds important) That's what we use to start the engine. (it is) But the engine is already started and we don't use the aux power during flight. (so... what's the problem?) The problem is that according to airline regulations (oh, great) now we have to get special approval to take off and we have to fill out some paperwork. Even though we don't need the aux power to fly." Awesome! So we had to sit on the runway for an hour.
We got to JFK an hour late, ran through customs, but still missed our flight to Cincinnati. We were supposed to fly Valencia to NY, NY to Cinci, and Cinci to Chicago. The airline wanted to fly us from NY to Charleston, Charleston to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to Chicago. Thankfully, that flight was also too close to ours and we couldn't get to it in time. So they split our group into three mini groups and got us all onto nonstop flights to Chicago. The Beldon's flight took off right away, about an hour later, Whitney and Garret left but then had to come back because of storms. Another hour later, they left again. And I stayed with the Oglesbee family at JFK for about 6 hours. Ironically, we got to Chicago first. The Beldon's flight apparently circled Chicago forever before landing because of storms, and Whitney and Garret's flight ran out of fuel and had to make a stop before Chicago.
The only person whose baggage made it to Chicago with us was Garret. The rest of us had to have ours brought by courier the next day.