Ireland – It’s an Irresistibly Interesting Island of Intrigue: Departure

Airports! How I love to hate them. Especially the large ones. Does anyone feel the same?

Departure is a hassle. I find the process confusing. But Ireland, the irresistibly interesting island of intrigue, was waiting and that provided all the motivation I needed!

Departure for Ireland

Parking lot photos – a wise departure tip!

We arrived at the airport and parked near the terminal indicated for our departure. My husband suggested we take a photo of the floor number, zone letter, and stall sequence to help us find our car when we arrived home. I’ll be honest, I thought that was silly. We were parked just left of the door; I could remember that.

Sign indicating parking level
It was good we had the photo reference to zone D. All the doors looked alike.

But hubby is wise and those photos saved us! The terminal was much larger than I knew. There were several exit points to the parking garage and many doors. I can’t imagine how difficult it could have been to find our car again without the photos for reference.

Departure woes at the check-in counter

Once inside the departure terminal, we found a long check-in counter behind many self-service kiosks. We approached an empty kiosk, scanned the boarding passes we’d printed at home, and stickers with all the pertinent information came spitting out. We put them on our luggage and proceeded to the counter.

Only one agent could check luggage for international travel, so we were directed her way. She was very grumpy with us. I don’t think she actually called us stupid for printing our baggage claim tags at the kiosk, but she heavily implied as much, emphasizing only she could print labels for international destinations. She ripped ours off our bags with noticeable aggression and slapped new ones on.

Then she told me my suitcase was too big. She threatened to charge me $200.00 for oversized luggage and grimaced like it physically pained her to afford me grace. I trembled inside.

Agent appreciation before departure

I was almost certain my suitcase was an allowable size, and well under weight. I’d measured several times to be sure. But she wasn’t charging me, so I didn’t want to challenge her.

I thought maybe she needed to feel appreciated, so I thanked her profusely before I walked away. I pray it boosted her mood a bit for next person trying to navigate departure in her line.

Worry melted upon departure

The check-in experience worried me. It reinforced my fear of undesirable consequences stemming from my lack of travel experience. But once I was on the plane, my worry melted in the radiance of God’s glory.

We taxied to the runway and took off with the sunset. God painted a vibrant farewell to departure day. Just look at that view!

City view from an airplane

Despite a few hiccups, our departure was successful. We bid adieu to home and the setting sun. The darkness ahead was fleeting as we crossed time zones into tomorrow while our watches still read today.

“Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.”

Psalm 113:2, 3

Next stop, London!

We jetted toward Ireland, our irresistibly interesting destination of intrigue. We had one stop to make on the way at London’s Heathrow Airport. Have you ever passed through there? I hope you’ll join me next time for a few fun photos!

Curious how this Ireland trip came about?
Click here for the introduction post.


20 replies on “Ireland – It’s an Irresistibly Interesting Island of Intrigue: Departure”

Loving your story bc it’s so real! Check out Allegiant airport in Mesa AZ area. It’s our small airport and they fly into smaller airports around the US. Parking is about $7 a day, with a shuttle to airport. Usually friendly service, check in smooth normally, flights half the cost of Sky Harbor. The seats don’t go back but they aren’t too uncomfortable for Coach. And flights are direct. We haven’t been to Sky Harbor in 10 years bc of the hassle of large airports. Of course, this info wouldn’t have helped you for Ireland but something to keep in mind. Happy day!

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Yes, I think they have difficult jobs. Travel invokes all kinds of emotions and there are so many people, all with their agendas and separate itineraries, at the airport. But God… yes! His sunset was the perfect salve to my stress!

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My husband lives in the moment. He’s really good at seeing things and noticing details. I’m a forward thinker. In any given moment, I’m thinking about the next. He almost always knows where we parked. I almost never do. Lol! We’re a good balance for each other because he can point things out that I might have missed, and I can help him plan. Lol. There is a lot about the “now” that I would rush past if it weren’t for him.

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Have you ever chartered a plane? I heard about an American football team that recently played in Europe. Their quarterback was working out on the way. I wondered about that plane and thought it must have had much more aisle space than the one I was on! Haha!

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I must confess that I have been less than gracious at times with surly or incompetent airport staff, but Father has been more patient with me than I was, and gently corrected me.
On one occasion, He prompted me to go back and apologize, and the change it brought to the agent’s face was amazing. We both almost teared up, both apologizing for not being our best, and she expressed her faith in God was tested daily on her job! The apology was what she needed to realize Father was going to be in control that day.
Anita and I still have not gone back to the airport, and probably will not for the next year, waiting to see how the covid and political dusts settle.
❤️&🙏, c.a.

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Wow- good for you for obeying God. It is hard to go back and apologize to strangers. But it obviously made a big impact! And yes, I understand your hesitation to go back to the airport. They had the masses all corralled into organized throngs through security and customs, and then onto the planes- and everyone was breathing in everyone’s space. Great workout for the immune system, I imagine!

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Wise hubby! I would have been like you, thinking I’d remember, but after a trip and jet lag, it would be swimming in my mind. My husband makes some of those wise suggestions that I think are – let’s say unnecessary – but so many times he’s right and I’m wrong. I’ve been in Heathrow airport a few times. First time – trip to England and it just seemed overwhelming (1977). Second time – layover on our way to Greece 2007 – had a terrible headache and tried to sleep in a chair. Third time – back from Greece – long tram rides. It’s not my favorite airport at all. Sorry Pommies (as my Aussie husband calls them.) Thank God for you keeping your kindness with the staff, and for the stunning sunset. That beauty always makes the world right again. 😉

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Yes! God knows how we need to be reminded of His great care, as we wind down after the beating of a day. And He does it again as we prepare to go out for each new one too. A reminder of those new mercies on display!

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