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One Tragedy Averted

by DansDeals.com

A chilling Malaysia Air Flight 370 story.

This article originally appeared on dansdeals.com here where you can see the actual emails.

The whole world’s eyes are on the far east, wondering how a Boeing 777 can just disappear without a trace. Malaysia Air Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:43am this past Saturday morning and has yet to be located. Flying is the safest mode of transportation that exists today, so the disappearance of an airplane like this is really sobering.

I heard the following story firsthand from the travel agent involved. He is an avid DansDeals follower that I’m friends with. He sent me the unedited exchange that follows and I made the necessary edits to protect the privacy of the parties involved.

The saying goes, “More than the Jews have kept the Shabbos, the Shabbos has kept the Jews.” When I think of that saying, I picture my life if I were constantly wired 7 days a week. As it is, I feel like a slave to my digital devices, but the knowledge that Shabbos is right around the corner keeps me going. From sundown Friday evening until when the stars come out on Saturday night it’s 25 hours spent completely offline and it’s blissful. It’s 25 hours spent praying to G-d and consuming obscene amounts of calories eating scrumptious meals with family and friends. It’s perfect. Sure anyone can always disconnect, but there’s something awesome about the forced routine that can’t be properly explained to one who hasn’t experienced it.

But the saying goes much deeper than that in this story.

On 01/13/14 Andy emailed his travel agent his desired itinerary:

Hi. Hope all is well.

Greetings from Hyatt Regency Boston. Thanks for booking up, it’s a pretty nice place.

Let me know if there are any changes to my flight back to Sydney tomorrow.

Need to do the following trip in March:

Mar 1: Sydney – Hong Kong

Mar 3: Hong Kong – Kuala

Mar 8: Kuala – Beijing

Mar 12: Vietnam – Melbourne…

Thanks

Andy

The travel agent, an Orthodox Jew, proposed the following business class itinerary, slightly altering the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight from Saturday to Friday.

Andy,

Thanks for the inquiry and your continued business.

I know you’re a fan of direct flights.

Here’s the most direct option I can offer you.

The price will be $3850 ($3050 for the long hauls, and the rest for domestic flights)…

Andy loved the price, but again requested the Saturday morning flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing:

Thanks for the prompt reply.

Price is fine…

One amendment, I need the KUL-PEK fight a day later. I need the extra day in Kuala. Once that is set you can lock in.

The travel agent responded that he would not be able to book travel for him over the Sabbath, but that he was free to book that flight by himself:

Andy,

I wish I can give you a day later, but you I just don’t flying Jews on Shabbat.

I can take out that leg and you can book yourself. The price drop $380.

Andy agreed with that and planned to book the flight by himself:

I guess I’ll just book that myself. Lock in the rest.

And the travel agent noted that if he changed his mind to just let him know:

Ok will lock in. Ticket will be sent in 24 hours as usual.

If you reconsider the KUL-Pek please advise.

Shortly afterward Andy did just that:

Hey

Greetings from LAX airport. Will board my Delta flight in 55 minutes.

I reconsidered, you are right I should be more observant, I’ll manage without that day in Kuala. Since I’ll have an extra night in PEK any recommendations for a good Friday night dinner in Beijing?

The travel agent recommended a place to get a nice kosher meal and booked him the originally proposed itinerary, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Friday early morning instead of Saturday.

Ok, glad to hear.

Try this: http://www.chabadbeijing.com/

Fast forward to 2 days ago. The travel agent is in Israel and reads this email once Shabbos is over. The email was sent after Shabbos, at 7:15pm Beijing time/1:15pm Israel time:

Holy God,

You sure heard what happened to MH370

I cannot stop thinking about this.

This is a true miracle for the books. You are a true life saver…

I cannot think anymore! We’ll talk later this week. Don’t know how to thank you enough.

Now please change my return. I am not stepping on a Malaysia flight in my life.

And the travel agent wrote back, equally in shock at the realization of Shabbos saving his client’s life:

Andy,

I am so happy for you!

Not I am the life saver. God and Shabbat were your lifesavers. You owe them something.

Indeed, due to the travel agent worrying about the religious observance of a fellow Jew, Andy was persuaded into flying on Malaysia Air 370 exactly one day prior to the ill-fated flight he wanted to take.

It’s not often we hear a story like this. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those still missing.

This article originally appeared on dansdeals.com here where you can see the actual emails.

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