Nine months ago, Donald and Sue Norton of McCormick, South Carolina began planning their dream vacation to Egypt. It included a cruise along the Nile, camel rides, visits to the Pyramids and a train ride from Cairo to Alexandria.
They should have been in Cairo on Friday evening. Instead, they spent the night in Jamaica, Queens at a hotel near John F. Kennedy International Airport.
"We've been watching the situation from home," Sue Norton said. "So we knew there were potential problems. We did not know until we got to Egypt Air. The travel company was there to pick us up." From JFK Airport, they and about 50 other travelers from different cities across the United States were taken to the hotel.
With violence escalating in Egypt and museums and tourist attractions closed off to visitors, travelers' trips are being canceled.
The Nortons were told there was a possibility they could fly out of New York on February 1st. They could go to Cairo but miss the first portion of their trip to Luxor in southern Egypt. There was a possibility of going to Luxor at the end of the two-week vacation. However, by midday today, they found out their entire trip was canceled.
Don Norton says he's "disappointed," and was wondering, "why now?"
Jim Berg of Orlando, Florida, says he's disappointed too. He had gotten a great last-minute deal from the same tour company the Nortons used, Overseas Adventure Travel. He was planning a similar trip to Egypt, but found out almost immediately after landing at JFK Airport his trip was canceled.
"I already have my boarding ticket to go back to Orlando," says Jim Berg.
It's back to Florida, Colorado, California or South Carolina for these passengers. Despite the disappointment, they know they're better off returning home.
"We wanted to go, but only if it was safe. We figured that they would be better off keeping us safe," says Sue Norton.
Some have travel insurance Others are working with the travel company to reschedule their dream vacation for later this year.