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First Flight Departs Phila. International For Tel Aviv After FAA Lifts Ban

By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- After more than a day of being grounded, flights from the United States to Tel Aviv have been cleared for takeoff.

Those flight restrictions were put into place on Tuesday after a missile fell just a mile from Israel's main airport.

Rae Merlin and her daughter Liana were spending time in Philadelphia with family and friends.

But for the last two days they had their lives put on hold as they waited for the okay to catch their flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Tel Aviv so they could go home to Ra'anana.

"It's nerve-racking because we really want to get home. We're really worried for everybody's lives and it's a tragic situation over there we really hope it will end soon," says Merlin.

Shavit Veredvaruach was working as a summer camp counselor in Buffalo, New York.

"I'm nervous for my family who's under rockets and for my friends who are in Gaza but I'm sure everything will be okay eventually," says Veredvaruach.

But as the fighting escalated in Israel, she knew she must return home, but not before stopping in Philadelphia to see some family.

She says what was meant to be a two-day trip turned into four days of worrying.

"Nerve-racking, I had so many panic attacks I've been on sleeping pills mostly," she says.

There is one daily flight that leaves from Philadelphia International to Tel Aviv and its run by U.S. Airways.

A worker with the airlines says that Thursday night flight was completely booked.
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