Back from Paris in the nick of time

Realtor Jennifer Haus heads home just hours before terrorist attacks

When Pleasanton Realtor Jennifer Haus got off her Delta flight in Los Angeles at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, she found 23 urgent messages on her cellphone, and with good reason.

In the hours she was on the plane after leaving Paris that morning at 9 a.m. (Paris time), the city had been attacked by terrorists in multiple locations, leaving at least 130 dead and many more injured. Just the night before, she had spent her last evening in Paris with friends, enjoying the final hours of her European trip at a sidewalk cafe not far from where the attacks occurred.

She described her trip as "fantastic," seeing the Eiffel Tower, walking the cobblestone streets and having cappuccinos every afternoon sitting outside at the local cafes. "So beautiful and such memories made," she said.

She had texted her three children and others that her Lufthansa flight the next day might be canceled because of a workers' strike so she might not be back home as scheduled. That was the last anyone heard from her because Lufthansa found an alternate flight Friday morning and rushed her to the Delta gate. Although the Delta flight followed a circuitous route through London and then Los Angeles before getting her to San Francisco and home to Pleasanton, she had no time to send that message to anyone before leaving Paris.

Even though Jennifer was tempted to take advantage of Lufthansa's offer to spend another day or two in Paris, her daughter Raegan, a freshman at Amador Valley High, was performing in a play Saturday and she wanted to be there. "Thank God for that play and that I chose to be there for it got us home safely on Friday evening just hours after the tragic mess in Paris," she said.

The cellphone texts and countless Facebook messages on the L.A. tarmac provided the first word of the Paris attacks. There was no announcement on the plane, probably intentional so that passengers would not become afraid. She quickly replied to her three children, her mother, others in the family and friends with her heart filled with gratitude that she had caught that Delta flight and not waited for a direct red-eye flight to San Francisco later Friday night or decided to stay another day. If she had, Jennifer said, she most likely would have been there for days because the French government closed the airport and borders as soon as the attacks began.

Jennifer Haus' comments follow:

"We had been very close to where some of the attacks took place, sitting outside and enjoying the beautiful city. In the wake of tragedies like the Paris attacks, it's natural to feel somewhat hopeless about the tumultuous state of the world. What happened in Paris was shocking and heartbreaking. Far too many innocent lives were taken by a vicious group of cowardly individuals and a beautiful city adored by people around the world was shaken to its core. What good can come of any of this?

"As I woke up Saturday morning back in California with rain coming down most of the day, and then saw my daughter's play Saturday evening and then laughed with friends Sunday evening, these were the things that really mattered and I was so thankful I had chosen to catch the longer flight home.

"Sure, there would be other plays, but this was her first high school performance. I hugged her tighter that night and smiled bigger when I saw the sunshine and rain and enjoyed friends more and remembered what really matters. Go into this week and holiday season allowing this tragedy to affect you in a positive way in your families and with your friends and take the time to really remember what is important and never take our precious relationships and people in our lives for granted. In the end, that is all that really matters."

Jennifer Haus has been in real estate for the last 11 years and is team leader at Keller-Williams Tri-Valley Realty. Besides Raegan, she has another daughter Savannah, a freshman at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, and a son Christian, a sophomore at San Diego State University.

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9 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

She states " If she had, Jennifer said, she most likely would have been there for days because the French government closed the airport and borders as soon as the attacks began."

Melodramatic but not true. The borders were closed, not the airports. I was also in Paris on that day and left the following morning. My flight was delayed only because of the extra time needed to get through security.

What relevance to this story is the comment about her being a realtor? A little free advertising or was there some rational reason to mention that?

18 people like this
Posted by a nice resident
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Way to add negativity to a nice story "resident". I took this story as just a good reminder to be grateful for safety and being able to return home to your loved ones. As for melodrama, you can thank the news for that because they made it sound as if all avenues for leaving France were closed. Glad you are safe, as well as Ms Haus and I hope you take a stance of gratitude going forward and spend your time in a more positive way being that it is the holiday season, you live in a free country and life is too short for snide comments.
Smile, hug someone or something today and count your blessings.

7 people like this
Posted by American Born
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm

The weekend forgets to put up the 'likes'. Thanks, nice, I appreciate the 'story' too. Also, Planes, airline employees, lines, crowds, often get wrong talk (info) from those involved on fringes, compared to tv we get. There are been major incidents that were totally misconstrued by folks 'on the ground', compared to those of us watching CNN cameras that are always on 'sites' around the world. I remember New Orleans different reporters, residents, Gov, etc confused the two "convention centers", and all first 2 days just talked past each other. Somr "Closed" could be interpreted differently by Paris locals, visitors, remote airlines,
Regardless her account is of interest, and I'm glad I didn't have the scare and uncertainty of what might be happening blocks away in a foreign country.
The close proximity of Brussels, Belgium, Paris, France, and all the countries are closer than California to some of our state line borders. I don't like the unknown neighbors walking back and forth. The European VISA "waiver" is absurdly insane in today's world. Because of that looseness, the 'waivers' must be stopped. Sen Diane Feinstein wants waiver program stopped. We cannot loosely say 'anybody' going around Europe freely without stamping passports, can then come here directly from 'friendly France' without any 'record' of previous travels in ISIS territory. We must insist NO waivers honored. ISIS can be found in all those small countries. USA has open spaces. From the news, it seems this 'JV' team is pretty expert at sneaking and mass killings!!! Let us check all our borders for the South American walkers, Seattle docked ships, etc... Check everywhere!
We have the right to be 'secure' in our homeland.

20 people like this
Posted by Thank you
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Nov 29, 2015 at 11:10 pm

This was a wonderful article about a local resident being grateful and if you missed that completely by picking apart the reporting then you missed the point. Thank you for sharing this and glad heart and kindness and gratitude are worth reporting on.

19 people like this
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I too do wonder how the Weekly got a hold of this "story".

Glad to hear she is safe, but the story does come off as something you'd talk about at dinner - not something that would be in a newspaper.

14 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

The negative-Neds/Nellies seem to forget that the Weekly is not a hard news outlet and is sent to us to illuminate the activities of our community and its residents. It's a nice distraction to read a story like Ms. Haus' when the world is in such turmoil. Take a chill-pill!

2 people like this
Posted by PW often blocks stories esp. about Realtors
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2015 at 6:43 pm

If the truth might hurt, then PW tries to sweep it under the rug.

Web Link

Blocked by PW to prevent people from expressing their ideas.
Maybe many people would be in support of "selling" houses to foreigners,
but they never got a chance to say either way.

Yet when you follow the link, there are also displayed two real estate ads!
Is the PW in Thrall?
What do you think?

2 people like this
Posted by Kidding right?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2015 at 10:31 pm

The PW would not exist without realators Take a look a the paper, it is 1/3 houses for sale and glam photos of agents. They know they better pander to these people, cuz they pay the bills.

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