dimanche 21 décembre 2008
Arrived in Denver, safe and sound, one day later than expected. Some of you may have heard that there was an accident in Denver, and it happened about an hour after we landed.

Thursday night we drove to my in-laws, and then they took us to the airport on Friday morning. Checked in with no problems, got on our plane to Frankfurt, and were told that take-off would be delayed due to high wind in Frankfurt. We had about 2 hours before our next flight, so were a little concerned, but not overly. We finally took off about 40 minutes late, got in to Frankfurt at 12:30. We quick hurried to our next gate, because boarding was supposed to start at about 1. And we sat there until 4 pm. Technical difficulties this time.
We were finally able to board and take off at 5 pm. The pilot announced that an oil leak onto one of the engines had been fixed. Gee, maybe there is some stuff people who are about to ride in your airplane don't need to know?
By this time, it was sure that we would miss our connecting flight to Denver, unless that flight was delayed too. There just happened to be a snowstorm in Toronto. Oh why is traveling never easy?
The flight to Toronto was extremely long- nine hours. I managed to sleep about two hour's worth.
We landed in Toronto at around 7:30 pm Toronto time. We got off, went through Canadian customs, then asked about our bags- it was obvious we would spending the night. We were told to just leave our bags, they wouldn't even come to the carousel. We then went on a Treasure Hunt to find the Lufthansa representative to find out about hotel accommodations and our next flight. There were about 8 people in front of us, two people working the desk, and it literally took us 2 hours to get to the front of the line.
You would think that the airline could have figured all this out in the 9 hours it took to arrive at our destination, but NOOOOO....
Most of them were going to Mexico City, and were told they wouldn't be able to leave until Sunday. We were slightly luckier- our itinerary was changed: Toronto-Vancouver-Denver. Hey, how about throw in a free tour of all of Canada's airports while you are it?
But at this point, we were informed we were lucky just to be able to have seats somewhere. Of course it is the busiest travel day of the year and everything was booked to the gills.
We got our hotel and meal vouchers and went to the hotel shuttle. It was -11 degrees.

Canada is a concept I have trouble with.
It is an entire country NORTH of Minnesota!
Where people live!
All year round!
And don't freeze to death!

How, and more importantly why, do they do this?
Will some Canadian please explain this to me?

So we finally got to our hotel around midnight, checked in, took badly-needed showers, and went down to the restaurant to eat something. There was a table of businessmen well into their cups who were causing a ruckus a few tables over.
We ordered, ate quickly, and went to sleep at 1 am Toronto time, 7 am Marseille time.
Slept for three hours, got up, got back to the airport at 4:45 am. The Lufthansa rep told us to be sure to get there extra early, and we did.
A good thing too because it took us an hour to check in, and then we went in search of our bags.
We looked down in the lost baggage area, but the guys there told us to go up to the US customs side.
A unique thing about Canada is that you can pass through US customs before getting on the plane, and then when you arrive in the US you don't have to go through customs. It was something I didn't know before.
We went up to the US customs bag area, and our bags weren't there either. A nice Canadian man helped us, and found our bags (coincidentally in the lost baggage area where we had been told our bags weren't). Then we had to pass through Canadian customs AGAIN because we had technically been in the "USA" section (trick question: how can you enter a country twice without having left it?).
Went through security, almost got on the wrong flight to Vancouver, then finally got on our flight at 8:30 am. It was a five hour flight but there was the in-flight in-seat entertainment system, so I got to watch Big Love, Bones, and Six Feet Under.
Landed in Vancouver, went through US customs this time, and waited for our bags. One arrived, but the other (mine with all the presents- natch) did not. It was at this point less than an hour before our next flight, and I knew that if we missed this one, I was going to have an all-out screaming, yelling, get-taken-away-by-airport-security fit. I preferred to actually get to Denver and (hopefully) get my bag a day or two later, then wait for the bag, miss the flight, and have to spend another night in some airport. We went through security, and I guess I was complaining a bit too loudly because I "randomly" got selected for the extra-special security search.
Our flight from Vancouver to Denver had the worst turbulence I have experienced in a long time. Landed at around 5:30 pm Denver time, got our one bag, filled out the missing bag report, and met my parents.
That evening we found out about the plane accident. We had been in the airport when it happened, but I didn't notice anything unusual.
All in all, glad to be home safe and sound, but I think this is it for our Christmas traveling. Never again. It is way too expensive, too crowded, and if something happens (blizzard in Denver, technical problems, etc) there are almost no other options.
I think Christmas in March sounds like a good idea. Just think- cheaper airfare, better weather, January sales, and less all-around holiday craziness. I am not even kidding this time.
Hope everyone else has arrived safe and sound.

2 commentaires:

Toulonnaise for a while a dit…

It is the same...Last year we got to NYC. The connecting flight cancelled. They did not care and the next flight would be in the morning from another airport. So we took Greyhound. Our luggage was lost and arrived 3 days later (at first it arrived to Portland, ME but they found out it would be more convenient to send it to Bangor, ME, so those brainless dudes sent the luggage back to NYC!!!!).
Anyway, then again in summer, our luggage was lost. They are useless (Delta airlines).
Anyway Merry Christmas:)
Oh, I LOVE wafles!!!! The best!!!

Anonyme a dit…

I thought about you when I saw the news about the plane in Denver! Holy cow! Glad you've arrived safe and sound.

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