Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Spending the Night in Frankfurt

Aaargh.  We departed Budapest late.  Upon landing in Frankfurt, there were no available gates, so buses were deployed to get us into the airport.  We missed our connecting flight to Calgary. 
When we were waiting to deplane, three people who leaped up and got in front of everyone, were met at the airplane by a mini-van.  One wonders if they were couriers, spies, or what. 
Anyway, there were no available flights, so we are overnighting in Frankfurt at the Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch. It's enormous.  It's really nice, it's one of those places where you abandon your luggage at the front door and they bring it to you later.  I managed to get one picture of the bed before the luggage exploded.  There is actual counter space in the bathroom, with two sinks.  One could fit 4 people in the shower if so inclined.  Since it was Lufthansa's fault that we missed the Air Canada flight, they are paying for all of this.

Still, I would rather be on the way home.  My lower back is not liking the sitting on beds anymore; it would like to be in my recliner.   Today's key learnings are these:
  • Try to avoid code shares when traveling internationally.  You want to be the responsibility of a single airline.  Additionally, their software does not always interface seamlessly.  When we first went to Lufthansa to re-ticket, the gate agent only saw us going as far as Calgary in her system, and was taking the position that we were on our own to get from Calgary to Seattle.  Fortunately the supervisor interceded and corrected her thought process.
  • NEVER accept an international layover of less than two hours.  Stuff happens.  Today we had the late plane and we had an unexpected customs gate.  Even if the plane had been on time, the one hour we had would have been tight.  Our (incorrect) thinking was that we would not have to go through passport control - but we did, even while staying in the secured area of the airport.
So, we're in a nice hotel; we're not sleeping in the airport; things could be so much worse.  We should be back in Seattle tomorrow, instead of today.

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