Saturday, July 3, 2010

Connecting through Frankfurt

Sometimes travel does not work out as planned. I started the day at 5:30, getting a cab from St. Anne College to the Oxford central bus station to catch the 6am bus to Heathrow. Didn't have coffee, and so by the time we arrived in Heathrow I was thirsty and cranky. Run all the way to the terminal to find that check in for Lufthansa (and other star alliance members) is in a new part of the terminal. There it turns out that there are many kiosks and few agents. Good for the airlines, but slow for people (as they stood in the wrong lines, had troubles with the kiosks etc). By the time I got my luggage checked in it was an hour to the takeoff.

I quickly passed security and saw that I have 15 min to get coffee. Found the British equivalent of Starbacks and ordered coffee and something to bite. As I was drinking I realized that I don't have anything to read. So rushed to the bookstore to find a book. Settled on the "Girl with the dragon tattoo" (turned out to be a great book). Run back to the screen to see which gate I have to be at, and then there was an announcement that the gate will be known in 10min. I am too antsy to sit down and pace the shops. The screens changed for "some delay" for my flight. After 20 minutes I go to the agent and ask what is going on, and they tell me that it will be 5 more minutes. About 10 minutes (or more) later the gate was announced. I rush there and discover that we have to sit and wait until they fill the hall. Only then we did board buses that took us to the plane.

In the end we were more than an hour late. Landing in Frankfurt the pilot asked passengers to selected flights to contact an agent upon disembarking. Boston is not on the list. I check my ticket and see I have less than 50 min to take off. Then there is announcement that passengers to few cities (including Boston) were re-assigned to new flights. I will spare you the next 1/2 hour of running around. But in the end I find that I am on a 6pm flight to Boston.

I decide to go rest in the lounge instead of pacing the halls. It took 20 minutes to get to the gate area and find the lounge. It is located on the 5th floor of a "tower" overlooking the runway. Outside there is a heatwave and lounge windows are hot... There is plenty of space and food and drink and so I sit to write a bit. I end up playing with photographing planes that keep landing and taking off every few minutes.

At some point the Germany-Argentina match starts. Everyone sits to watch, while I continue to read. I hear the crowd roar after a while. And sometime later go buy to photograph and see the 2nd goal.
On the way to the plane while waiting in queuer to board I see the third goal, brining my total watching time in this Mondial to new heights.

The flight to Boston was fine, if a bit empty. I finish the book as we land. I get out to see the last minutes of daylight on the river.

No comments: