A Rozy View on Life

I am John Rozelle, hear me ROAR like a dinosaur!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The airline gods must be crazy-The Final Conclusion

I arrive in the Frankfurt airport circa 8:30 am. I desperately desire a secure location to nap, and I suppose that my gate would be the safest and most logical. I approach my marked gate, in order to check in prior to boarding, but am met by a security guard that would not grant my entrance to the gate. Somewhat similar to the shuttle driver. The security agent tells me to come back after 11am. My flight is scheduled to depart at 12:15pm.
I am forced to find another location to nap in-the waiting area for a different gate. This is a very similar gate to the one my plane is to leave from, except that it is not blocked to my access. Once entering a pleasant sleep, I am rudely interrupted by an airline attendant vocalizing quite passionately that all the people waiting in the waiting area must leave. I ponder why it is considered a waiting area if people are not allowed to wait in it, and if they do not want me to nap in this particular area, why do they not allow me to nap at my own gate’s waiting area? An enigma.
Upon arising in a moderately frustrated manor, I decide to use the restroom. Any rumors about German engineering being impressive are utterly false. Whoever’s idea it was to put two swinging doors (three if you include the one to the stall) in one tiny restroom should seriously be fired. There is barely enough room to open the doors and walk in, and this is ignoring the reality that there are others in the restroom, not to mention travelers with bags/backpacks. I digress.
At 11 am I decide to return to the path which leads to my gate, and am met by a line of people awaiting entrance to the terminal which holds their corresponding gates. The same security agent retains customers and denies entrance for some mysterious reason. Eventually, near 11:20 am, the agent allows access to passengers, and I expect to go through security once again. I believed this delay was due to security checks. Indeed there were no security checks, merely a vastly open and empty terminal.
I arrived at my gate to check in (my flight leaving at 12:15 pm), and found no airline employees. I decided to start a line and wait in it, to guarantee my position on the flight. After standing there for 40-45 minutes, and having one previous airline attendant walk by eating an ice cream bar saying “Wow, I can’t believe nobody is working here yet,” another airline attendant arrived to serve the line of the 50 customers that now wait behind me. This with about 10-15 minutes of expected departure. The attendant, upon looking at my tentative boarding pass, surprisingly remarked, “You have not been booked on this flight.” “I have not been booked on this flight!” I exclaimed, “You’re kidding me.” “No, you haven’t been booked, and this flight is completely full,” she stated matter-of-factly. Until this point I was able to find my circumstances somewhat humorous, but now that my flight to Croatia was now in sight, I was not amused at this being snatched from my grasp. I was utterly amazed. “How could this flight not have been booked?” I pondered to myself. At this, frustration grabbed a hold of me, and violence now became a very vivid emotion. I tried to restrain myself.
Upon a moment or two of typing, the attendant handed me a boarding pass and said, “This will work.” “I’m on the plane?” I asked, “I have a seat?” She affirmed that I did, and relief began to take over. Once again I pondered to myself why she would tell me I didn’t have a seat, then hand me a boarding pass with a seat number on it. Why question a good thing, I guess. As I stand there in line to get on the plane, my name is called on the intercom by the attendant that gave me the boarding pass. She told me to talk to the other attendant. Upon conversing with the second attendant, she stated that the flight was full and I indeed did not have a seat and should wait behind the desk. “Would you please make up your mind! Stop toying with my emotions!!” I yelled to her in my mind. After waiting for a matter of minutes, the second attendant then takes back her previous statement, and tells me that I have a seat on the plane. Suspiciously I take the boarding pass and head to the plane.
I arrive to my seat on the plane and am met by a 40ish year old woman sitting in my seat. “Grand,” I think to myself. “Maybe, just maybe, she truly is sitting in the middle seat, not my aisle seat, and is just waiting for the right passenger (me) to arrive before she returns to her proper seat.” I ask her, “Are you sitting in this aisle seat?” She replies, “Yes, this is my aisle seat.” Well, no surprise I suppose. I decide to further clarify, and continue looking at here in amazement. She reads her boarding pass, at which I direct her to her rightful seat, the aisle seat behind me. Phhheeewwww.
Our pilot later comes on the intercom stating that we will be delayed as baggage attendants remove luggage belonging to passengers that did not make it on the plane. “A good safety measure against terrorism,” I think to myself. 40 minutes later we take off.
Although my original flight to Croatia was to arrive more than 24 hours previously, I was uncertain of the location of my luggage. I supposed that it sat in the Croatia airport, eagerly awaiting my arrival. My baggage was not on the baggage claim belt, as I suspected, so I ventured to the lost/found baggage office.
My luggage had not yet arrived in Croatia, which surprised me moderately, considering that it should have originally been in Croatia more than a day ago. Upon asking, I am told that my baggage is still in Frankfurt. I fill out the appropriate forms and leave the office somewhat glad that I do not have to lug three large bags on the bus to Rijeka.
Sometime later I make the connection of the baggage attendants off-loading luggage from passengers who “did not board” and my confusion in the Frankfurt airport. I then, partially in anger and partially in amusement, think about having to wait an extra 40 minutes on the plane before takeoff in order for my bags to be unloaded. Oh, the luck.
My bus ride from Zagreb to Rijeka consisted of two Croatian men (in their fifties) talking about Americans. This conversation was partially in Croatian and partially in English. I went to sleep and woke up about an hour later to conversation about Americans. I hate to end on this moderately boring and insignificant note, but this nearly ended my travel adventure. My bags were expediently returned to me in Rijeka the following day, to which I found incredible delight.
I was now home, to my Croatian home anyway, and had clean underwear. Life doesn’t get much better than this, ladies and gentlemen. I have learned even more to enjoy the small things in life. Like airline employees’ coordination or general efficiency.
This is your disgruntled airline passenger of the month signing off.

3 Comments:

  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger zoran said…

    Well similar thing happened to me in Frankfurt many years ago (I was 17). I was booked on a later fligh, as a Mrs.

     
  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger Staci said…

    Love the pink blog - would you be ok with me posting about your pink blog?

    my blog is called - colorinyourworld.blogspot.com
    and the purpose of it is to inspire christian artists, give resources to them, and bring glory to God through helping artists live out their calling.

    staci.

     
  • At 2:17 PM, Blogger Staci said…

    Are you saying that because i already posted about your pink blog?

    you should check this out - PINK is the new blog

     

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