Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ouf!

I'm sure that everyone has been wondering what's happened to me in the past two weeks. No? No one? Well, I'll tell you anyway!

Jube and I bought tickets to come to France! We bought them about a week before we arrived and decided not to post about it on the blog so as not to alert Belle-maman. She was very surprised to see us, and very happy too! Of course, there were some hics to our trip... I guess it's impossible to fly trans-Atlantic without having something go wrong. So here's the story:

I am returning to the US about 10 days before Jube for various reasons. Weirdly, my plane ticket was much more expensive than his, so we decided to fly on different airlines to save some money. He flew with Iberia, switching in Madrid, and I flew British Airways, changing airports and planes in London. We normally fly British Air, because for some reason, the tickets to the south of France are usually cheaper. I know that a lot of people have had problems with them, but they've never lost my bags or anything, so I like them.

No problems, that is, until this time. My flight from Washington was nearly two hours late. I rushed as fast as I could to Gatwick, and arrived 20 minutes before my plane was supposed to take off for Marseille. The gate was closed, but I still had a tiny hope that I could make it... up until the moment that they told me to go to customer service instead of security. I was so upset and jet lagged that tears started rolling down my cheeks in the airport. While explaining my situation to the representative, I could hardly catch my breath through my sobs. It was the first time that I'd ever missed a connecting flight in the 7 years that I've been traveling to Europe.

The woman who helped me was very nice, and pretended to ignore my tears, although she did say, "Oh, you must be so tired!" She booked me on the next flight to Marseille - leaving the next day, at 6:00 am. I almost started crying again when she told me I'd have to spend the night in a hotel. Luckily I had Beau-papa's phone number, and I called him to let him know my troubles. Then, after I deposited my checked bag and collected my boarding pass, I headed off to the Premier Travel Inn, with strict directions to be at the airport by 5:15 the next morning.

After I finally checked in to my room (and thanking my lucky stars that I had £2 in coins leftover from my last layover in London to pay the shuttle bus driver), I took a bath and cried. I ate my free dinner at 6:30 and was in bed by 8:00 pm, my alarm set for 4:30 the next morning.

Of course, the alarm didn't go off. I woke up at 5:15 and checked the time, immediately cursing and pulling on the clothes I'd set out the night before. I couldn't believe that I might miss my flight again, and this time with no backup plan. I ran through security and to the gate, relaxing only when I found that there were people behind me just starting to amble in the direction of the plane. Finally, by 9:00 French time, I was in Beau-papa's Renault Scénic heading toward Montpellier.

Next installment: did we make the Radiohead concert? Or were my tickets counterfeit?

1 comment:

Noelia said...

I hate the stress of international flight connections. So many things can go wrong! But it all ends up fine usually (generally). :-)