Saturday, March 25, 2017

Europe Trip 2017 - Day One

Our flight to Frankfurt was set to depart around 11am, going through Detroit with a 3 hour layover. Our plan was to drop the kids off at my parents' house at 7:30am, pick up my sister and her husband a few minutes after 8am, and then be at the airport by 9am. The best laid plans, right?

The night before this schedule was to be put in motion, I was laying in bed after midnight, trying to shut my brain off so I could go to sleep. My phone chimed and startled me and I looked to see who was texting. It was from Delta...our flight was delayed by 2 hours. It seemed really weird to be getting an alert about a flight delay, about 10 hours before the flight was supposed to happen. I tried to find a reason for the delay, but there wasn't bad weather in our city or in the city we were headed to. My sister and I started messaging each other, brainstorming what we should do. With a 2 hour delay, there was still a chance we could make our connection in Detroit, but it would be tight. She got on the phone with Delta, to see what our back-up plan should be if we missed our connection. The agent wasn't too helpful, and couldn't even tell us why our flight was going to be delayed in the first place. After 20+ minutes on the phone with no resolution, my sister gave up and we decided to just go to sleep and check the flight status again first thing in the morning.

When I woke up the next morning at 6:30am, the delay still showed to be 2 hours. I proceeded to get ready as previously planned, figuring we could take things a little bit slower, since we'd be waiting at the airport for a couple extra hours. At 6:45am, that all changed when I got a text from Delta that said our flight was now 3 hours delayed and we would definitely miss our connection. Damn it! Meezy got on the phone with Delta immediately and asked what we could do. They said there weren't 4 seats available to get to Frankfurt from Detroit later that day, so if we flew to Detroit, we'd be staying there overnight and essentially missing our first vacation day in Europe. That was not going to happen! While Meezy was on the phone, I was online furiously searching for other flight options. I found one that went through New York and got us to Frankfurt just a couple hours later than originally planned, but here was the departed at 9:55am. Considering it was already after 7am at this point, and we hadn't woken the kids up yet, the departure time wasn't ideal. But, it was our best chance to stay on our schedule for Europe, so we grabbed the seats.

I frantically finished getting ready and packing up the last of our stuff while Meezy got the kids up. They were not happy with the rushed schedule! We hightailed it over to my parents' house, which thankfully is less than a mile away. They were lifesavers for being flexible for us. My sister had to bring her girls over to their house too, because our earlier flight meant they couldn't drop them off at school before heading out. We said our goodbyes and rushed to my sister's house so they could drop off their car and carpool to the airport with us.

We made it to DFW a few minutes after 8am and luckily there was hardly anybody at the baggage drop-off or in the security lines. We finally breathed a sigh of relief when we got to our gate. We grabbed some breakfast and waited for boarding. Just as people started to line up, the gate agent came over the loudspeaker and said, "Sorry to inform you this flight is delayed by 45 minutes." Eye roll. Okay, whatever, we can handle this. After 45 minutes elapsed, we did indeed get to board the plane!

New York was experiencing some crazy wind as we were flying in, so the landing at LGA was ROUGH! I had to lean forward and put my head between my knees to make sure I didn't throw up or pass out! We had to collect our bags and transfer to JFK, because that's where our flight to Frankfurt was going to depart. We got a cab and it took us 45 minutes to go the 10 miles between the airports. We checked our bags again, went through security again, and headed to the gate area.  

On our original flight, I had purchased $100 upgrades to our seats so we could sit in Comfort+ on the long flight to Frankfurt. The alternate flight we had to select didn't have those seats available, so we got stuck with regular size seats. They were awful!! The wind was still a problem when we were set to depart, so JFK only had one runway open. We had to sit in a queue that added about 30 minutes to our time on the aircraft. Never again, y'all. I tried and tried to find any comfortable position so I could get a little sleep on the flight, and it just didn't happen. Same for the rest of my party. We had no legroom and no room to lean forward on our tray tables either. Let it be a lesson to you - don't settle for regular seats on an 8 to 9 hour flight. Spring for an upgraded seat that gives you more room!

I really wasn't expecting such an adventure on Day 1 of our trip, since it was only supposed to be a travel day. But, we were just very thankful we made it to Frankfurt, only 2 hours later than originally planned. Now it was time for fun!!

No comments: