We left off me staring out the window watching my plane leaving me.
I HAVE NEVER MISSED A FLIGHT BEFORE.
I ask around and am told to wait at gate 30. They have a phone that leads to someone downstairs. Each time someone calls we hear a different story. That is when they answer. Sometimes they don't and when they do it's always another 15 or 20-minute wait. There are roughly 20 to 25 people that missed their flights.
The not so easy airline.
It was one of two airlines. Every passenger that had missed a flight was flying with either Easyjet or West-something or rather. One of the workers said she was going to put a ticket in for Easyjet because this has been happening too often. Mind you, Easyjet is a separate company. I had a flight with American Airlines to go back home.
I called American Airlines to let them know, I wasn't going to make it, I needed to change flights, and they were more than willing to do so for a fee. Let's play a game of, "did you know?"
- Did you know that only two flights, within a 24 hour period, fly out to the States?
- Did you know it cost $200 dollars to change flights, plus fees?
Well, $270 dollars later and I was grateful I could pay in a currency that didn't have international fees. At this point, I knew I just had to make it to PARIS!
After two hours of waiting, we were escorted out through security to customer service to pay $90 pounds, which is roughly $116 dollars without the transaction fee, to be placed on the next flight. A flight that was in six hours. The hours awake at this point are as blurry as I was starting to become. Out of cash again, my body was falling asleep, and I wasn't going to panic!
My best pep talk to date went as follows.
Kubby, you will not cry!
You will not throw up.
And don't you dare miss this next flight come hell or high waters you get on that plane!
Deep breaths and I needed to set down.
All of a sudden, a very loud airport became silent. A very bright building became dark. I was involuntarily falling asleep. How does your body shut down without permission like that? Needless to say, I was struggling to stay awake. Falling asleep scared me. It could lead to missing my flight and that wasn't an option. I set an alarm, sat as uncomfortable as possible, and attempted to nap.
I needed a plan of attack.
Sleeping 15 minutes on and off for the next hour. I then decided to join the check-in line three times in an attempt to stay awake and print my boarding pass. This was more of a tactic to stay awake than a necessity. Shall we play another game of, "did you know?"
- Did you know wifi at this airport is free for a couple of hours?
- Did you know after three hours, passengers must pay for wifi or wait 12 hours?
- Did you know without wifi my digital boarding pass wouldn't load?
Did you know I typed this portion yesterday and finished the rest just to have my computer erase it :(
Quick recap, as I cannot bring myself to rewrite it all again. My body was shutting down without my permission.
A loud room would fell silent. A bright room went dark.
Before I knew it my body would shock itself back to sleep. I had set an alarm, sat in between people that surely wouldn't let me sleep, and napped on and off until I couldn't any longer. I then decided to enter the check-in three times in attempts to stay awake and print my boarding pass.
After security, I had three more hours to go before my flight.
I was out of cash, hungry, and my flight was delayed. Chips for lunch, a 45-minute delay due to a disgruntled passenger on the previous flight, and eventually I was boarding. Blacked out for the short flight. Woke up in Paris and I was grateful the worst was over. Now I had wifi. 14 hours before my next flight, I needed a shower, I needed food, and I needed sleep.
A short train ride over to another gate, a walk behind a building, and a skip across the street lay my third attempt to find a hotel.
The first few ranged from $500 euros to $300. I knew I could do better, even if I was a walking zombie at this point. Thankfully, most of the airport workers spoke English and could direct me to the next nearest hotel.
$98 Euros for hot water, a bed, A/C, and breakfast.
It felt like my luck was turning around. Remember when I mentioned the French are picking about their eating times? Well, their bus system stops at midnight, shops close at 11 pm, and any hope of seeing the city quickly faded. Only restaurants in the hotels were open, so there I stayed, ate a duck something with soup, and wine. Went upstairs, slept, and before I knew it, I was on a plane to the states.
Everything went smoothly after that. Whenever people ask me about my trip I am reminded of the last 72 hours that took me for a wild ride. Soon I'll recover from it. One might think it wouldn't be bad to be stuck in London or Prais, of all foreign countries one could be stranded on. Mind you it is terrifying. They don't speak your native language or act accustom to your culture. Which is great to experience when you choose too.
All that to say, I made it home, I love my blogger friends and family in real life, and now it's time to start planning my next adventure.
Pictures for you.
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