As every travel morning it starts with getting up (04:30AM), packing, brushing, washing, yawning, bathing, all at the same time. I get to airport, and I realize, I’m going to Dublin, one of destinations for lithuanian economic migrants – that means big queue of good life seekers. Though usually check-in queues are just few-minutes long, this time it takes me half an hour to get to the desk, where the fun of the trip starts.
They have new system, I have Expedia tickets overflowing with information (no white space on them!). This ends up with 15-min check-in process, where the girl, the girls supervisor and the girl’s supervisor’s supervisor works on it, opening various manuals and reference books (some of them handwritten).
Finally I’m checked in, and get hold up at border control for five minutes. The experienced lady was staring at my passport through magnifying glass for five minutes, then said it is bad quality. I tried to joke, that “these fellas never make good one”, but she didn’t get it. Fortunately, I got my way through.
I got my way through to find out, that there is a delay. It turns out – more than one hour of a delay. It was caused by a bird, that hit the planned aircraft, so they were sending in a replacement one from another city, another country. Without too much waiting on a runway, we did take off and got to Dublin, for more fun.
I was told my transatlantic flight was delayed, so I have a chance to catch it – good. I get out of plane, and I see a sign with two directions: “With boarding passes” and “Without boarding passes – recheck your luggage”. After questioning few airport officers, they tell me that my luggage is safely traveling and I just have to exit the security perimeter, and check in again at departures hall.
Thats what I do, but this time when computer crashes and is rebooted, I’m all alone at the desk. Someone tells me my English is too good for a Lithuanian. Also, my luggage seems to be on it’s way to Philadelphia – which is good. I get my boarding pass, official boarding start is in 5 or 10 minutes, so, no rush.
At the security gate I’m asked to step aside for more examination. I exchange some wit, grab my stuff, realize I lost my boarding pass. I check two destinations where I could keep it and run to the security guy. “While you were screening me, someone took my boarding pass”. He looks around, runs twenty yards, grabs 80-y-o couple and asks them to show boarding passes. Fun, they have ‘MITUZAS/DOMAS’ one. They madly giggle as teenagers after some crazy affair. Not funny, I think.
I get to the plane, stress levels somewhat higher than usual. 32C. That must be isle somewhere in the middle. When I see the plane, it seems to be somewhere in the back. I pass an empty seat in exit row. I drool. I realize row 32 is the very row at the very back. No reclining seats, reduced legroom, at least no toilet behind. Flight attendant looks at me, picks up intercom and says “I need another seat for 6’10” giant”. Other flight attendant comes and asks if they can find some smaller place I could cram in. I demand a cupboard – people around laugh, I join too. “You see that empty seat in exit row? If it is empty, it is yours” he says. Wishful thinking, few minutes afterwards it is taken by a midget. Stress level rises. I get some other seat. Yay, reclining, few more inches of legroom. Much better.
In flight one has to pay $5 for crappy headphones, or use his own, and have single-ear experience. I chose the latter, not sure if it was good or bad decision. They were showing one movie, so I could try sleeping all other time.
We landed late, so I had to recheck luggage in some kind of a hurry. Luggage. It did not arrive. I did have many successful flights, but this particular destination has some luck – it is the only one where I lost luggage before. I was told to run to my flight instead of waiting for luggage (though I had to pass customs with it..).
Third flight gets delayed, waits on a runway – bad weather at the final destination. Nearby sits a woman with a dog – the dog was so calm and so comforting. We take off, in-flight entertainment shows a quiz, with questions like “what is boiling temperature of water”. I realize that at this altitude it is not 100C. Correct answer though was 100C, so probably they considered, that anyone at this altitude is in pressurized environment. We can’t land, and I see why. On one side of plane clouds were many kilometers below, on another they go way up. We landed, and I experienced the storm later that evening. Soaking wet it was.
I passed the luggage carrousel, wish wishful thinking that it might be in there. Once I got to the lost luggage counter, they said I should go back to carrousel and check for my bag again. Probably the clerk just wanted to finish his coffee. Of course, as my luggage was not at previous airport, it wasn’t here either, so I hurried back well enough to be in front of a huge line, claiming for their lost articles.
Got to hotel, went out to a diner to grab a hamburger (yummy!), got back all wet (damn, 2nd Ave != 2nd St.) and after a 24-hour day crashed to sleep until local morning. That much of a single travel day.