Today started like many other travel days: Waking up in a strange hotel room.
This is nothing new. I do this more than 1/2 the year, on average. Then I had to find my way to CDG (Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris). I’d researched a few options the night before. Taxis were quickly crossed off the list when I was told that 50 euro would be the *cheapest possible* fare. Then I checked trains. Certainly doable, but would take a LONG time. Then I found the “Air France les cars” bus service. Starting just 3 metro stops from my hotel, DIRECT to terminal 1 at CDG and only 17 euro! Done deal!!
Aside from having to carry my luggage up and down too many staircases (SIX in one station alone. Prague, I’m sorry, but you’ve lost the title “Best city if you enjoy carrying your luggage up stairs”. Paris wins. No contest.) the trip was pretty painless. I had accounted for 2 hours of travelling. As it happened, I was in the airport lounge in 1:10. Not bad! Thanks again to my Star Alliance GOLD status, I was able to bypass the check-in lineup by using the First Class que and was allowed through an automated gate to a shortened lineup for security. I’m really gonna miss that!
Then it hit the fan…
The aircraft for my first flight arrived late. Something about a runway closure in Frankfurt and early morning fog. The snowball effect meant that my flight would leave late and then my already too short layover in FRA would all but disappear. I might make it to the next flight, but my luggage surely would not.
Getting off the plane, I met a gate agent who told me “You’ve missed your flight. Head to the Service counter for new boarding passes.” This should have clued me in to what was going to happen. I was only supposed to take one more flight. He said flights with an ‘S’.
The agent at the service counter gave me the “good news”. I had already been booked on a different flight. I got the boarding passes and headed to the lounge. I knew I had enough time for some lunch. At least an hour.
Looking at my passes, I realized that instead of flying CDG-FRA-LNZ, I was now going to fly through Vienna. So it became CDG-FRA-VIE-LNZ. The additional city had been added (so I was told by the agent in the lounge where I picked my new seats) to save me time. To get me to my final destination as quickly as possible, I’d have to take another short hop.
After a snack and a quick shower (yes, you read that right. Lounge showers are free and really nice!) I headed off.
Vienna was lovely, even if the Austrian Airlines lounge was not. Far too many people. You couldn’t even sit down. And the toilet was disgusting!! For a VIP experience, don’t go to Vienna!
The rest of my day went according to plan. I ended up in Linz about 4 hours later than expected. The kicker: When I was retrieving my luggage from the carousel, another flight landed…FROM FRA!! The added flight had gotten my to Linz exactly EIGHT MINUTES faster than if I had just waited for the later flight from Frankfurt. Really?? All that hassle for 8 minutes?!?!?
Until the next adventure….