Best laid plans. You know…get picked up to go to the airport without having to race there. Almost always works when we have Dima take us — he is one on-time guy! Traffic caused a slight delay for him arriving at our place, but we still had plenty of time to get to the airport.
No problem checking in. Only carry-on luggage. All is well.
Board flight to Vienna. While sitting at the gate — um, they don’t use gates. Take that back…while sitting on the plane where the bus had dropped us to board, we learned that the flight had a one-hour delay. The fog was intense and even worse in Vienna. Much to our surprise, the flight attendants on Austrian Air delivered a pastry and a choice of drinks to us while still sitting there! Way to go.
After de-icing the wings, we winged our way to Vienna. We were glad to be above the clouds and actually see the sun for awhile. And then we started our descent. One huge cloud. And suddenly we saw the runway! I’m glad the pilots knew what they were doing…the ground certainly caught us off guard!
We sashayed through the airport and found our next gate. We were scheduled to leave for Budapest in a few hours, so we headed to the coffee bar and enjoyed a tasty latte and a cheese strudel. I mean, you HAVE to have some sort of strudel if you’re in Vienna, right?
Jim checked the board to see whether we could proceed through security to our gate and returned with a big grin. Did that mean good news or bad news? Well, it meant that our flight was cancelled! What?
We learned that we had to exit our terminal and reenter at Terminal 1 and go to the Austrian Airlines desk. We were quickly directed to a long queue and waited. And waited. And waited. We were in that line for two hours and when we finally spoke to a woman at the window, she directed us to yet another counter! We just needed to have someone reticket us — there were other flights to Budapest tonight. We knew that — the men who directed us to the long line told us that. Crazy.
We went to our assigned counter — irregular check-in. Good name. We rescheduled for a later direct flight to Budapest and then asked if we might receive a food voucher. The gal seemed embarrassed when she had to inform us that the time delay was five minutes short of a voucher. Spare me. Jim pressed a little harder and she checked with her supervisor who allowed us a snack voucher. Better than nothing.
We finally found a restaurant that accepted the voucher and found that we were limited to a sandwich from this refrigerator and a drink from that one. Again, better than nothing. And we were finally able to sit down.
We again went through security — I had a pat-down AND a wand. Good grief. Not sure why except that I believe they were training the young woman who was checking me. The next person checked was also a woman. No big deal.
We found our way to our gate. And, guess what? A delay. But the flight is still scheduled. We’re sitting in the waiting area at the gate and Jim thinks our bus has arrived to transport us to the plane.
Praying that we actually fly.