Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm Not Worried, Are You Worried?

If there is something this trip has taught me, it's that no matter how bad things are... you pull through one way or another. It makes more sense to keep your cool, though I cannot claim I'm skilled at that yet. I did get practice during this trip however.  I would say the "trip" home was one that cannot be repeated ever again quite the same, and thank God for that, it was one hectic trip that took me from train station to airport.  My last leisure trip was with a friend in Düsseldorf, and I got to see the topsy turvy architecture of the Gehry Buildings on the Rhine River, and have a nice walk and talk in the evening, and some casual German lessons of course, but it was a very short visit all considered.  In the morning was another hearty European breakfast with Brötchen or Semmel in the south (fresh morning bread rolls in Germany) and soft-boiled eggs and tomato and mushroom organic sandwich spread (which sounds strange, but tastes okay).

Next was the 'trip' home.  The original plan was to get to Ramstein Air Base and fly home for free... unfortunately that wasn't quite how it played out.  Turns out, it's not quite so simple to get to Ramstein from Düsseldorf.  I began with a train to Köln, then to Mannheim, then to Kaiserslautern, then to a tiny station called Landstuhl, and then took a bus from there to the air base... where I discovered a ridiculous number of people languishing in what looked like the purgatory of space available passenger air terminals.  I forgot how close the Fourth of July was... and so I was stuck in a long list of people trying to get to the States and I had the wedding of my friend to get to... so I made a decision to book a flight from Munich Airport to Frankfurt Airport to Montreal Airport and then to Cleveland Airport. The cheapest flight was with multiple airlines, so I was flying with Lufthansa and then Continental.

Unfortunately Lufthansa did not check my luggage all the way through to Cleveland... and the hour between flights was inadequate for me to catch my connection.  Continental was not helpful at all though in this matter and I hope it was only the counter "leader" and not Continental in general.  I am writing a very strong letter to complain about the woman who scathingly handled my issue.  Instead of being polite, or even professional, this woman brazenly asked me why I'd missed my flight since in her words I had "plenty of time" to catch the connecting flight.

When I explained my situation again, she quickly absolved Continental Airlines - and herself - of any responsibility for my plight and told me coldly to go to Canada Air to fix my problem.  I took out my notebook and asked for her name and wrote down the time and told her she had seriously dissuaded me from pursuing further flights with Continental airlines, that I had paid good money for my ticket, and that I was severely disappointed with way I'd been treated.

Canada Air was great though, and they helped me out a bundle.  After arriving in Cleveland everything else went smooth.  Plane is boarding now, so the story will have to wait till later.

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