Close Call

I don't know what my problem is lately with travel planning. I seem to be unable to accurately plan and execute a smooth trip. Maybe it's too much travel, too many different rules and regulations per country, airport, airline, etc. Too many lucky breaks where they have let me squeeze by so I didn't learn my lesson. Maybe I am just too blasé about whether and when I get there anymore.

Yesterday I was pushing my luck beyond any reason. My flight to Munich was at 9:55 AM. So for me that means check in at 8:55 is plenty of time for an airport the size of Cologne and leaving time for the German protocol.

However, I needed to return the rental car and here is where I made the big mistake. It takes 30 minutes to get to the airport from my apartment. So I left the house just before 8:30. What I did not calculate were the following:

- 10 minutues tanken (fill the gas tank)
- 15 minutes walk from rental car drop to check in
- quick check in no longer accepts credit cards as identification (only passport and confirmation number but American passports don't work)
- 50 people in front of me waiting to check in at the desk because they also could not use quick check in
- baggage drop line 20 people deep

So, flight at 9:55 and I am arriving to a check in mad-house due to previous calculating errors at 9:20.

Resigned to missing the flight I go through the last ditch effort to try to boot up my laptop and get my reservation number to do the quick check in. Laptop is crap and is taking an hour to boot up.

Then an angel with Germanwings stepped up and asked what I was doing. I explained and he grabbed me and took me to the front of the check in line*, we dumped the bag, got the ticket and off I ran to security (boarding time started at 9:25 and by now it was 9:35).

I walked up to the gate just in time to walk on the plane, sit down and take off. And the kicker is my bag even made it. Seriously, how am I supposed to learn this way? I guess I will pay for it next time!

Oh, and I am loving being back in Munich. It is a little weird after not living here for the last 8 months and how much life has changed since then. On the ride from the airport into town I had some mixed feelings about whether the past would dominate my emotions or my excitement about the future. So far so good and I am off for a walk to the Englische Garten. With snow in the forecast most of this week I need to get some sun while I can ;-)

* I really hate those people, even when I'm one of them.

Posted from Münich


Jul said...

Wow, you got lucky! Enjoy your walk - it's a beautiful day for it here.

-No longer a mans world said...

Why do I feel that if it were me the guy wouldn't lift a finger? It's a woman's world when she needs help and a man can come to the rescue.

J said...

By any chance did you travel on Germanwing? If so, don't fret about not having the conf # - I've tried quick check at CGN many many times and it has never worked.

Michelle said...

J - yes it was germanwings - I could have sworn last time I flew with them I just checked in with my payment credit card.

NLAMW - Could be! I personally thought he was crazy to help anyone in my situation. I would have told the person tough luck, get here earlier!