We woke up early this morning to catch a 745 bus to the airport. We got a late start because one of the passengers left a stuffed animal on the plane.
The trip to the airport was without incident. However, once we got to the airport, we found that we couldn’t check bags for an hour after we arrived. After the normal security checkpoint (including a passport check), we wandered down the gates, and found that out gates were blocked off.
Turns out that we don’t need access to the gates until after they set up another passport check station. So we waited. And waited.
A quick run to a restaurant for lunch, and we get to wait some more.
Finally they opened the station. They have priority to a Philadelphia flight, and then to ours. We stood in line for an hour to get our passports checked (again), then we were questioned about our carry on bags, and then another half hour line for the plane, with yet another passport check.
Finally, we get to sit down. And my headphone jack is broken. The stewardess tried valiantly to fix it with tweezers. After failing, she gave me an extra 3,000 miles. So far this trip, I’ve gained 23,000 extra miles. I guess I’ll be flying American again.
Taking off, we saw the Mediterranean on the left side of the plane. A very pretty way to leave Europe.
And once we get to Charlotte, we have to go through immigration and customs. Long lines, but they moved. Unfortunately (and irrationally) we are dumped outside of security, so back through security to get to the connecting flight. Luckily we had Pre Check, so it was far.
Then came a weather delay. Due to a storm, the previous flight couldn’t leave the gate, and our flight couldn’t get to the gate.
So the travel to and from Europe on this trip officially sucks.