Monday, October 13, 2014

There And Back Again

Admittedly it has been many months since I updated this blog. All apologies. But during that time, we were in America for two months, and upon our return we were without consistent internet for about a month.
The trip to the States was interesting. The first hitch was that the Montenegrin Airlines made us check the girls car seats all the way to Dulles (we had hoped to gate check them and then use them on the big flight). After our plane from Podgorica arrived in Frankfurt, we discovered that the flight from there to Dulles was cancelled. We also found out that while the girls and I were booked on the cancelled flight, Steve wasn't. And the airport wifi wasn't available for us to prove that indeed he was booked on our flight.
The airline is required by EU rules to provide meals and lodging during the layover period. So first we went by bus to a hotel for our supper. Then, because the hotels in Frankfurt were booked due to a conference, we went by another bus to Heidelberg (1 1/2 hours away) to spend the night. Our family was bumped in front of others because of our small children. Some people had to travel yet another 20 minutes to a third hotel.
Fortunately, at the hotel Steve was able to access wifi and pull up the needed proof that he had indeed booked and paid for a seat on the plane. Rather than taking the offered shuttle bus to the airport (which left at 5:30am when our make-up flight didn't leave until 5:00pm) we took a taxi to the train station and then two trains, the second of which goes right to the airport.
At the airport Steve convinced them that he was a ticketed passenger. We also received meal vouchers which could be used at the restaurants in the airport. For the flight, Steve and Ruth were near the back while Esther and I were at the front of economy class. The best thing was that both girls slept for most of the flight (and then also slept the whole night).
When we arrived at Dulles we discovered that the girls car seats were still in Frankfurt. So then we had to go through the hassle of getting the loaner seats from the airlines.

On the return flights there was a bit less drama. No cancelled flights. We did find that unbeknownst to us the flight was going as Austrian Air, even though it was United when we booked. So we had to move all our things from one check in counter to another. Also, we weren't allowed to use Ruth's car seat on the transatlantic flight, or either seat on the flight from Vienna to Podgorica. And Steve was not booked in the same aisle as the girls and I on either flight!
There was a long layover in Vienna, and I was so exhausted from the previous flight that I napped while Steve watched the girls play with all the toys in their Trunkis


2 comments:

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer said...

Traveling with small kids = SO MUCH lack of fun! I'm glad you're back where you belong. :-)

D.L. Diener said...

The exhaustion is palpable. I'm glad it was smoother on the way back, but I just don't get why airlines don't see the benefit of keeping families together- keeps the family & other passengers sane. I'm glad you're settled though & with some reliable wifi. :)