Sunday, July 21, 2013

KA3AHb - Part 2

Frankfurt & Points East

During the ticketing process the Travel Goddess mentioned that my requested routing would entail a long layover in Frankfurt.
This I have no issue with.

I don't mind a long layover... There is one thing I can always find in an airport and that's alcohol.

How long?

10 hours? Wow.

Now, some people would use this opportunity to go walkabout in the city of delay.
Not none of me. I had bidness to attend to.

There was a disconnect between United and Lufthansa regarding the FRA-KZN and the outbound KZN-FRA flights. My United account showed different flight numbers and departure times. Never a good thing when it comes to code-shares.

On arrival in Frankfurt I headed for the United transfer desk and had a chat with the attendant there. She tapped away at her keyboard and made phone calls. She finally gave me a sheaf of paper with cryptic notations and told me she THOUGHT she had everything ironed out. Now I needed to take this stack of airline scrip to the Lufthansa desk and clear it with them to get my boarding pass...
Been down this road before.
"I can help you no further- you must find other assistance."
So I merrily trip off to the Lufthansa desk.

I get about 10 feet and am herded to a side corridor by a young man in a police-looking uniform.
Out in the clear space near the Customs & Immigration checkpoint, there was a lone black bag, and on the periphery a cadre of serious young German police are clearing the area.

Oh shit.

All my Americanism vs Communism classwork came flooding back...
Here I am in a German airport 20 yards from a "abandon bag" and all I can think of is Marinus van der Lubbe and the Reichstag Fire, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Red Army Faction, Popular Forces and the Revolutionary Left...

So I dig out my smart phone and shoot a pic.

And about have my arm broken by the fanatical young policeman...

Ok, probably a bad choice.
I guess my layover is about to get longer.

An old Armenian couple race back to the bag and surprisingly DON'T get proned out by the Stasi German TSA analog.
(If it had been Newark they'd be kissing the terrazzo and the 80-y/o babushka would be getting fitted for a size 14 proctoscope to make sure she was not in possession of other "suspicious objects")
Germany is kinder and gentler than the US DHS, and the old couple go on their way with minimal bruising.

Me- I head to the first of 4 trips to Lufthansa and United to get my tickets ironed out.
Thank Ghod for that 10 hour layover.

Almost 3 hours later I have a stack of papers that might get me to Kazan, and hopefully (and more importantly) back out at the end.

And then the next adventure begins-

I go through security and enter the sterile (so they say) gate area and find a comfortable spot to spend a few hours.
I am shortly joined by a gaggle of redheads- a large contingent for college-age Irish girls on their way to the Universidae are on my flight... And they are setting up camp in my quiet zone. Lovely.
An hour or so later there are even more college-age females from Australia... Followed my a mixed-gender group of Japanese schoolkids.
I'm really starting to feel old.
I'm blowing the bell curve for the average age on this flight...

We are finally herded onto a bus and taken out to our plane and around 8:30pm, we are on our way to Kazan.

Next- The Devil's Asscrack
Stay Tuned


1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Ah yes, lovely Frankfurt and United vs. Lufthansa... Done that dance a few times too, thankfully NOT in the direction you had to go.