Sunday, December 11, 2016

Back home

Day 9:  Early flight

Our flight departed from Prague at 650am and we wanted at least 1.5 hours to get through check-in and security.  I booked a ride to pick us up at the ungodly hour of 445am.

The hotel kindly prepared breakfast boxes for us.  We paid up and waited for our ride.

And it didn't come.   I tried to call but (was rattled and had no coffee) couldn't get through.  The receptionist called on my behalf and found out that I had booked the ride for the next day, yikes, and no one was coming for us.  Numbers are really not my strong suit!

The receptionist called for a cab.  I made sure he told them that we'd need to pay by credit card.

The cab arrived by 515am.  The driver looked like a rode hard and put up wet Fabio.  He drove very carefully and didn't seem to intuitively know the airport route.  Thankfully traffic was very light.

We arrived at the airport around 550am.  I got out and left husband to pay the fare.  I went inside to figure out where to check in.  It was taking a while for husband to meet me.  Finally he showed up and said the driver couldn't run any of our credit cards.  Husband had no CZKs or Euros so the ride was free.  He said "Fabio" got frustrated and told him to get out of the cab and left.  We felt really bad about not paying the fare.  But there wasn't much we could do with out cash.

We checked in and got through security without problems, whew!  When we went to board, the Lufthansa gate agent stopped husband and told him he had to check my carry-on.  She said it wouldn't fit in the bin.

He said he wouldn't check it (it had my laptop, our souvenirs, my essentials).  She was unpleasant and seemed to target my husband.  We noticed many other people getting on with bigger, fatter cases. We rearranged some stuff, showed the bag in the bin, and her more pleasant coworker cleared us.

We arrived in Frankfurt with plenty of time before our flight. We ensured our seats were what we expected and waited to board.  It was a long few hours back to Houston.  The idiots in front of us kept their seats fully reclined the ~entire~ flight, even before we took off and while taxi-ing to the gate.  She also threw her scarf over the seat back, interfering with my little TV screen (I stopped that in a jiffy).  A child behind us kept throwing up.  It took awhile for baggage to arrive for the connection to New Orleans but I was back home in the lovely warmth and humidity before too long.

Travelling in winter is my least favorite thing but Vienna and Prague (and Dresden) were great, as was our company!  We hope to do it again soon.

1.  Husband must always check my numbers!  Having a ride booked for the wrong day almost cost us our return home.
2.  Keep a little cash, if possible, in case the credit card doesn't work.
3.  Gate agents can go on power trips but they really can stop you from travelling.  As unfairly enforced as it seems to be, having the correct carry-on sized bag is crucial.
4.  Economy sucks.  Not being able to choose your own seats in advance (thanks to archaic code share rules between United, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines) sucks more.  I will not be booking code share again, if at all possible.
5.  I look forward to our next Christmas Markets trip in 2020.
6.  My Marmot Chelsea coat was the best $200 I've ever spent.  I loved my Costco 32 degree long underwear and my Smartwool gloves and socks.  My bargain Columbia boots were comfortable for long days of walking and kept my feet warm.  I was a lot less cold this trip than in the past.
7.  Travelling with J & G was super fun.

Next:  Santorini, the Peloponnese, Meteora, and Athens Greece.  May 2017.

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Back home

Day 9:  Early flight Our flight departed from Prague at 650am and we wanted at least 1.5 hours to get through check-in and security.  I bo...