You should have seen the jiggety jig I did this morning when the travel agent at my office told me that 1) flights to the U.S. were flying from Munich today and 2) my status had changed from waitlisted to confirmed. In fact, I am confirmed in Business Class and waitlisted in First Class, so one way or another, I’M COMING HOME TODAY!!!
I didn’t just do a jiggety jig. In fact, I cried. I didn’t mean to, but her words were music to my ears. I had been so positive and upbeat throughout this whole mess but I was getting so tired of being “stuck” that when she said I was coming home, they were tears of relief and joy. She told me to leave immediately for the aiport and get through security as soon as possible so I could have the best chance of getting that First Class seat I’m waitlisted for. Are you kidding? I could care less what class my seat is — I’M COMING HOME TODAY!!! However, my company was nice enough to pay the cost of upgrading me to First Class to get me home as soon as possible, and I’m SURE it would be an awesome experience, so off to the airport I went.
I expected long lines and chaos when I arrived (as it is the first day people have been given even any hope of flying out of Munich since last Thursday). However, what I found was a ghost town. There was a sad area of cots set up for those who have been living in the airport for the last 5 or 6 days. I wish I had taken a picture… it looked like some sort of bomb shelter. Army blankets and cots and frazzled faces everywhere. Check-in lines were long, but I was one of the lucky few who could check-in at the Business/First Class area. Once I got through security (which took all of 5 minutes), there was almost no one around. Lights were off, shops were closed, and there was barely anyone in the hallways. I was very early (like 5 hours early!) for my flight, but figured it was better to be sitting in the airport than cutting it close for no reason.
So here I am… sitting in the First Class lounge eating free food and blogging. My how the tables have turned from yesterday. All in all I have to say I was so fortunate during this whole mess. Even though I am pregnant and slightly uncomfortable and desperate to get home, I was so much better off than so many people during this disaster. I spent the weekend with a colleague and her family who live at the base of the Alps in Bavaria (about an hour’s drive from Munich). We had a lovely day on Saturday doing a boat tour of Lake Tegernsee and eating traditional Bavarian food at a bierhaus. I slept in her two year old’s bed (ha!), which, although small, was undoubtedly much more comfortable than the airport floor. Monday I returned to my office in Munich (where I worked all last week) and had internet connections, food, and the company of some people who spoke English fairly well. Not too bad.
The only thing that could ruin this wonderful day is if the plane doesn’t take off. Since my flight is at 4pm (local time), it runs the risk of being cancelled if the morning flights experienced disturbances while flying. Certainly, though, it is better NOT to be on the first flight out today. A lot of people are still very skeptical about how safe the skies above Germany are.
So keep those fingers crossed that my plane takes off and lands safely. If so, I’ll be running into Benjamin’s arms around 6:30pm or 7:00pm tonight. I cannot wait.
Thank you all SO MUCH for the support, comments, suggestions and happy thoughts while I was stranded. Sorry I couldn’t respond to all of them, my internet was spotty and the time difference made it difficult, but Benjamin and I both really, really appreciate your concern over the last few days. What a crazy situation!