Wednesday, November 3, 2010


And I do mean EARLY!  Our flight to London leaves at 15:30.  We got to the Stuttgart airport at 11:30, four hours early for a two hour flight.  The ticket counter wasn't even open yet.  The strategy had already worked for me in February when I went to visit Gma in Florida.  It - and some profuse tears - got me the last flight out of Germany in the middle of a snowstorm covering most of Europe.  I landed in the middle of a snowstorm blanketing the entire USA, and I had to fly throught Charles de Gaulle, but I made it to Gmas only 24 hours later than planned.  (Funny enough, a SECOND snowstorm in Atlanta two weeks later also delayed my return home to Germany!)  Rule number one in European airtravel:  NEVER EVER EVER fly through Charles De Gaulle.  (When we lived in France, we were lucky enough to live close to the Geneva airport!)  Rule Number Two: have as little carry-on baggage with you as possible just in case you are force to disregard rule number two.  And remember, even though their airport looks - and runs - like a third world country in the midst of a civil war (and good God, do NOT go into the restaurants or let your children TOUCH anything while you are there!), the French are a lovely people once you get out of their airport.

All of which has nothing to do with getting there early except perhaps that the lady from the BRITISH AIRWAYS counter (and BRITISH AIRWAYS already has my vote for airline of choice!), a citizen of Ghana living in Germany, was born in France. 

She allowed us to turn on two scales at the counter so we could start in with redistributing the weight in our bags.  Then she called in two people to check us in at noon.  Even though they didn't officially start check-in at 13:00.  We told her we'd wait, but we were there early to make THEIR lives easier too.    

Wé'd used the BRITISH AIRWAY offer of one extra bag for 45 Euros to condense our carry-ons into as little as possible, using those extra 23 kgs to carry mostly the schoolbooks that Damon would otherwise have ended up lugging through Heathrow and Singapore.  And then we ran into complications with the Singapore connection- and those 40 extra Euros PER pound that had hit me in Florida came back to haunt me.  It took three people on our end, multiple phone calls to a myriad of supervisors and to sister airlines, as well as forty minutes to get our bag on the flight, checked in through to Brisbane and all for 45 Euros.

The kids also got 4 fanny packs and the label "sky flyer"out of the deal.

I'm going to give a heck of a lot of credit to BRITISH AIRWAYS and to the three women helping us for taking the time to make our life so much easier.

But I also know it was showing up early, BEFORE they had other customers to deal with, that made it all possible.  They would not have been ABLE to spend an hour checking us in if a line was forming behind us.

We also showed up with extra bags and tape for the kids' seats. 

So that - for that one little moment at least - making someone else's job easier for them made it possible for them to make the next two days easier for us.

I AM starting a new blog - Twintensity in Oz - and I will let you know when it is up and running.  Thoughts running through my brain include that fact that noone I now speaks English the way the English seem to - including my English friends in Germany.  And that perhaps, just perhaps, we are going to have some linguistic culture shock after all!  This is BEFORE the language gets beaten to death by the Aussies!  I also didn't know the address we were moving too - and then had to ask Damon if Australia even had zip codes!

My kids are running through the Burger King here at the Stuttgart airport. 
I've already cried my eyes out in the cab - fortunately to a Turkish cabby who took it all in stride!

And yeah - we are off.  Carrying more baggage than I'd counted on : hug from Andrea in REAL yesterday (a suitcase broke at the last minute!), sushi with the girls last night - who knew it would mean so much?, late night and early morning phone calls with Anita, last minute call from Lynn (who did the same for me when we left Altdorf in Sept!), comments from Jim on my blog, emails and wishes from Catherine. 

I'd planned to start a NEW chapter.  But I'm not done with last one yet.

Hoping to catch up with you all in London!   It means a lot that you are flying with!

1 comment:

  1. I really do feel like I'm going with you on this journey - can't wait to see what Australia looks like! Safe travels!