Sun - The flight home

Time to sadly leave, but also to go home.

So there we were, rushing through Frankfurt, losing hope, but still making the bus to the plane.
And when we got on the bus?

We spent the final in a Jr. Suite in one of the Scandic hotels... perhaps not worth it since we had a 4:30am departure from the hotel! The room came with breakfast, hmmm, I asked about that at the desk and they assured me "breakfast packs" would be made available to us.

After awakening from our nap, yes, we didn't sleep well... we put the last few items in the pre-packed bags and went downstairs to catch the hopefully waiting cab to the train station to hopefully catch the first train to the airport to hopefully catch the first flight of the day... or so we hoped.

Anyway, breakfast packs... or should I say "Breakfast" packs. We were given one stinky Norwegian goat cheese and something resembling ham on something resembling a baguette, each. Now that's breakfast! (Actually, the sammies were good, I'm just taking license.)

Oh yeah - when checking out, the computer was down. They just took my word for it that the room was prepaid! Should have had more from the mini-bar. (Just to be clear, the room was prepaid... honest.)

We hop in the cab and head off to the train station (with our purchased in advance tickets - we learned something in Hungary). The first entrance the driver tries is not open yet... yikes. Thankfully, the next one was and we were able to walk across the entire Central Station (thankfully smaller than those in Beijing) and onto the departing airport express train. So far, so good - just as we'd hoped.

Okay, there's no line for United, or Lufthansa? Hmmm... how do we check in? Let's try SAS, also a "Star Alliance Airline." I guess that wasn't just a lucky guess. "Oh, the flight is delayed. Maybe we can get some duty-free shopping in at 5:00am?"

"Hey, they have Jon Bertelsmen cognac - Berit and Ruth's brother's stuff - let's get some."
"Are you going to the US?, " queries the cashier.
"Yes, why?"
"You can't take this cognac to the US."
"Really? No cognac allowed?"
"No liquids in carry-ons."

Ugh. Thank you TSA... and thank you Oslo for not having those little bags that officially seal duty free booze and then it arrives at your gate as you leave... grrr.

Well, we get to the gate (after spending most of extra NOK coins on coffee) and voila, the plane is a "little later."

We board, we wait.

It's Oslo, we have to de-ice, again, an already late flight.

Yes, I know, I didn't mention that we know we have a 1.25 hour layover in Frankfurt which is barely enough time to get through the 80 security checkpoints - when NOT late - now we're a little concerned.

After we're airbound the pilot says he'll make up about 25 minutes in the air... excellent!

After we arrive at Frankfurt, indeed, 25 minutes faster than normal, we circle... seems you can't land two planes at once and everyone is arriving now.

So we arrive 10 minutes before our flight is supposed to take us home! Yes, 10 minutes to go through ALL of Frankfurt airport. Run run run!!!!!

Generous people allow us to cut in line in the first checkpoint, for passports, and then at EU security. No such luck for the second checkpoint - 'flights to the US security line" - getting later and later... but finally we get through and run to, what!, a third checkpoint, but for boarding passes. Hey, they're saying it hasn't left yet - phew. (It's not 1.25 hours after we arrived.)

There we were, rushing through Frankfurt, losing hope, but still making it onto the bus to the plane. And when we got on the bus? We waited - for 15 minutes... just sitting there... making even later passengers very happy.

And voila, back to Portland... home again, home again, jiggedy jig.

Posted: Sun - February 25, 2007 at 10:41 AM