Yesterday was a travel day, flying from Budapest to Stockholm. The experience nicely illustrates why I don’t entirely miss traveling for business. If things can go wrong, they will go wrong. And of course, they obviously can go wrong. But in the end, you muddle through and it more of less works out – as long as you remain calm.
We had a tight connection through Frankfurt. Our plane was delayed coming into Budapest, so we were delayed getting away. That changed a tight connection into a very tight connection, but we were assured we were okay. We would be met at the gate by an agent who would expedite our transfer to our next flight. And it almost worked too. But it appears our late arrival meant our scheduled gate wasn’t available, and we were sent to a “non-Schengen” gate. Why is that significant? We’ll, if we de-planed using a jetway, we would need to clear customs, which is definitely not the way to make a quick connection. So a bus took us to a Schengen gate … after everyone was off the plane. And even with all the confusion, we almost made it. As we were being shuttled to Lufthansa customer service, we came within 10 meters of our plane … just close enough to wave as it was pulling away. Then things got interesting. I received a notice that we had been rebooked … for the next day … with a 7:00 AM departure … which meant having to be up before 4:00 AM. That was the low point of the day. But it turned out the human agent (rather than the automated booking program) could put us on a 4:00 PM flight the same day, which had us in Stockholm in time for dinner.
So in the end, everything worked out. We are looking forward to the next few days in Stockholm.