As of 5:45pm last night, I have officially started off the second portion of my Grand Adventure 2017! (Or 3rd, if you want to count attempting to live with my parents for a month and a half as the ‘2nd’ portion – it sure was one hell of an ‘adventure’).
It started off pretty good; I ended up getting an empty seat next to me for the 8hour flight to Paris (though sadly I never managed to fall asleep 😩 Currently have been awake for 19hours and counting…) And the movies on the plane were good – though the food sucked like all plane food does.
Then we got in to Paris. I should have realized my connection was going to be a problem – Paris is part of the same passport zone as Amsterdam so I had to go through customs, only I barely had 1 hour for my layover. So obviously this was going to be an issue. And, at the same time as my flight coming in, at least 4 other giant Boeing 757 planes (the giant ones that fit 40+ isles of at least 7 people each) came in from the Americas. And there were only 4 border guard lanes open. Needless to say, customs was truly swamped.
The entire time I am thinking ‘there is no way they will let all these people miss their flights; they will definitely delay them.’ Well, I was wrong. Anyone with a connection less than 2 hours long missed their flights. Including me.
Now, if I were most people in line, I would be complaining up and down about how long it was taking and how terrible this was (and trust me, there were many an American complaining like it was their sole talent in life). But I’ve travelled A LOT, and there are two rules I live by:
- Complaining will do nothing but piss off the staff and everyone else around you. It’s true – you get more honey with sugar than vinegar. So grit your teeth if you have to, and smile the anger away.
- NEVER waste your time running through the airport. In all likelihood you are going to miss your flight anyway, and then you’ll just be tired and annoyed. So why bother? ESPECIALLY if you have carry on bags. Not. Worth. It. It is easier to just take your time, and get rebooked on the next available flight. (The exception being that one time that I nearly missed my flight in NYC when I had a final the next night… Had to run for that one)
So what did I do today? Well, I used my absolutely dreadful Spanish skills to help an old lady from Spain find her family who were stuck in the security line; I smiled at everyone I saw (because generally the smile makes them less dickish to the staff); I let some crazy complaining old man go in front of me (“My flight is at 9am!” Honey, I hate to tell you this, but it is 8:50am. The doors to that flight are already closed, and you are shit outta luck); and as soon as I was free of the customs line I said goodbye to the Spanish family and walked straight to the kiosk to get rebooked. No muss, no fuss, still happy, and waiting for my rebooked flight at 11am! (Plus, honestly, who can be mad that they have to spend more time in Paris? Especially if it means you can eat real Parisian croissants for breakfast?)
P.S. Dad (yes, that has returned) I am still alive and eating a delicious chocolate croissant without you.