Entry Info

8th (Sat)
May 2010

[day52] Jump to Amsterdam

Oh, again. I missed a flight! And even worse, Lufthansa labour union was planning to hold a strike from the next day and the airport was in total chaos. Following the advice from the gate staff I went to the ticket office but there was a shockingly long queue. It took me more than 2 hours until my turn finally came even though I was in a priority lane. During the time, I was trying to sort out the problems. I must not boast this though, I'm very good at confronting any kind of troubles.

First of all, what concerns me the most was the flight I'd missed. In fact, I had a previous experience of missing a flight with a discount ticket and at the time the ticket became invalid. (I've sworn it would never happen again!) What would happen in case of the award flight? Plus, the checked in luggage made me uneasy too. Had it been loaded and left me to Cairo, it must be very difficult to retrieve the backpack. Besides, I had to cancel the airport pick up service from the accommodation in Cairo.

I asked the first two questions to the staff in the counter and regarding the award flight they didn't know the details but they said my agency should handle it. What was the agency anyway? I organised this trip by myself but she repeated "the agency is the agency." About the luggage, Frankfurt Airport has a system which tracks the passengers and unless a passenger is on board his luggage won't be loaded too. The staff secured my luggage and arranged to send it to the carousel. Anyway I felt quite assured as the financial damage will be minimum.

I managed to send an urgent cancelation email to the accommodation with Kindle during the waiting time in front of the carousel. It was positively surprising that Kindle's internet function was finally made full use of. After retrieving the luggage, I joined the queue again at the ticket office to solve the question of 'the agency'. This time, I repeated the question patiently and the staff said "It's the agency which you book the flight." Oh, well it must be ANA.

Well it was Frankfurt airport. I dashed for the ANA counter. However, the answer at the counter was that award flights were not their area and I had to make a phone call to their service centre. Anyway, I got the phone number from them and connected to Skype by airport's paid wi-fi.

According to the operator, if I waited for 8 days, they can arrange an alternative flight at business even though it was a part of award flights. What's more, it was actually possible to book at first class with 10 days waiting. Oh, I couldn't be happier with this result as I'd actually resigned myself to the worst case that whole trip become void. The dream of Lufthansa first class terminal become feasible again.

Besides, the Cairo's accommodation gave me a kind reply which said that they didn't mind as long as I inform about the alternative flight. What amazing consequences they were! Almost no financial damage occurred even though I missed a flight.

The last thing I had to consider was how to spend these 10 days in Europe. I'd once thought of visiting friends in Germany and Switzerland but after careful consideration, I noticed that FITC (a big flash conference) was going to be held on the next day at Amsterdam. I must've been guided by the god of designing.

Once I decided what the next action is, I moved very quickly. Thanks to "Last Minutes Ticket Center", I secured a flight to Amsterdam. Also, during the waiting time at the gate, I booked the accommodation and contacted some Japanese people who were going to join the conference. Only 4 hours later since I called ANA, I arrived at Amsterdam airport. I would like to applaud myself for this recovery.

Nevertheless at the carousel something wrong happened again. The checked-in luggage didn’t appear at all and finally the carousel stopped completely. How come this knockabout? This is my first time of the lost baggage. Since I had almost all valuable things such as the camera and laptop with me and wore warm clothes, I could survive without the luggage. But not having a backpack, I felt quite insecure in the unfamiliar city. "Probably, we can find your bag in a few days", said the lady at the desk and tried to trust her, I headed to the accommodation.

It was already after midnight when I arrived the hostel. Phew, such a long day it was.

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In order to present well organised articles, this blog is not updated on real time base. (You can find "Entry Info" on the left panel, "updated on" and "travelled on") Regarding to the current information about me, please follow satoshionoda_e on twitter. I'm tweeting almost every day.

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