Fly Me Away.

4 Apr

Flying is such a luxury.

Until it is a bitch.

I have flown a lot of places and encountered a lot of things, but my 36 hour route to hell was not what I had expected. And I completely blame Ryan Air (and the French). It is the WORST airline of all time. What was originally going to be a cheap trip to Germany turned into the most expensive experience of my life. After 2 trains and an airport shuttle I found myself at the Neiderhein Airport.

Where is Neiderhein may you ask… It’s in the middle of FREAKING nowhere.

So I’m excited because I made it to the airport in one piece, got through security with my overweight bag… naturally… and was seated nowhere near children… or schizophrenics. SUCCESS!

Then comes the news that we are delayed… for three hours. I didn’t realize how hot planes get on the inside when you are just… sitting there. And I had on 6 layers of clothes… naturally. So after peeling off my layers and trying to psychologically convince myself that I wasn’t sweating through 6 layers and that I didn’t look like I had just got out of a KISS concert (I felt like Tina Fey in 30 Rock looking for the pilot…Matt Damon… to have an enraged standoff with and start raiding the snack cart), my flight was cancelled due to the striking of French air controllers (apparently the French strike for everything… naturally). I was at a loss.

However, the girl next to me was not. She had the definition of a meltdown. Actually two meltdowns. One in English and then one in German. I was not worried about how to get to Spain at that point, I was concerned about how to get away from the erratic psycho losing her mind next me. I was looking for the small children to take haven with. I had never seen more of a need for waterproof mascara, xanax, and a muzzle.

And then came the reality… the line. Ryan Air had 2 people ready to rebook at least 4 cancelled flights (that’s like 5,000,000 people I’m sure). Dumbasses. And I’m in Germany without a working phone and cannot understand any of the German or Spanish updates going on around me. Trying not to panic I do the only thing any sane person would do. I start roaming (Lord knows how much that cost. And I don’t want to know. EVER). So amidst the languages… I figure out that there are no flights for two days even going to the COUNTRY of Spain. And with all the people in front of me the soonest I would get to Espana would be 5 days from now. Awesome.

Ok. My flight back to the states is 4 days from now. I’m no rocket scientist but that math is no bueno. So I do what any sane person would do.

I panic.

On the inside of course.

But then I regain my control and start looking for options. I book a flight to Madrid on another airline at another airport. Ok, so now I have to get to the airport. One shuttle, two trains, a subway and a really nice German man and his family get me to the second airport. As soon as I arrive I get notification my flight is cancelled… naturally. Perfecto! Just what I was hoping for. So I book another. Cancelled.

So now it’s 3 am I’m in the completely closed airport camped out under a giant Giraffe (I named him Ferdinand…he was the nicest soul I had met all day) being circled by floor cleaners, flickering lights, and constant hammering… becoming schizophrenic myself. (Overnight in an airport is like camping but 1,000 times worse because it wasn’t planned, the floor is marble, and all the cafe’s close at midnight.)

Any trains from Germany to Madrid take an astounding 24 hours… naturally… I don’t know what circles they are going in… and renting a car costs over 1,300 euros… because that’s affordable (and after asking people to find fellow road trippers I realize that in Germany an 11 hour car ride is not a possibility in their world. And this thing called “roadtripping” is not a thing.  I had a hard time not laughing because that’s like 2 states and would be faster than my train/plane purgatory I was finding myself in. And if you don’t believe in roadtripping I would think there would be less strikes and more options than 24 hour trains!!! But I digress, in reality a roadtrip would have taken me 5 days instead of 11 hours due to my lack of inner compass.)

Now, not only am I freaking out, I smell like a homeless person who should be on the sidewalk not cozy under Ferdinand with a makeshift pallet consisting of dirty t-shirts and socks. I’m ready to slit my wrists. But I can’t find anything sharp. WON’T THE UNIVERSE THROW ME A BONE!

At 5 am I finally get a HIGHLY expensive one way ticket to Madrid (rape)… the only one going out that day… and there’s a chance it might be cancelled…naturally.

I go for coffee (I really just needed a scotch or two… or a bottle).

Apparently good morning in German is something that sounds like “Morgan.” I thought the barista had lost her mind, and I tried politely explaining I am not Morgan but Lauren and maybe the guy next to me was Morgan. She then proceeded to snarl at me “Good Morning” in English like I belonged on a short bus with the other crazies… not free amongst society.

I have never wanted to punch anyone more.

6 hours later… my flight is finally in the air and may I say that Lufthansa is the best airline ever!! I wanted to take that stewardess and put her in my pocket. And they served breakfast!! It was like I had made my journey through the Hunger Games to heaven … except I passed out and missed breakfast. But still! It’s nice to feel like an actual person when you’re paying an arm and a leg to be in flight and not scum that is in the way of the journey (airlines really have lowered their standards in all areas and need to regain their dignity. Ryan Air you need to take notes from Lufthansa …. as well as every other airline in existence).

So after another 3 subway transfers I arrived at my destination… 36 hours later  and have never been so excited to hear Spanish and so reluctant to ever fly again.

Ferdinand, I will never forget our one magical night under the track lights. However, I hope to never see you again… naturally.

Roadtrip anyone?


One Response to “Fly Me Away.”

  1. KG April 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM #

    When I studied abroad I gave Ryan Air the tagline “Ryan Air: Just be happy we didn’t punch you in the face”. Do they still play the terrible music at random points throughout the flight/loading???? It’s like they devised the worst musical composition for hangovers every created.

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