15 November 2012

V in Japan - Day 15

Day 15: The trip back home

  • Date: October 27
  • Weather in Japan: Nice and sunny.
  • Mood: “Wishing I could stay”-mood in Japan, frigging tired when in Frankfurt

The flight to Frankfurt

We woke up, checked out of the hotel and took the free shuttle bus to the airport. We went through the check-in procedure (dropped off luggage, went through immigration, got our hand luggage checked, etc.) and got on the plane (A380 again) for Frankfurt.

Our ride back home.

No screaming children on the plane, though we held our hearts when a family comes on board with a kid that cried. Luckily, the kid calmed down quickly afterwards and they sat on the other side of the plane.

We noticed quickly on the TV-screen that he plane had the same movies and TV-series as during the trip to Japan (gosh darn’ it). But we browsed through the menu to find some things we still didn’t see yet and keep us amused.

Time went by faster than we realized. We get two meals (lunch & dinner), snacks and drinks and tried to sleep a little (even though sleeping on a plane is not that great).

The Frankfurt weather report: snow

After a 12-hour flight (2 hours longer than on the flight to Japan), we landed in Frankfurt with a comment from the pilot that certain flights might have been cancelled due to snow in the sky (uh-oh). We went through customs and tried to find our flight for Zaventem (around 3.30 PM). And yes, we were screwed. Our flight was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. We found the service corner of Lufthansa and after a few minutes waiting in queue, we heard that we've been re-scheduled on the 5.30 PM flight. So we waited again.

When it’s 5 PM we heard that our flight has been cancelled again (oh, come on!), so we walked back to the service corner again. But we had to stand in line of a gigantic waiting line. I spotted lots of cancelled flights on the bulletin board and we quickly realized we’re not the only ones who were screwed. Dozens of flights had either been cancelled or delayed due to the bad weather.

After waiting in line for 2 hours (your read that correctly, TWO HOURS), we finally got to an office where we explained our situation. And it was about time, because we almost were dragged into a fight between people that waited in line and others that tried to skip the line and other fights with people that have 0 patience (some people are apparently really, really aggressive when they're tired).

At the counter we get a few options for rebooking our flight. The proposal of the 9.10 PM flight is rejected quickly, since the Lufthansa people could not ensure that the flight would be able to take off.

My “take the train, since we’re so close” alternative was quickly rejected after the Lufthansa lady mentioned that it would take 10-12 hours to get to Brussels (hell no!).

So we were instead booked at the 9.10 AM flight the next morning and got a free room in the Sheraton hotel (fancy). We also received vouchers for dinner and breakfast over there and a taxi to and from the hotel.

We quickly accepted it, since we were frigging tired at that point (it’s past 7 PM at this point, which equals to 3 in the morning in Japan).

After we walked away from the service desk, we saw that the waiting line behind us did not decrease. We feel that the poor guys/girls would still have to wait for hours.

We found a taxi that accepted the Lufthansa voucher (some of them only wanted cash, apparently) and we got checked into the hotel. We explained the situation at the guy behind the desk and I warned the poor sap that he’ll probably get a lot more customers this evening.

We ate some dinner and then saw an even longer line of tourists waiting to get checked in as well (as predicted). Honestly, at this point I didn't gave a f**k anymore to read into their situation. The three of us decided to check out at 6.30 AM. I got to my room and I quickly fell asleep.

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