Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Terrifying Tale

You really don't want to hear about our trip home, but I'm going to tell you anyway because it is the stuff of legends.  So we were supposed to fly from Brussels to Frankfurt to Denver to home....fairly painless right? When we arrived at the airport at 6:30am the Lufthansa check-in counter  informed us that the flight to Frankfurt had been cancelled due to weather so we had go to the ticketing agent to get rerouted. At the Lufthansa ticketing counter they gave us a flight through Heathrow to Denver where we could catch a final flight home. So we were sent to the Brussels check-in counter (it would be much too simple if they could just issue boarding passes at that same counter). At that counter we mentioned Pika and they informed us that we cannot fly through Heathrow with our 4 1/2 pound-caged-official-USDA-certified-vaccinated-paper-carrying chihuahua, in the cabin so we were sent back to Lufthansa ticketing. Back at Lufthansa, we went 'round and 'round trying to find a sequence of flights that would allow Pika in the cabin and get us to Denver in time to get home as planned. It eventually became clear that this was an impossible task, so we decided to stay in Denver for the night. So off we went to the Brussels check-in counter, again, for our boarding passes and then we split ways. I went to Brussels ticketing to get Pika's international ticket and Jason to United to get Pika's domestic ticket. After we got through with all of that, we stood in the passport control line for a half an hour only to discover we were in the wrong line and we should be standing somewhere else. After four hours of standing in lines and at airline counters, we were stripping everything off at security and pulling our liquids out of bags when Jason turns to me white-faced and asks, "why is our suitcase vibrating?" These are words you never want to hear uttered by your spouse when you are in airport security. I'm thinking, "Great Odin's ghost, either we're going to blow up right here, right now or we're going to have to go tell a security agent that we think that someone put a bomb into our suitcase and spend the rest of our lives in Guantanamo." I wracked my brain trying to solve the mystery of what in God's green earth could have possessed our unholy suitcase to make it shake so. Through the haze of my brain a lightbulb went off! Jason's beard clippers! Jason's clippers had turned themselves on! We were saved! Thank the Gods! After emerging from security unscathed and with our freedom intact, we heard our flight being announced over the loudspeaker. We all took off running through the airport (think Home Alone style), racing past the bemused people with more time on their hands. We could see our gate as the announcement informed us that this was the last call for our flight and they were about to lock the gate. Here, cruelly placed between us and our gate , was another passport control line. We were so close to our gate we could spit on it but we had to get through one more (long) line. Jason heroically ran to the front of line, explained the situation and they let us slide through, but gave us a stern warning that we should get to the airport earlier next time. When we told him we had been here since 6:30am he looked sympathetic as he waved us through. Jason recently told me that every hour spent in an airport is time taken off your sentence in hell. After barely winning this epic battle with Brussels International Airport we took comfort in the fact that if we go to hell we will have many fewer hours to serve.

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