I will say three things.
#1: I don’t like Dulles International Airport
#2: I don’t like United airlines
#3: I don’t like TSA
That pretty much sums it up. I will elaborate for the sake of posterity. After all, this is the beginning of our Germany adventure. It’s hard to believe, we’ve been planning it for so long.
The day arrived. I finished packing. We went to the store for some last minute items. I took a shower. And then tried to stay busy. Matt took a shower and finished packing. Then we packed all our stuff in the car, waved good-bye to the friends we had been staying with, and we were off.
Getting to Dulles went well. Parking the car went well. Getting through the line at Lufthansa went well. It was when we found out that our flight was a Lufthansa airline operated by United that things started to get a little rocky. We wanted to fly Lufthansa for a reason, I’ll just put it that way. United sucks.
So, we found the United line after some work on our part, got through that line and up to the counter, to be met by a woman who must have gotten out on the wrong side of the bed. Where we paying customers? Or little peons who dared to imagine they could fly on United airlines? I couldn’t quite figure out. That whole ordeal lasted about 5 minutes until she told us we would be paying $400 dollars in baggage fees because our bags were over-weight. Right. $400. That seems reasonable.
I knew our bags were overweight, but – last I checked – $200 a piece seems a little excessive. So we stepped out of line to rearranged our bags and stepped back in line to try it all again. This time our objective was to fix the other little “problem” we encountered on the first try: the fact that United had us in seats that weren’t next to each other. Even though we had bought the tickets at the same time. And had the same last name. They had put us in different places, with no option to change.
Well, good luck with that one. The second United person we dealt with was just a tad more civil than the first one had been. Great. Now we’re on a roll. Next up: TSA.
Forget the ridiculously long lines. Or all the regular stuff like liquids under 3 oz. in a quart sized ziplock bag or taking off your shoes or wondering if you’ll have to walk through the x-ray (Matt) or the metal detector (me). I want to talk about my Morton salt (that I had to bring to take care of my new nose piercing) being tested for bomb making materials. I can’t describe the look on my face. Because I didn’t see it myself. But I’m sure it looked something like: Really? Really? You’re going to pour salt out of a container with a little girl holding an umbrella on the front, put the salt on a piece of cotton, then douse it with two different chemicals to make sure it’s really salt? Why don’t you just taste it and make us both happy?!?!
So, after we got through TSA and shook the salt – er, dust – of the place off our feet, we headed to our gate. With about 15 minutes to spare. At the gate we were met by another wonderful United employee who said there was absolutely nothing she could do to help us get our seats changed. Hmmm. I’m beginning to see a pattern. I was extremely disappointed (to say the least), but Matt said not to worry, that he would fix it.
So we boarded the plane. Matt sat in the seat next to me. We waited for a long time (it turned out there was a mechanical issue – always makes you feel safe – that needed to be resolved)…finally a guy showed up for the seat. Matt explained the situation and the guy graciously agreed to switch seats. Problem resolved. No thanks to United employees.
Our flight took off after a little more waiting. Thankfully it was relatively short for an overseas flight. Just a little over 7 hours. We arrived in Germany at 12:15pm…and I have never been so grateful to step onto foreign soil. United made sure of that. I mean, do 6 small cubes of un-ripe melon and a croissant seem like breakfast to you?
I thought not.
P.S. I had to keep it real in this post. Really there were only two good things about our journey to Germany: #1: being together and #2: getting there. I promise the next post will be totally upbeat. Because…we made it!