TUESDAY, MAY 27TH – QATAR TO GERMANY:
So, as I mentioned the “new airport” is slowly opening for flights in Doha and the “old airport” is being phased out. I had Mimi check on my flight yesterday to make SURE I was taken to the correct airport. She confirmed that all flights would be going out of the new airport as of today. Then, when I went on line to check out the terminals, etc., there was a large “posting” about flights departing after 8:59 am would depart out of the “new” airport and others before 8:59 am would depart out of the old airport. Of course, my flight was scheduled for 8:35 am departure. So, she called again and confirmed that I will fly out of the old airport. I was still concerned, so I left lodging at 4 am just to be sure I had time to travel between the two airports if necessary.
Our two sweet MWR reps who also stayed up all night, picked me up at lodging a few minutes before 4 am. They could only drive me to the gate where Mimi had arranged a driver to take me to the airport. It was a young man who works for her Fayed. Turns out he was from Sri Lanka so we had a lovely conversation en route to the airport. I learned more about Sri Lanka from him than I did when we were there in February. He is going back home during Ramadan (end of June through end of July) and will be getting married. It is an arranged marriage! He said his parents select his wife for him and he will meet her when he goes home. I asked him if he was happy with that arrangement and he said his parents knew everything about him and would select the perfect wife for him. Wow! I can’t imagine picking a spouse for my son or daughter! He is 32 years old and said that is very “old” to not be married yet. But, he has several sisters and it was his responsibility to provide the “dowry” for them so they could marry. Evidently, the “bride’s” family has to provide the house and other items for the couple. So he had to take care of all that for his oldest sister and then his two brothers had to help him provide the same thing for the other sisters. There is still one more sister who has to marry. He also said he worked in Saudi for a while and hated it. Suggested I never visit there. We talked about the way foreigners are treated in some of the “oil rich” countries by their employees and it’s pretty disgraceful.
So, we arrived at the “old” airport and I was greeted by several Qatar Airlines employees upon arrival. All so nice and friendly! Qatar is a fantastic airline and our U.S. airlines could take lessons from them! Evidently there is a separate terminal just for Business and First class passengers. However, they suggested I go ahead and check my bags and then take the short walk next door to the other terminal. I immediately remembered the terminal from a connection through Qatar with Mark Chesnutt several years ago en route to Kuwait from Central Europe. The lounge is amazing. Full breakfast buffet and they prepare fresh omelets, etc.! Free wireless so I’ve been able to work. It was only 4:30 am by the time I got checked in and settled in the lounge, so I have some “time” to kill. All the employees are so nice and a little “sad” that a few minutes before 9 am, they will leave this terminal forever. I have the distinct honor of taking the last “bus” in service from the terminal to the aircraft and the very last Qatar Airlines Flight out of the old terminal. Pretty cool!
Have checked the Bellamys flights on Delta and all looks good so far. Looks like they left Nashville over an hour later than scheduled. But we always try to book flights with long connecting times just in case! Good thing we did this time.
Something tells me things may not run as smoothly this afternoon when my “boys” depart on United from the “new airport”. Sure wish I could be there to assist them but all I can do is “worry” until they get home!
The perfect end to my evening…not that I went to bed..was talking to Zac and Zoe on Facetime. They had a big day with a trip to “Pump it Up” and Lindsey got them a “pool” for the back yard. Also, the biggest news is Zoe got her ears pierced. Just hope she doesn’t take after her Mom and have to fight infections. She has really “sensitive” skin. Lindsey got her navel pierced years ago and eventually had to let it grow up because it wouldn’t heal. Praying Zoe has no problems at all with hers! She is very proud of herself and said it didn’t hurt at all. I asked Zac if he got his pierced, too, but he was not at all interested. LOL.
So, after leaving the Private Terminal for Business and First Class Passengers, we rode a bus with seats that looked like lounge chairs to the aircraft. The flight attendants were super nice (what a wonderful change). No one sat beside me and there were very few people on the plane. Across the aisle from me were an “older” Asian couple (definitely not Japanese). The flight attendant asked if they wanted something to drink before take off and the man answered “whiskey”. She explained that she could not serve him alcohol until after take off. She came back a few minutes later and asked if they wanted a U.S. newspaper or German newspaper. He said “whiskey” and she said “Japanese”. She came back several more times asking if what they wanted for dinner –“whiskey”, did they want a hot or cold towel – “whiskey”….and on and on. Honestly, I couldn’t stay awake long enough to find out if he got his “whiskey”.
I slept 4 of the 6 hours of the flight and felt like I could have slept 4 more when we landed. It was raining and had turned cooler…nice change from the 140 degrees in Doha. Oh…forgot to mention the showers on the Army base. We aren’t accustomed to having any water pressure in base latrines and these shower heads almost blew you down they were so strong. And, when turned to the coldest setting, the water was still hot…not warm….hot!
The promoter had said that the Frankfurt airport was small and I would land at the same terminal as the Bellamys. Both my bags arrived but Bellamys were nowhere to be found. I called the promoter but the wrong phone number for him was in my itinerary. Thankfully when I exited Customs, he was waiting for me. The Bellamys were only a short drive away. They had all their bags, too.
It was about a 30 minute drive to the Park Inn in downtown Berlin. Howard, David and I recognized it immediately. We stayed in Berlin for a week when they were recording with DJ Otzi and then another week for press visits. Our hotel for the press visits is only about a block from the Park Inn. It’s a nice “budget” hotel in a great location…right off Alexandraplatz. Really happy that I know all the streets and shops well around here.
Got everyone checked in and discovered that the internet works. Always a good thing. I worked non-stop until 7 pm when I walked over to the “Gourmet” shop at the Galleria. They have amazing food and restaurants. I ordered a grilled veal, side salad and grilled veggies to go. Guess they are not accustomed to “take away” because they gave me a spoon to eat everything with. That was interesting. David sent me a text right before I picked up my meal asking if I wanted to go to Hof Brau (our favorite restaurant here in Berlin). I really did but had a meeting scheduled with Rudi our promoter for 8 pm so couldn’t join him and Wally. Then Rudi was late and didn’t arrive until almost 9 pm.
Just confirmed a celebrity rock group to entertain the troops in Afghanistan over the week of 4th of July. I’ve been looking for 2 weeks – ever since I found out the troops did not have anyone for that holiday. Everyone was already booked, but thankfully, I got a great name and the troops will be “rocked” on the 4th!
Going to bed now and try to get 5 hours sleep tonight. It is still raining and will rain all day tomorrow. Hate that because I love jogging in this city! Maybe it will be a light, warm rain and I’ll go anyway. I still have Planter Fasciitis in my right foot but I can wrap it and still jog. It’s never going to get better unless I can stay home long enough to wear my walking boot!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 28TH – PERFORMANCE IN BERLIN:
Well, it was still pouring rain this morning so no jogging for me. I went to the “health club” in the hotel which turned out to be nothing more than a couple of treadmills and an elliptical machine – all being used. So, it was rubber bands in the room for me. Better than nothing….
Had breakfast with Wally. Really great buffet bar but I am so sick of “eggs” on this stupid diet. Had time to walk over to the Galleria again and buy the Z’s some clothes at C&A. Also got them really cute postcards with a little plastic container on them that has a piece of the “Wall” in it. Really hope these don’t get lost in the mail!
I left for sound check with the boys at 1 pm. The venue is really beautiful – round but with a strange ceiling that is beautiful. The venue is only a couple of miles from what is left of the “wall” and “Check Point Charlie”. Wish it would quit raining so the guys could go sightseeing but doesn’t look like that is going to happen while we are here. Our bus arrived to take us to sound check and it’s nice – 12 bunks total, so plenty of room. I couldn’t find the toilet because the bus has a strange “layout”. There is a front lounge, then the bunks, and in the back is another lounge and a kitchen. The toilet is inside the kitchen by the microwave. Like I said, strange layout.
Our Production Company seems to be very good and had most of what the guys needed. The drummer needs for them to switch out the bass drum but since tomorrow is a holiday, it won’t happen until Friday.
I left at 3:30 and came back to the hotel. Guys were there until 4:30 pm. Had time to walk to the Post Office and mail the post cards. They cost 3.40 Euros each to mail because of the piece of wall attached.
I decided to eat dinner at “Spagos” in the hotel and it was excellent. Medallions of chicken breast with a mushroom sauce and Orange “Spargel” (asparagus) soup with banana chips.
Tom Astor – a German performer and long time friend of the Bellamys – opened the show. They also had a backstage visit from Gunther – another German promoter who is in his 70’s and still going strong.
While the venue wasn’t completely sold out, there was a large and very enthusiastic crowd. Bellamys had a great show and performed 3 encores. Typical for them over here. We were back at the hotel by midnight and I’m working on emails at 1:30 am.
We leave at 10 am tomorrow to bus for 4 hours to Lubeck, Germany where they will perform tomorrow night. Different city every day now until we fly home on the 2nd. It’s still raining and cold. Glad I packed for 140 degree weather in Qatar. J
THURSDAY, MAY 29TH – SECOND PERFORMANCE IN GERMANY:
Only had time for a short workout in my room before leaving for Lubeck, Germany. Had breakfast with some of the boys and then went downstairs to check out. There was a really long line and when I finally worked my way to the front and the lady called me to the counter, two women went right around me and walked up to her! She lady behind the counter shrugged and apologized but she still took care of them. Then they left and it was my turn again. The same thing happened with two more women! When they finally left, a man behind me in line tried to step up before me. I grabbed his arm and said “No. I am next”! I don’t think any of the rude customers were German but not sure if they were from France or Spain.
The driver said it would only be a 3 hour drive but we had planned on 4 hours. That was before he hit bumper to bumper traffic just outside Berlin. Evidently today is a “religious” holiday that is referred to as “Father’s Day” but is supposedly just an excuse for men to get drunk. Sort of like Father’s Day in the U.S. LOL
We arrived at the hotel at 2 pm and got everyone checked in. I ran up to the room to drop my bags and came back down to ride over to sound check with the boys. They had left me. Guess I should have told them I was going. I asked the front desk where the venue was located but they had never heard of the venue. The desk clerk looked it up on the web and gave me directions. I asked her if it was too far to walk and she said it was only about 20 minutes from the hotel.
The “angel” on my shoulder told me I could find it without getting lost. The “devil” on the other shoulder who knows me so well said I would definitely get lost. I looked at landmarks and tried to follow the map. Of course, when I walk, I have to turn the map in the direction I am walking. The devil won again. I was lost for about an hour and a half before giving up and eventually finding my way back to the hotel. The good news is, it’s a beautiful little town with amazing churches. I took some photos of those as I walked by and purchased a delicious coffee at a little corner café. The restaurant at the hotel is on the 8th floor and pretty “fancy” and expensive. Since there didn’t seem to be anything else in the area, I had resigned myself to eating dinner there instead of attempting another walk where I was sure to get lost again. But, as I approached the hotel, I noticed a restaurant towards the back of the hotel called “Mr. Wu’s”. I went in and checked it out and it looked awesome. Menu said they open at 6 pm and have a buffet with sushi, Chinese, and Mongolian barbeque.
At 6:10 pm, I walked back over and Wally and Norwood were just finishing up. They said the food was great. It was already very full and they seated me around a corner in the back of the room. I had sent David an email telling him about the restaurant but didn’t call him because I wasn’t sure if he was sleeping. The food was exceptionally fresh and there was a man carving a roast duck that looked great but I don’t like duck.
We met in the lobby to depart to the venue at 7:30 pm and I asked David where he ate. He ate at Mr. Wu’s at the same time I did and sat in the same room I was in – and we NEVER saw each other! Howard ate upstairs at the hotel and said it was good, too.
This is a small venue – only 500 people – and once again the audience was very enthusiastic. It wasn’t completely full but that wasn’t surprising since I’m calling this the “Secret Tour”. I can’t tell that there has been ANY advertising at all. When I questioned the promoter again tonight, he argued with me and pulled out a box of postcards with the Bellamys photo on it. I don’t know where he distributed them but evidently not in this town. I asked several of the shop owners today if they were coming to the show and no one even knew the Bellamys were performing. There were no postcards lying around downtown and no posters anywhere not even in the hotel where we are staying. He did put postcards out at the venue tonight for the show….a little late. He could have sold another 200 tickets if he had given the postcards out tonight at Mr. Wu’s. That place was packed!
Hans, Ute, and Isabell – a family that the Bellamys support with auction items to raise money for a kindergarten – were there. They took a 5 hour train ride to attend the concert. Really nice people who are doing a good thing for some very deserving children.
Bellamys signed autographs out by the bus for quite a while tonight. We stopped at a Shell station and bought some “necessities” like water for the trip tomorrow. The bus driver told me it was a 4 hour drive, he told the Bellamys it was 3 hours and Wally called after the show asking if we could leave the hotel at 9 am instead of 7:30 pm because the bus driver said it’s only a 2 hour drive! Who knows. He depends on his GPS and it never seems to take him where we are supposed to be going. Today, he didn’t even have the name of the hotel or address of the hotel where we were going and didn’t ask me until we were about 30 minutes out of Berlin. Frank and I were the only ones awake as we got close to Lubeck and he told us we were 20 miles away. About 45 minutes later, Frank said he was driving around in circles! He’s a really great guy but typical of so many German bus drivers who rely completely on a GPS. Oh how I miss Michael Tietze – the best bus driver in any country.
So, I’m going to shower and try to get in bed before midnight. It’s a nice hotel – bare bones again – and the internet sucks. I was able to get my wireless device reprogrammed, so I am working off it instead of the hotel server.
FRIDAY, MAY 30TH – 3RD PERFORMANCE IN GERMANY:
Woke up at 4 am with horrible heart burn! I know it was from all that great Asian food I had for dinner. Ate a very light breakfast and then we departed to Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven is “on the sea” and our venue is outdoor next to the hotel. Hopefully it has warmed up in that area! It’s about a 2 ½ to 3 hour bus drive. Then tonight and tomorrow night we will travel overnight to the next cities.
This is a “seaport” and the hotel is right on the water. So is the venue which is outdoor….not a “Halle” as shown in our itinerary. It’s still really cool here and going to be cold tonight when the sun goes down on the water.
Hotel is probably the nicest we have stayed in as far as room size. And, of course, we won’t be spending the night here. Always happens that way.
I got off the bus first and went in to get everyone checked in. I got a text from Wally saying they were trapped in the back lounge because the door knob had fallen off the door! That happened yesterday, too, so you’d think the bus driver would have fixed it, right?
Howard, David and I walked down to a “fish” restaurant (of which there are hundreds) that the hotel recommended. David and I had tuna and Howard had salmon. It was exceptional! I asked the hotel where a “market” was and they said it wasn’t within walking distance. They sent me up a very long hill and then about a quarter of a mile another way to a “gas” station. At least they had water. I passed Gregg as I was going back down the hill. He was using his GPS and had found a market probably closer than the gas station.
Had time to work for a couple of hours and then went to find a “light” dinner. All the restaurants along the water were packed and all the food from catering had been eaten backstage. Frank told me about a small take-out Fish and Chips place where he ate lunch and said it was great. I was able to get a currywurst there and it was really good.
The festival is right in the middle of an open air space on the water. They fenced it off and put up black sheeting so people outside the fence couldn’t see the show. But I counted 45 people sitting along just one side of the fence the listening to the entire show. Once again, Bellamys and their band gave a great performance and the crowd was super enthusiastic. I was a little worried before the show because they had a “meet and greet” with 4 people. When I took the Bellamys over to meet them, they were sitting in chairs and didn’t even stand up. Didn’t seem very excited about the chance to have a photo taken with them, but the buyer got them to stand up so I could snap off a few. Guess they are just more “reserved” here.
I walked back to the little Café to buy Howard and David a currywurst right before they came off the stage. It had already closed. There was a big stand in the middle of the venue that advertised Curry Wurst so I went there. But, they only had bratwurst left and no pomme frites (French fries). I can’t believe all the food places closed before the concert ended. I would think most of the crowd would have wanted to eat something after the show.
We are leaving on the bus for at least an 8 hour drive tonight. Gotta go get packed up (again)!
SATURDAY, MAY 31ST – LAST SHOW IN GERMANY, LAST DAY OF MAY!
I definitely dressed wrong for the overnight bus ride. It was HOT in the bunk area. I only slept “off and on” and got up at 6 am. We were about 30 minutes from our hotel by that time.
The hotel is very old and has lots of ghosts according to my “Ghost Radar” which I am using on a regular basis. The lady at the front desk didn’t speak any English but had a lot of hand motions. We decided to eat breakfast while we were waiting for another desk clerk to arrive. The breakfast buffet was amazing. Homemade sausages from this area, homemade jelly, lots of stuff I couldn’t eat like fresh bread, fruits, yogurts, etc. They even had a “sweet soup” that one of the guys tried. Oh, and GOOSE FAT. Yuck.
Our rooms were ready by the time we finished breakfast. Wally had to wake Howard and David up and get them to come into the hotel because the bus had to go to the venue. I didn’t go to the venue this morning because we have used the same backline equipment for all the shows. Sure made sound check a lot simpler and quicker.
Wally sent me a text when he got back to the hotel and I went downstairs and had lunch with him and Norwood. This town is CLOSED UP on Saturday. Remember, this is the “old East Germany” and everything is still a couple of decades behind the modern world. Very few people speak or understand English. Berlin is more modern, but again very few people there speak or understand English – especially “service” personnel.
I walked over to a little (emphasis on LITTLE) shopping center and found good market where I was able to buy water and a cappuccino to go. Have been working the rest of the afternoon.
We all have dinner at 7 pm in the hotel restaurant — schnitzel and pommes frites and the show doesn’t begin until 11:00 pm. And it ‘s a short show – 40 minutes! We could have phoned our part in! The other acts (all oldies from the 60’s) only perform for 20 or 30 minutes. And, we only have 15 minutes for a set change that takes 30 minutes. If we do “over” the production company will kill the sound because there is a midnight curfew. If the acts before the Bellamys go over, guess we may have a really short show!!!
The hotel while beautiful with big rooms and modern bathrooms, does not have wireless in the bedrooms…only wired. Thankfully my little wireless modem is working great.
We had a really nice dinner in the hotel restaurant but the service is incredibly slow. Was at lunch, too, Just a much different way of life here. I mean, think about it, no shops open all weekend?
The boys are going over to the venue at 9:45 pm. I guess the stage manager is a real jerk. Wally tired to get a sandwich from catering for one of the guys who didn’t have breakfast today and the manager wouldn’t let him. Then he was rude to our guys when they were trying to do a sound check. I can see trouble brewing if he continues to act that way tonight!
Wally notified me that they were running 20 minutes late so we waited until 10:50 pm to go over. It was FREEZING! I think maybe colder than last night. You could see Howard’s and David’s breath. About a week ago, the festival had sold 9,000 tickets in the venue that holds 12,000. They sold out by the time the show started today! So, 12,000 screaming fans all through the Bellamy’s set. It was awesome.
We have played a venue similar to this and only 20 miles from here before. It’s basically a rock quarry that has been hollowed out and seats placed all the way up the hill. Really beautiful.
We have a really sweet bus driver – Silvani – and everyone really likes him. Tonight he asked me if he could stop through Cologne on the way to Dusseldorf and pick up 5 of his friends and let them ride the bus with us. Uhhh….no! J
We were scheduled to leave at 2 am but it’s already been bumped to 2:30 am. Means we should arrive at the airport hotel around 10:30 am if it really is an 8 hour drive.
Packing up and going downstairs to look for Howard’s cowboy hat. He thought he left it on the bus but David said he brought it in for him. It’s not in Howard’s or David’s rooms, so I’m going to check with the receptionist who is patiently sitting there waiting for us to check out. We have the old brass keys with the huge key chain and we have to turn them in at the desk, not leave them in our rooms.
SUNDAY, JUNE 1ST, 2014 – TRAVEL TO DUSSELDORF:
“Something” woke me up at 6 am but I decided I needed more than 3 hours of sleep so went back to sleep until 8 am. We were still 2 hours from Dusseldorf at 8 am. Howard and Randy were up and sitting in the front lounge. Howard didn’t sleep well and certainly not for very long.
Our driver kept giving us conflicting info on how much longer we had. We finally arrived at the Maritim Airport which is connected to the hotel at around 11 am. The lobby was PACKED when we walked in. Seems there is a “Trekkie” convention taking place. R2D2, Captain America, Darth Vader, you name it were walking around in the lobby. I took several photos for Zac. Zoe would have been scared of all of them.
Only 3 rooms were ready – David’s, Wally’s and mine. It was going to be 1 pm before the others were ready. We stored our luggage and gear and went to have lunch. The only thing in the hotel was a buffet for 17 Euros and it was pitiful. They were grilling chicken breasts and that was the best thing they had. There was a huge dessert bar but that didn’t help me since I’m not eating sugar.
The elevators are taking a minimum of 15 minutes because of the crowd of people. There are 4 elevators but one is broken!
All the rooms were ready at 1 pm. Some of the guys went into Dusseldorf. Randy was in heaven with the “Trekkie” Convention – big Star Trek fan. I walked over to the airport to try and print boarding passes for everyone. Lufthansa only let me print my flight from Dusseldorf to Chicago not Chicago to Nashville. Delta did not recognize ANY of the confirmation numbers on the Bellamys. Strange because I had just checked them in with those same confirmation numbers 10 minute before walking over to the airport.
I then went in search of the Lufthansa Service Desk to inquire about how Darryl’s group could file a claim and be reimbursed for the toiletries and clothes they had to purchase when Lufthansa lost their luggage. The lady was really nice but said I had to go to “Lost Baggage” at the other end of the airport. It actually turned out to be across the parking lot in a separate building! Then that office sent me to “Information” who took me inside baggage claim where I found a Lufthansa Lost Baggage Claim Desk. That lady was really nice, too. It took her a while, but she was able to print out all our receipts from the lost bags. Now all we have to do is go on the internet and file our claims….not a simple matter. I will file mine and then email the guys specific instructions so they can file.
The airport is amazing. There is a huge grocery store in the bottom and an entire shopping mall upstairs including some great restaurants. I walked back to the hotel and used the hotel business office to print the Bellamys Boarding Passes. Then I went back over to the airport to eat dinner. Wally and Frank were at the Thai restaurant so I ate there as well. I had something with chicken in coconut and peanut sauce that was excellent. Howard came in and ordered something but it was filled with green beans. He told the guy at the counter that he is allergic to green beans and asked if he could have something else. They would not let him! He went upstairs for find something to eat.
I walked upstairs and purchased some candy for the Z’s and then went back to the hotel. Changed into my exercise clothes and got in a good workout with weights and 30 minutes of cardio on the Eliptical. Back in the room for a shower and packing. At midnight I went down to the business office and was able to print my boarding pass for the United flight from Chicago to Nashville.
Bellamys have to leave for the airport at 7:15 pm, so I’ll get up and help them. I don’t leave until 12:45 pm and don’t get home until 6:08. L
It’s been a great tour with wonderful audiences everywhere we went. I’ll be home for about a week and a half before going to Manila for the “day” with Darryl Worley.
MONDAY, JUNE 2ND – DUSSELDORF TO NASHVILLE:
Got up at 6 am, exercised, showered, dressed and met Bellamys in lobby at 7:15 am to walk over to the airport with them. Check in was smooth because the lady handling the passport check recognized them. They signed a photo and cd for her. I was hoping she would ask the ticket agent to take care of them so that they would not have to pay excess. Everyone is “Elite” on Delta which means they get to check 2 pieces each. But, they have 10 pieces of gear and 8 suitcases — and only 8 people flying. So that means 2 pieces of excess at $200 per piece! The airlines are just killing my tours with their excess baggage fees. L The lady checking Howard and David in obviously wasn’t a Bellamys fan because she made them pay for the extra pieces.
I walked back over to the hotel and had some breakfast then back to the room to pack up. As I mentioned, I’m flying Lufthansa to Chicago and United from Chicago to Nashville. Supposedly, the airlines “partner” but evidently the people at the Dusseldorf airport don’t recognize that partnership. The lady who checked me in said that she couldn’t find my flight on to Nashville which meant she was only going to check me to Chicago. That also mean I’d have to pick up my bags and go to the United check in counter to re-check them. Nightmare for me in Chicago because my connecting time is less than 2 hours. No way I could make it. I gave her my boarding pass for Chicago/Nashville and a copy of my reservation. She called someone and was finally able to check my bags all the way through with a “warning” to show someone in Chicago my claim checks to make sure the bags made the transfer. Very encouraging.
Then, she advised that Lufthansa had changed my seat assignment and it wasn’t one I wanted! She said my seat and one other was “inoperable”. Great to know we’re flying on a plane with broken parts. She told me to check at the gate to see if I could change it.
Finally made it through security and found some cute gifts for the kids – which rarely happens in an airport. Have to say this airport is geared to getting people out here even when they aren’t flying anywhere. There were bands and dance instruction stages set up yesterday right in the area where passengers were checking in. Very crowded and I’m sure the passengers weren’t crazy about the added congestion.
The airplane was SMALL for an international flight and I wasn’t able to change my seat. I did notice that they had WiFi on the flight which is a first. Had lunch and watched another George Clooney movie that was just “okay” then slept for 2 hours. The guy sitting next to me by the window got up to go to the toilet and I closed his window shades while he was gone. He looked at me when he got back but didn’t open them back up. I had put my reading glasses and bottle of water in a little “side” compartment on the right of my seat. When I woke up, both were gone. Evidently, they slide own inside the seat! The flight attendant had to get a flashlight and we “dug” around inside the seat and found them. I plugged in my computer and logged on to internet to work for a while. The power outlet didn’t work so the flight attendant gave me an “adapter’ which also didn’t help. Then 1 hour into the 2 hours of internet I had paid for, the server lost the signal and we didn’t have internet the rest of the flight.
I was on long enough to contact my travel agent and tell her our flight path had been changed and we would be late arriving. I had a short connection which meant I would miss my flight to Nashville. She gave me some “options” if I don’t make it.
Before we landed, the pilot came back on and said we had changed our fight path again and would land on time. I moved quickly through Immigration with my Global Entry pass and then waited forever for my luggage. Finally got it and double checked that it would go to Nashville then went through TSA Pre-Check quickly. Had a text message that they flight to Nashville was delayed due to waiting for the incoming aircraft. There are NO screens showing where your connecting flights leaves from. I knew I had to go to another terminal but wasn’t sure which one. I asked one person who told me terminal one and another told me terminal two! The trams between the terminals were crowded. I stepped on one but the lady in front would not move back (and she had PLENTY) of room. Suddenly without any warning (i.e., “The doors are closing” or “This tram is departing”), the doors closed on me. I thought they would stop once they hit me but didn’t. Had to move really quickly to get off.
I had a few minutes in the Lounge and then walked to the gate. Only there were no signs to my gate. I finally had to backtrack towards security and found signs on that side that told where the gate was located.
It was a tiny little jet from Chicago to Nashville – packed full and the airline was asking for passengers to change to another flight. No one did. We landed in Nashville at 8 pm – about 2 hours late. When I went to baggage claim, one of my suitcases was already sitting in the United baggage area. The other one came out on the belt for my flight. Go figure!
Happy to be home for a week.