Confusian over airlines and deicing the aircraft
09.02.2008 - 09.02.2008
Well after packing the night before all we had to do was shower and pack the toiletries and wait for the taxi. So we set the alarm for 3 am.
As set the 3am the alarm went off and up we got did our bits and had a cup of tea and the taxi arrived. I don’t know what the taxi driver was thinking but his boot was full of stuff to do work on the car. We had to have a case on the back seat!! What would have happened if it was a family of four with their luggage wanting to get to the airport???? Oh well we got there with no problems, as the airport is only 10 min drive away.
Next we had to find the check in desk.
We could not find any mention of the airline or flight number. I had booked the flights through e-bookers and there were some problems at the time and we had thought we had sorted them all out.
But had we?
We went to the information desk (good job someone was there before 4am) and he explained as it was a connection flight we were flying to Amsterdam with KLM and not North Western.
We waited 20 mins for the check in to open and eventually checked our baggage in. We were then told that we had seats together to Amsterdam but that we would be about 20 rows apart on the flight to Newark in New York and then we would be sat together again on the flight to Phoenix. Bugger!! That would be a pain. The check in clerk then suggested we enquired at Amsterdam if anything could be done.
Off we went for a coffee and feeling a bit fed up about the seating.
Coffee over and the airport shops visited Sue wanted to buy me some after shave for Valentine’s day but was just about to pay for it when she was told she would not be able to take them ion the aircraft!! Damn stupid I say but rules are rules. But at least we were told.
Time to board and take the short flight to Amsterdam. Nothing very eventful as the flight was only an hour. But we did see the sunrise just before we landed which was nice.
What I was surprised about was the amount of taxiing we had to do once we landed it seemd that though the flight was only an hour it took 30 mins after landing to get to the terminal.
We now wondered if our luggage would be transferred to the next flight as promised. I think everyone thinks that, until they see them again.
We made our way directly to the next boarding gate to try to sort out the seating. And heard a passenger being told that they had no seats for them as the flight was over booked!! What the heck??
We then over heard that they over book on purpose as it was quite common for passenger not to turn up. We thought we had little chance of changing our seats, but at least we had them as we had checked in, in Birmingham about 5 hours before this 2nd flight was due to take off. We still thought it was worth trying to change the seats……. Hi don’t know if you can do anything but the seats we’ve been given means we will be about 20 rows apart. My partner has a fear of flying (little lie) so is it possible to change the seating so we can sit together?
After a bit of typing the answer was yes. Yea!!!! It is worth asking.
Time came to board the plane and what seats did we get? The emergency exit ones!! Loads of leg room which is great, as both Sue and I are tall. (5’11” & 6’2”)
After more taxiing we ended up at a place whewre the aircraft had to be deiced maybe I watched too many aircrash investigations on TV but it was a little worrying at the time, hoping that they got all the ice off.
I won’t bore you with the flight but it seemed to go quite quick with the food and the films.
Ok now we are in Newark are our cases there too?
Not long after the carousel starts we see one of them, mine that’s ok as my suit for the wedding is in the US with me. We waited and waited and waited. Eventually Sue’s case came around. We make our way to immigration and have no problems there. We then have to check in baggage again which seemed a little unorganised to us, as we already had our boarding passes from Birmingham and did not have to check in. It was still a little worrying though, wondering if the cases will get on the right flight with us. Maybe because we were getting tired.
Ok time to board the next flight to Phoenix Won’t bore you with this flight either but we saw the sun go down this time as we approached our final destination. (Hmmm good title for a film maybe?)
This was our first time on an internal flight and as I always say flying is like going on a bus a long tube with windows. But as we had no passport control this time it was even more like a bus journey.
Our cases came through fairly quick and then it was time to pick up the car. I don’t know if any of you have travelled to Phoenix and got a hire car from the airport, but this was so well organised. That’s a thing I can say about America, it is well organised. The bus took us to a large purpose built area to get our car. I think it’s the largest car hire facility in the US all the major hire companies were there. After refusing the usual offers we were given our documents and proceded to pick up the car. We had a choice too. And we chose a yellow one (we kept loosing previous hire cars as they all looked the same). Then we were off to find our 1st motel.
By this time it was 8pm (1am UK time) and we had been up and travelling 22 hours we chose one that was quite close to the airport as after the travelling we just wanted to rest up before we drove to Sedona.
We called into a small store for some snacks and drinks and asked for directions (just in case we were going in the wrong direction as we were on the right road but not sure if we were going the right way).
We were in luck as it was only about 200 yards up the road.
We checked in and asked if the rest of the party (David and Martyn, my sons, Adele, Martyn’s partner, Sandra and Pete, my ex and her partner and Sandra’s parents) had checked in yet. They had not so we asked if they could get them to contact us when they did as their flight was due in 20 mins after ours and they were going to get a taxi to the motel and pick up their cars in the morning.
Got to the room and went to sleep fairly quickly.