Again, I have made the trip across the Atlantic. This past April. The alliteration here is ridiculous – that just has to be said.
This most recent time I returned to my side of the ocean to celebrate my cousin Katy’s wedding. Katy lives in Chicago, and that’s where the wedding was. It was a beautiful ceremony with a great party to follow. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.
Getting to Chicago.
This April I was flying Lufthansa. About three, maybe four days before I was scheduled to travel one of the top news stories was a pilot strike with Lufthansa. I had a mini-freak-out and checked my reservations. No worries, my flights from Sweden to Chicago were via United.
No worries, or that’s what I thought until 6am the day I’m trying to leave Stockholm. That’s when my flight isn’t listed on the flight board. That’s when I have a super-freak-out. I rushed over to the Lufthansa counter. Didn’t have to wait in line because there was only one other customer, and multiple personnel waiting and ready. In a panic I explained my situation – which was that I had no idea what was going on, and where was my flight, it shouldn’t have been affected by Lufthansa strikes seeing as it was a United flight. I was booked through Lufthansa on a United flight which was operated by Lufthansa, the woman at the counter explained. She would see what she could do. There was a United flight I could get on. Or wait, they had inserted Lufthansa flights into the schedule, flown by non Lufthansa pilots, apparently. As she clicked away on her computer, called the United desk, asked her colleagues questions, clicked away some more, my anxiety slowly rose. Eventually I got on the Lufthansa flight, leaving at 9:00am, meaning I could have slept for another 3 hours instead of getting up at 4:45 for the taxi. But that’s neither here nor there.
I was on a flight! And that’s what mattered. I killed the time by enjoying Starbucks coffee and calling my dearest. I then read my book by the gate. Our departure time changed to 9:15. Nothing to worry about, flights get slightly delayed all the time, I’d still make my connection. Then it was delayed to 9:30. My “killing time” turned into anxiously staring at the flight information screen hoping the flight wouldn’t be further delayed.
We took off from Arlanda at 10. This was really cutting it close. Upon landing the kind airline personnel who helped me find my seat made an announcement. “All passengers continuing on to Chicago please make your way to the bus in front, all other passengers please board the second bus.” Okay, I thought, no big deal. Get on the first bus.
We had checked all our hand luggage over a certain size, so after retrieving my bag I made my way to the bus. Which turned out to be a car. The man waiting outside hurried over and put my bag in the back. I jumped in. As did he. Strange, I thought, shouldn’t he help the others with their bags. As he started the motor and drove off, I realized that when the kind airline personnel announced all passengers she really meant the one passenger, me.
I was driven directly from one gate to the next, where my driver brought my bag to the customs agent. Who was quite rude to me upon presentation of my passport, until I said I lived in Sweden, at which point he got very cheery and wished me a nice trip. The driver showed me to the next security point, waited patiently as I passed through, and brought me to my gate. Waiving farewell as I entered the boarding tunnel.
That’s what I call service. I would certainly fly Lufthansa again. I made it to Chicago safe and sound. Much thanks to the excellent service provided me.
I arrived in the city a matter of minutes before my father and Ryan arrived. We found each other in the airport and made our way to the hotel. The three of us enjoyed dinner out and a relaxing night at the hotel. The following day was the wedding, and it was to be quite an event. But not before Ryan and I went on a 9 mile run! If you ever get the chance to run through Chicago in early spring, it’s a great way to see the sights.
Then it was time to get ready, so after primping and pruning the family made our way over to the ceremony. As I said, the ceremony was beautiful. The local was amazing, with an outdoor terrace with an amazing view. There was excellent food, touching speeches, and dancing fun. Everything you need at a wedding. Plus, my cousin looked absolutely magnificent. Congratulations again Katy!