Wednesday, April 30, 2008

safe in Greece, finally!!

Well, after two very crazy days, Torrie and I are in our hotel room in Athens, Greece. When we got to LAX, we were told that our bags could only be checked through to London, because our connecting flight to Athens was an "illegal connection." When American made our travel arrangements, they only left 1 hours 35 minutes between landing in London and taking off. Becuase they couldn't put our bags through, this meant that we had to land, go through customs, get our bags, travel out to the new terminal on the underground (several minutes away) and check into our flight. When we asked one of the airport workers the best way to do this, his eyes got big and in his think British accent he simply replied "aw, shit!" (sorry about the language...) Basically that's what Torrie and I were thinking as well. We did our best to hurry along and made it to the baggage claim. We got Torrie's bag, but mine never came off. Of course every minute we sat waiting for the bag was a minute we didnt have to wait. We had to go report it to American so they could find it and hopefully send it on to Athens before I leave for Rome. This is where the tears began. (I couldn't help it...hardly any sleep, little food, and stressing like crazy) We hurried to catch the underground train but missed it and had to wait 12 minutes for the next one to arrive.
By the time we got to the British Airways terminal, it wass 11:30. Our flight was at 11:45. We went to the help desk and explained our situation. The lady gave us the two options. Take a risk and wait stand by on the British Airways 8:55 flight, or purchase a ticket on the 4:3o Olymic flight. We were put on stand by and went to a payphone to call Dad. (Often I wonder what I would do without Dad...he is constantly saving me.) The first call went through, but there was such a loud ringing noise that I couldn't hear him on the other end. I switched phones and called and explained our situation...missed flight, no bag. He wasn't very happy with American Airlines. He got the payphone number and said he would call back within 5 minutes, ater getting American on the line. 15 minutes passed and we didn;t hear back, so we called him. He couldn't get through to us. He asked us to get a number at the British Airways desk so he could reach us, but Torrie was in the bathroom so I couldn't have her do it. An employee was passing by, so I asked her. Of course my face was tear stained, so she stuck around to help me out. We walked over to the help desk again and an american lady was working. She was our angel. She said we were her "fellow yanks" and "two ladies in distress" so she would figure things out for us. When she told us their wasn't a airline phone Dad could call, she handed us her cell phone and told us to use it for what we needed. I called Dad and with this lady's help, we booked two flights on the Olympic 4:30 flight. Of course when we went to check in there, the man non chalantly told us it was delayed 2 hours. Great. I guess we should have expected that. We hung around the airport for several hours, sleeping on our backpacks so they wouldn't be taken. We finally boarded at 6:00, but didn't take off til 7:30. We sat on the runways waiting for a strom to pass. The guy next to us turned and said " we must all be unlucky." If only he knew...
We arrived in Athens at 1:00 AM greek time and met Mark Johnson, the director. All the trains had stopped for the evening, so we made it to the hotel by Bus and taxi. I don't think I have eer been so grateful to make it to a hotel!! Torrie let me use her shower stuff and gave me a set of pajamas, becuase I still don't have my suitcase. I just got an email from Dad saying that AMerican located my bag and will send it here on the next flight to Athens. Hopefully it will be here in the morning. All in all it has been 2 crazy days. I am glad to be safe and SO glad that Torrie was with me.


Sheryl said...

Wow rough start. You deserve a better ending!

marc, michelle and Jackson said...

Oh Katie, what a terriable start to your trip. It can be so frusterting to not be able to communicate and not know where to get the help you need. I am glad you were able to get things figured out and it sounds like your luggage is on its way. Don't worry things will get better I am sure!!! Keep us updated about your trip and your luggage. I can't wait to hear more.