• Tag Archives Lufthansa
  • Adios Mallorca, Hello Hungary

    On an airplane somewhere between Mallorca and Munich….

    I had my last training in Mallorca today, then quickly made it to the airport. I checked in and then went to the first security station I saw and was surprised it was so empty. I used about 4-5 bins for my various electronics, hats, etc…never having noticed it was the security for only the Balearic Islands…Mallorca, Menorca etc. So I packed back up and went upstairs to regular security. I picked the expedited security line, because I had Gold status with Lufthansa, and the gate opened…followed by an alarm! But the security person waived me through and I did quickly make it through security the 2nd time. Moral of the story: pay more attention to the signs and pick out the English explanation among the four languages shown.

    My trip to Mallorca involved a lot of tennis; 12 hours to be exact and not a lot else, partly because I rented the aftorementioned electric Renault Zoe which demanded to be recharged frequently and which took it’s time to recharge. It spent a fair amount of time at the Lidl charging in the evenings so I could get to tennis practice and back a couple of times the next day!

    Inca was a fairly industrial town in the center of Mallorca…not one of the lovely mountain villages of the west coast or one of the beach towns on the east coast. It was convenient but not noteworthy. I did go into Inca to do laundry once. I went in the middle of the day, thinking the laundry would be quiet that time of day, only to encounter someone washing load after load for some local hotels (small ones, with 15 or fewer rooms he said). He left one small machine open though so I got my clothes washed and dried them in the car and later, in my hotel room.

    I finally tried the surimi shaped like eels that I kept seeing in tapas and at the stores. It was in a garlic/olive oil mixture and was pretty good in a salad.

    I didn’t get back to watch Andy Murray because if I had I would not have had enough charge for the next day to drive to Global Tennis Team…needless to say, I’m not renting an electric car again till there are fast chargers galore and at all gas stations! Andy by the way lost in the quarters 76 in the third and cramped in the third set, so for him it was a successful venture I imagine…he got matches and knows where his fitness level is.

    I had a great time practicing though and learned a lot. I watched the kids hit more this time. They work so hard, and the instructors do not let them get by with anything less than 100% effort…..those who put in less effort find themselves running laps at a minimum. The instructors never have more than four players to a court and often have more than one instructor on court for 2-4 players. And they are watching intently or feeding. The players are the ones doing the work and hitting. One warm up involves cross courts with 3 players and one ball..hit it into the net and the player runs to pick it up. A player not hitting is shadowing a stroke. The two players alternate for a certain number of balls or time, then one goes to join the solo player and the remaining player hits solo for a while. It’s high energy.

    Next up for me is a tournament a couple of hours outside of Budapest…but first a couple of nights in Budapest, in Hungary, a country I’ve never before visited. It’s a part of the European Union and Schengen (unified passport) area but still uses its own currency. The exchange rate is $1 to 300 Hungarian currency, so I’ll be doing math in my head a lot this weekend.

    Hopefully I’ll have wifi this week in my room. However, the sim card I bought in Madrid, $20 from Orange for 20-25 GB of data for a month really came in handy this week. It works as a hotspot too, so I can write my blog on an Ipad and upload it by connectiing it to my phone’s data via wifi. Not a new thing but magical anyway.

    And that’s a wrap on Spain for this year.

  • When Air Travel Goes Awry

    Today started off well. I woke up early and went to the club to run wind sprints. I almost didn’t since I was supposed to get to Frankfurt at 4pm and there’s a gym at my hotel. In the end I am happy I went. And happy I picked up a nice sandwich after (even if there were no madeleines available).

    Today I supposedly had an 11:45 flight to Frankfurt via Brussels. I checked in and was informed of a 15 minute delay. No problem I thought. I missed the turn to the star alliance lounge and ended up going past the secondary security into an austere waiting room. But hey it was only 45 minutes, no problem..except it was a problem.

    There was no one from the airline downstairs by the gate, other than passengers. The 15 minute delay had turned into 3+ hours. And we couldn’t go back into the terminal as there was no one from security, or the airline to help. One woman had 2 kids including an upset 2 year old. After a long delay we were finally escorted out of the airport. Anyone who could not navigate a lot of stairs was out of luck.

    I called Lufthansa and was told I was rebooked on TAP airlines, a Portuguese airline, to Frankfurt via Lisbon, 5 (vs 2) hours of flying. Next I had to go get my bags from baggage claim though. At least I had lots of time, and it took a while.

    Next I had to check in and go through security a second time…fun! Bordeaux airport is NOT where one wants to get stuck, especially with bags. It’s small, and uninteresting. One cannot check in till 2 hours before the flight is scheduled to leave. And of course one cannot go through security to the airport lounge or to the shops post security without checking big bags.

    About 2.5 hours before a flight the airport displays tell passengers where to check in. About 30 minutes later a couple of airline employees drag posts to cordon off 2 lines. An electric sign changes to show the airline’s name. I was lucky since I have star alliance gold and apparently no one else did. There was still a wait since Tap didn’t have an electronic ticket for me. But eventually the ticket was retrieved and my bags are checked.

    I am hoping that both my luggage and myself make the connection in Lisbon to Frankfurt. We should in an hour…fingers crossed 🤞 since I have a noon flight tomorrow to the USA.

    All in all nothing earth shattering but flying and traveling in general takes some patience and flexibility.

    Lots to drink in this lounge!

    made it to Lisbon, Portugal. Does an airport layover count as visiting a new country?

    Next stop Frankfurt. I am very happy my legs are short on this 3-hour flight!

    14 hours after I left my hotel in Bordeaux I reached my hotel in Frankfurt. Back to the USA tomorrow, hopefully with fewer delays.