Day 45 (July 27, 2018 – Los Angeles, California, USA): “Flying Blue”
It was 5:15am when I awoke. It seemed like my 4:45am alarm wasn’t effective anymore because I didn’t remember hearing it. Either way, I’d have to get re-adjusted to the time difference between Europe and PST.
In addition to getting the body clock re-adjusted, there were a bunch of other things that were weighing on my mind – getting the Hertz money back for getting the diesel exhaust fluid topped up, paying my unpaid bills waiting for me at home, getting caught up on all the blogging related stuff that I couldn’t take care of due to my broken ASUS laptop (and had to limp along with the French Lenovo laptop), hoping the car will start after being idle for over 6 weeks, etc. etc.
I always get these types of anxieties when it comes to getting back to life and back to reality, and this was pretty much par for the course (though this was probably one of the more expensive trips we’ve done to date).
Regardless, I did my usual routine of getting caught up on yesterday’s happenings as well as taking care of packing and eating my cold brekkie. I was pretty much done by about 6:30am, which was around the time I was hoping we might start getting a move onto the airport to account for other unforeseen delays.
However, it wouldn’t be until about 7:15am when we went downstairs to check out and wait for the Uber driver. Now, I was concerned about whether we’d have time to take care of things like exchanging money or perhaps buying gifts for those who helped us back at home.
At around 7:25am, the Uber driver showed up, and we were starting to move after being all loaded up. This driver wasn’t up for much small talk, and it was pretty much getting to the airport. His GPS said that we’d be there at around 8am, which would put us nearly 2.5 hours before our scheduled 10:20am flight.
However, when we got to the CDG airport, it turned out that there was a big time traffic jam just to get to Terminal 2E. So it turned out that we didn’t even get to the terminal with our baggages until about 8:30am. Still, we thought we might still have enough time to take care of stuff and not worry too much since we still had nearly 2 hours to go.
But then when we wheeled our stuff towards the line to drop our bags, then there was some reason to be concerned. It was quite long, and there was a lady in front of us who had to catch a 10am flight. At this moment, it was now after 9am.
When it finally came our turn to drop off our bags, we did the usual drill of providing the passports and the pre-printed boarding passes. However, there was a bit of a delay in getting our stuff processed.
Apparently, there was an issue with the profile of our boarding passes as somehow we were classified as students under age 30. I recalled we had a similar issue back at LAX but it didn’t result in any complications other than our extra money paid for assigned seating was discarded.
However, in our current circumstance, the ticketing agent had to do his job and he didn’t let us go by like back at LAX. Instead, he walked us to the ticketing and sales kiosk, where he was trying to work out the issue over there. Apparently, the agent that helped Julie with Flying Blue (to accommodate one boarding pass booked on points while getting our paid full price fares to be seated together) somehow booked us on discount fares such that we were considered students.
By this time, it was now about 9:20am, but as we did a lot of waiting, it seemed more and more like we had no shot of making our 10:20am flight. The wait would persist for what seemed like forever as we’d still be at the Sky Miles kiosk for at least another 45 minutes or so. By this time, I was already resigned to missing our flight, but now we were worried about whether there was another flight on this day that we could catch. Or, would we have to wait until tomorrow (and eat the associated expenses with spending another night plus meals)?
We were also worried about whether we’d have to eat additional fees to make up the cost difference if it came to that.
During all the waiting, at least the ticketing agent that helped us turned out to be very good with Tahia as she was starting to cry when she realized that our return home may not happen today. He told us that he used to be an au pere (nanny, if you will) for an American family. So that explained his excellent command of English though the French accent (he admitted) also had its perks when it came to his social life.
I got the feeling that he was being very helpful to us because he might have felt responsible for us missing our flight, and that there might be the Tahia factor. Apparently, she has a way of disarming strangers, and with this ticketing agent (I think his name was Adrian), she was the perfect icebreaker to make small talk.
So after going back and forth between the Sky Priority kiosk and then the customer service kiosk, before returning to the ticketing kiosk, at around 10:50am, we finally got the good news that he was able to get us onto the next flight for 13:10 at no additional cost to us.
We still weren’t out of the woods yet though as once we got our boarding passes, we still had to get through security and hope that there’d be no other ticketing agent or Air France employee causing us headaches when it came to checking our boarding passes.
Regardless, it wouldn’t be until around 11:30am when we finally got through all the passport control and security as well as the trams to get all the way to the M gates, and then we finally unwound for a little bit to get some last ditch croissants from Paul as well as some last ditch macarons from L’Aduree (there seems to be a bunch of these high-priced macarons in every gift shop and airport in Paris).
Well, after almost being last for boarding the plane at precisely 12:20pm (due to a long and slow queue at the L’Aduree kiosk), we were finally aboard the plane at 12:40pm. We indeed got lucky that there was another flight on the same day as the flight that we missed.
That said, we still weren’t out of the woods yet in terms of possible flight delays as well as any possible baggages lost; not to mention car starting issues, Friday rush hour traffic, and who knows what else might come up?
Well, after trying to stay awake during the flight (to perhaps ease the jetlag we knew was coming) but failing miserably.
I managed to fall asleep twice watching and re-watching Inception though the Woman in Gold was actually quite good, especially after having been to the Belvedere Museum and Vienna on this trip.
Regardless, the plane landed pretty much on time at around 3:45pm, and then after going smoothly through the Global Entry Passport Control line (actually not a line at all), then getting our luggage (probably 15-20 minutes of waiting there) before going through the short Customs Line for Global Entry, we were then waiting for our UberX ride at 4:50pm at the Departures area at LAX.
Turns out that Uber was probably the way to go as our former SOP of using the Auto Airport Parking Shuttle just didn’t make sense anymore.
Then, after retrieving Julie’s car and thankfully having it start, we then faced the Friday afternoon rush hour commute, and it wouldn’t be about 6:40pm when we finally got home. While the heat wasn’t quite as intense as it was in Paris, it was still pretty hot at home, and apparently it was about to get worse as the workweek begins.
So I’ve pretty much got the remainder of this weekend to try to get caught up on lots of things. Like with all homecomings from our trips, getting back to life, back to reality pretty much sucks. Still, you can have it all in this world, and so it must be that I must re-enter the rat race while trying to get all aspects of life back in order again…
No users have replied to the content on this page