A day to remember

by Volker Weber

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I am not a frequent flyer. I once was, but I have been cutting my CO2 footprint a lot. Most of the events are live streamed today. But once in a while it's good to talk to real people, especially in individual one-on-one meetings. Yesterday was a day I was going to fly into London for two hour meetings. My plan was to go in on LH 928 scheduled to arrive at LCY at 8:40 local and to return from LHR at 15:30, both on Economy Light without checked baggage. Meetings from 10:45 to 12:45 with some breathing time before and after. Little did I know that nothing was going to go according to this plan. But then it did, thanks to Robert, Flo, Martin & Ute.

As I arrived at Frankfurt Airport 7:10, already checked in for a flight leaving at 8:10, I got an SMS from Lufthansa. My flight was cancelled. I approached a desk and was told that I had been reschulded to LH 906 leaving at 12:00. That was too late for my meetings and I asked to be put on an earlier flight. There were no seats available for regular travellers. I asked to be put on standby for LH 900 leaving at 8:00 for LHR. That is a lot further out, but since I had some additional time planned, I would have made it for the meeting.

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LH 900 was fully booked with quite a few people on standby. After everybody had boarded and all the other people from the waiting list had disappeared, the ground crew was missing one passenger with checked baggage. If this passenger would not be found on the plane, that seat was mine. But it should not be. While I was waiting a new player showed up: a status flyer that would bump me off that flight, because she was exercising her privilige to be put on an earlier flight.

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The Lufthansa ground crew was stellar. They put her on that flight, but in the very second they took her off LH 902 they put me into her place. Now I had a confirmed seat and a boarding pass for LH 902 scheduled to leave at 9:00 and arriving at LHR 9:40 local. This was only 50 minutes after my original departure, but in a more remote destination. It would be a tight squeeze. If the flight would only arrive a few minutes early I could make my meetings via Heathrow Express to Paddington and the Tube to my destinationin Soho. Ten minutes later LH 902 was delayed by 30 minutes, and then by another half hour. I arrived about the time my meeting was going to start, still an hour away from the location.

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But I was safe. Before I even boarded Heathrow Express Martin had rescheduled my meetings. Meanwhile LH 909 leaving LHR at 15:30 local was cancelled. I did not know about that but Flo rebooked me on LH 911 an hour later. Lose an hour, win an hour. I still had those two meeting hours I had planned for.

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Back at the airport at 15:00 LH 911 was delayed to 17:00, then to 17:45. I was anxious it might also get cancelled but it eventually left LHR at 18:55 wheels up. Back in Frankfurt one hour later at 21:00 local Ute picked me up. I was home more than 15 hours after I left. Frau Brandlinger was thrilled to see me.

I have to thank everybody who made this happen, despite all the difficulties. You are stars!

Comments

and what do you want to say to LH? thank you?

Felix Kluge, 2017-09-28 12:34

I don't know. There are two people who deserve a thank you, and quite a few others who deserve a big FU. But in the end they got me to London and back safely, and that deserves a thank you.

Volker Weber, 2017-09-28 13:33

Did you ask for permission to post the photo of the Ladies?
C'mon vowe - not your style ;-)

Tobias Traguth, 2017-09-29 00:07

Tobias, I was also wondering why that photo was in there, it seems to be out of place.

Daniel Haferkorn, 2017-10-05 13:32

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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