Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mom and My Flight Through Hell

This was supposed to be the beginning of Mom and my great adventure. But boy did it start off wrong! I drove to Dallas to meet my 83 year old Mom and my sister Becky; she drove Mom down so she wouldn’t have to drive 150 miles by herself. We stayed the night at a Super 8 hotel near DFW, went to an outlet mall and ate dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. We had fun but Becky was very jealous that she wasn’t going with us. If she had known what was going to happen to Mom and me the next two days, she wouldn’t have felt that way!

We got up early Saturday morning, August 2, and ate our free breakfast. Then Becky headed home to Herford OK and Mom and I caught the shuttle to the airport at 9:30 AM. We needed to check in at 10:00 for our noon flight to Budapest.Our Lufthansa flight had been canceled because they were on strike so our tickets had been transferred to a Delta flight and it went to New York City. When we got to the airport we found out the flight was delayed because of bad weather in New York City. They said it should be leaving at 2:00. We didn’t worry too much about that because we would be able to make our connection, but the flight kept getting more delayed. We finally left at 5:30 PM!! We got to NYC and had another 2 hour delay after a 3 hour flight.

We eventually got on a flight that would get us to Paris France at 11:50 AM and we would catch an Air France flight to Budapest at 3:50 PM and arrive at 5:30 PM August 3 (which is 10:30 AM in Texas). We thought we had plenty of time to check in and check on our luggage and relax. We had now been in airports and airplanes for 24 hours!We thought things were straightened out and the rest of the trip would go alright; but then we got to the Charles De Gaul airport in Paris and of course there were major problems. That will teach me to think.

We went to check in at Air France but, before we could get on our flight to Budapest we were told that we had to get a hard copy of our ticket from the Delta office. Well, that airport is huge and no one seemed to know where the Delta office was. Mom and I (I should probably add here that I use a rollator walker to get around, so you can see the absurdity of this whole situation) were running this way and that trying to find it; I know we walked at least 10 miles and spent an hour in an elevator going to one floor and going where we were told & being sent somewhere else and back to the elevator. I kept trying to get Mom to sit and wait for me but she was afraid that I’d get lost (which I often do) and forget where she was. That would have created a major problem for her because she doesn’t speak French. I was so afraid that Mom’s heart problems were going to act up and she was going to go into congestive heart failure and die right there. We ended up spending over 7 hours in that airport! At one point we stopped these 2 girls to ask where we could get something to eat. All of the restaurants were down some steps, so they offered to get something for us. We said great and they asked what we wanted, then said it would cost $40, so we gave it to them.......we were desperate. But they came back with the food and our change.

While we were waiting for them Mom started crying, she was so tired and frustrated. I hugged her and let her talk about it and before you know it, we were both laughing. We finally made it to Budapest at 1:00 AM but luckily the ship hadn't left yet. Our 15 hour and 15 minute flight to Budapest ended up taking us more than 36 hours and our luggage didn’t make it with us! It could be the luggage was tired and needed to rest somewhere in the nether world.