Marathon in the Airport (Travel Casualties IV)

After Switzerland, we took many trains to arrive in Amsterdam. We had to travel through Germany and ended up taking about three trains. It was long but my goodness, It was especially lovely due to the GORGEOUS sights we got to see along… the way.

Amsterdam was great-sterdam! We were only there for about 3 days-terdam, but we made the most of it with all of our museum visit-sterdam. Our last night we stayed at a place a bit closer to the airport. We had a 7am flight to London and figured that staying closer to the airport would be good and less stressful. Ha. Ha. Ha. I think silly things.

We got up at approximately 4:30 to be on our way by 5am. I made a prayer and asked Jehovah to please allow us to make it to London. We already checked in the night before and checked in our bags (because of the miserable flight experience from Denmark to Germany). We arrive at the airport a little before 6am and the line is unbelievably long. This was not good. All we had to do was drop off our bags but nowhere was there anyone available for that.

At the ticket counter, there was only ONE woman, and the poor woman who was more stressed out at that point than an air traffic controller. By the time she got to us, she told us to just go and didn’t even take our bags! AH! At this point there was only about 10 minutes left until boarding closed and we still needed to get through TSA. As I walked away, asked her which gate, and she told me to just go. “Alright” I thought, “I’ll just ask another worker because that woman has too much going on”. The next airport worker I saw, I asked if he could direct me to the proper gate (which I found strange throughout the airports in Europe. You wouldn`t know what gate you had to board until about 40 minutes before boarding which is often displayed on a board that updates every few minutes) . I pulled up my ticket on my phone to show him the flight number. The dude DOESN’T EVEN LOOK AT IT! He simply asked where I was going then told me Gate bla bla. Well, I figured, if it`s going to London, that must be it.

Big mistake.

After TSA, we run to gate bla bla and I have this gut feeling that I’m trying to ignore but shouldn’t have. Not only was Gate bla bla the wrong gate, but it was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AIRLINE! This was not good. Not good at all! No one was listening and anyone that did listen, totally just fake listened to us!

Vanessa and I need to act quick. We see more people walking on the other side of these doors and decide we need to go through them. The doors were locked, but it had a small button next to it. At this point we were willing to take any risk. This unexpected adventure had clearly began and there was no stopping us. Lovely Vanessa made the best possible life decision and decides to press the button! Loud alarm sounds abound, but opens the door. We get through but are quickly stopped by security guards.

The guards were panicked, stressed and freaked out at us. They wanted to know what the emergency was, so we tell them (good job Vanessa!). Yes! Finally, actual listening ears even though it was triggered by alarm. We tell them everything and their demeanor quickly changes. They try to help us, but then their facial expressions said it all.

“Your gate is N22, and there’s only 1 minute left until they close the boarding gate”. They strongly suggested we make a run for it. Immediately we take off, but clearly, they didn’t think we’d make it.

And so began our marathon across AMS. Gate N22 was not only quite a few alphabetical letters away, but 22 gates deep. Meanwhile, we were already deep into Gate bla bla. So we ran. We were carrying our backpacks and bags and what not, but we took off like nobody’s business, because it was our business and we needed to take care of business. I figured at least one of us needs to make it there, whether it be her or me, one of us must make it!

I’m pushing through some people, I’m running through and around others. At one point, I even run up some escalators, pushing and shoving people to the side only to run back down them again because I realized I was going the wrong way. I felt my back getting wet as well as my armpits. My hair was becoming more loose and any last drop of “fabulous” that I may have put on that morning completely fell off to lighten up the load of the run. Every time I felt exhausted, I told myself “Don’t give up! Keep going! It’s all in the mind, the body has no limits! You’re already a mess so why not go all the way!” I remembered the prayer I made and I believed that we would still make it. We were going to make it to London one way or another. I also thought, if they see us sweaty and tired they would be more understanding… yup, that’s right. I was not going to be let down that easy. I was willing to play the pity card hard (yes, I’ve been told I can be quite stubborn, but I prefer the term “determined”).

When I arrived to N22, the door was closed. I was gasping for air, but I’m somehow able to explain everything. There were 3 airline workers there, and the one in charge has the AUDACITY to tell me “it’s not our problem. The door is closed.” Alright, no more being nice. I very calmly tell him that the fact they left their co-worker abandoned and alone was not my problem either. The fact that they owe us money for not taking our bags is definitely a problem and they owe us money. We would have made it on time if it weren’t for the terrible help we got and we tried to avoid this but their terrible handle of things became a problem. Vanessa was arriving shortly after I had began explaining. Poor thing was just as sweaty and exhausted. They asked us how many of us there was total.

After a few seconds of his uptight face, he clicks a few times on the computer. Two tickets get printed and he tells us, “Here, these are your new seats.” Success.

They opened the door for us, and I have the biggest smile! Yeah, my hair is a mess, my shirt was all sweaty, and clearly we are hot messes. Walking into the plane, everyone is already seated. Our seats, are at the very back of the plane which means everyone would get a clear view of us in all of our glory. I felt every awkward stare, but hey, one has got to own those moments as candidly as possible.

The flight attendant came over to help us with our luggage, but accidentally chokes me a bit in the process because my other bag was crossed over on the other side. I drop my glass container while this happens which for some reason scares some of the people around us. “What is that?” Someone asks in panic. I pick it up and just show them “Sorry, it’s just my glass container”.

Once our stuff was stored in the overhead bins, Vanessa and I sit down at our new seats, sigh of relief and immediately found it all too funny not to laugh. It was overall a great feeling.

We made it to London.

Enjoy some shots from Amsterdam.

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