You can’t get they-ah from he-ah
Getting to Addis has been a bit of a nightmare. It is looking like I will have about 75 hours of traveling logged from when I left Paris, Maine until I am wheels down in Addis Ababa. I am currently on a flight to London, which was never part of this set of flights. If you want to read the (admittedly slightly whiny) explanation of my journey, it is below.
Update: I have arrived in Addis Ababa… I was only 45 minutes late in landing. The last flight was mostly smooth except for a bit of a late start and some excitement with the reading light buttons on the armrests controlling lights about other people. But 76 hours after leaving Paris, ME, I have safely arrived in Ethiopia!
I left Paris at 8 pm because of an impending snowstorm. That seemed to be a good thing because I was worried about the midday flight taking off in the middle of the storm. Up at 4 am to get to the airport and the flight off at 6:40ish after waiting for a snow plow and deicing. I arrived at JFK at about 8:30 am. My next flight should have been at 5:45 to Amsterdam.
But, as we should have started boarding, they announced they the plane would be delayed and the would give us more specifics at 6 pm. At 6:15 the captain came on the speaker and announced a 25 hour delay due to a crack in the windshield sustained while landing. The plane needed 12 hours for the sealant to set and then, because of a night no-fly curfew, we would have to wait another 12 hours to leave. Yippee. They handed out meal vouchers and hotel vouchers and, for those of us with connecting flights, they worked to reroute us. Ok… I waited in line for about an hour and then when I reached the desk, I learned the Amsterdam to Addis Ababa flight only flew every other day. Which meant I needed a new itinerary, Paris -> Nairobi -> Addis. Leaving at 7:10 the next day. Ok… It is 8:15 pm… time to try to get to the hotel. Wait half an hour for a hotel and car voucher. The wait another 30 minutes for a car to Maspeth, Queens to the hotel. Great.
When I arrived at the Maspeth Holiday Inn with a bunch of other stranded Amsterdam goers, we learned that the hotel didn’t have any food, or even a bar… So a few of us took a wander down to an “Irish pub” in downtown Maspeth… which stopped serving food at 10 pm (We got there 10:20.) So a beer and a stop at the 24 hour Mickey-Ds, it was bed at midnight… after getting up at 4 and 13 hours at JFK.
So, after a late morning and early afternoon chilling in downtown Maspeth, it was back to JFK, new terminal and new airline. I get to the desk to check in and… wait… What is this?… there is a problem with my ticket. For some reason KLM decided to cancel my tickets and the Amsterdam to Nairobi flight had filled up. So that was a no go. So had to be rerouted again.
Which means a flight from JFK to London arriving at 7:30 am and then a 8:10 pm flight to Addis Ababa.
The one great thing about this long lay over in London is an opportunity to see a friend who I haven’t seen since my college graduation.
Hopefully, this is the end of the saga… but if not, I’ll update to whine a bit more.