Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam Holland. I awoke to a strange email saying that British Airways had canceled my flight. No more explanation, except it was an aircraft that could not be maintained. But, there were no suggestions, no telephone numbers, and the only hyperlink was broken!! So, needless to say, British Airways was on "my list" -- if you get my meaning!!

After trying a couple of things on the Internet, I called the travel insurance company, Access America. They bailed out on me by saying that, if the airline cancels a flight, it's not covered with their insurance. If I incurred any additional costs, it would be between me and the airline. So, for those of you who are planning a trip here or there, my suggestion is NOT to take the most expensive insurance. Just get the "health" section of the policy in case something hapens to you. Oh, they did offer to help for for an "additional charge", but after spending more than $500 on travel insurance, and thinking I was covered, I declined their offer. Thanks again Access America.

Jennifer and I went to the airport as planned. She went to find her flight (we traveled separate airlines) and I set out to find a British Airways agent. It didn't take long, although there was no signage for me to follow. The airport information desk was helpful and I found the ticket counter was nearby. To British Air's credit, they did offer me 2 flights -- one to Paris and then to LAX on Air France and one on KLM directly to LAX. Needless to say I took the KLM non-stop and will in LAX at the same time my canceled flight would have been there. So, what started out as a potental disaster turned out ok, and I'm pleased with the outcome.

The plane starts boarding at noon and it's around 11:40 a.m., so I'm at the gate. So, with boarding time close at hand, I'll sign off and continue this at a later time.

I arrived at LAX at 3:10 p.m. By the time I cleared customs it was 4 p.m. and our friend Dianne was there to pick me up. She suggested we wait around for Jennifer to arrive at 7 p.m., we went went to a local restaurant and enjoyed some soup and conversation.

Jennifer and I arrived home at 8:30 p.m. or so. We had left for the Amsterdam airport at 8:15 that morning, but the time difference is plus 9 hours. By the time we walked in the door we had been up and in transit for 19 or 20 hours. Ten minutes later, I was "out cold".
As I reflect on my last 2 months of travel, it's hard to believe it has come to and end. At the beginning of the trip, it seemed like it would go on forever! Of course, all good things come to a close, and in many ways, I'll be glad to be getting back to the U.S. and the routine I've set for myself.

Ciao for now....