Note: do not fly Air Berlin (a partner of American Airlines, whose frequent flyer miles I was using) in economy. You can’t make your seat reservation until 30 hours before takeoff. That was a bit of a problem, since that would have been at 4:30am two days before I left, for the first flight. Really didn’t want a center seat. I hadn’t gotten a sim card for my phone, and on the boat the wifi was iffy. But after breakfast Maria and Heinrich got the wifi working and booked the seats for me for the first two flights. When I arrived in Munich I had to make my seat arrangements for the flight across the Atlantic.
Also: I had enough frequent flyer miles with AA for business class but pretty much was told that to use them I would have had to book about a year in advance! I never think that far ahead, so I’m going to ditch the credit card that gives me the AA miles and get one that just gives me cash back. Plus it took an AA agent on the phone over an hour helping me to book with my miles, just for economy. Hence circuitous routes.
I was the first to leave of our group. Had breakfast on the boat before the drive to the airport in Rhodes. First two flights we got a drink and either “salty or sweet”. Potato chips first flight, to Munich, apple at the airport, chocolate on the next plane, to Düsseldorf. (Admittedly, I had overeaten in Greece, so was still not hungry.) People kept speaking to me in German, as if I looked like I lived there.
Through a cool drizzle, to a hotel right next to the airport, the Maritime Hotel Düsseldorf, for an overnight. The AC was turned way down, and the air had that clean feel of no humidity. There was a down comforter. I abstained from dinner and went right to sleep. (This was the first time in two weeks that I had not had to deposit the toilet paper in a separate receptacle, an adjustment.) Got up very early and walked to the airport early as I had to submit my bags to Customs. I waited in four different lines at the airport. High security. No problem with the cheese, but I was asked to take out the sculpture (in my carry-on), and they swabbed it and checked it for various chemicals.
Luckily I had bought a paperback in Rhodes, so had something to read on the next two planes, to Chicago and to Tucson. When I boarded that last plane, they announced that Tucson was 115°. By the time I arrived, at 9:30 pm, the temperature has gone down to 100°. What a welcome home.
Tags: Air Berlin