My trip consisted of three legs: Madison-Chicago, Chicago-Munich, Munich-Basel. It didn’t go as planned, and my luggage was lost (later recovered) on the way. I’ve learned two things: 1. Fewer stops is better for luggage tracking; 2. Lots of stops are nice for seeing new places.
My flight from Madison to Chicago left 20 minutes late – not so bad considering I had an hour and a half layover in Chicago. But then we got to Chicago and waited to be de-iced and then for a gate to open up. We spent a whole hour on the tarmac, and I and most of the other passengers missed our connecting flights.
My flight was rerouted through Frankfurt for the following day. I was put up in a hotel and given three meal vouchers since my missed connection was the company’s fault. I have never stayed anywhere so huge and fancy, let alone so clean. It was the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, and I was in room 519.
I finally left the States on Monday, which is when I should have arrived in France. The O’Hare airport is really cool to be in, with rainbow windows, moving walkways, and fun architecture.I made a friend along the way who helped me figure out where to go when I couldn’t understand the announcements being made. I never learned her name, but she was returning to finish her semester abroad in Italy.
During the flight, we were fed dinner, breakfast, and a lunch. They showed a few different entertainment options, but each one was played multiple times. There was also a really neat little map on the in-flight entertainment that showed where we were, our altitude, and the outside air temperature.
Frankfurt brought a long list of new experiences. The signage, toilets, restaurants – everything was different. I bought a bottle of mineral water without realizing it was mineral water. I thought it was just water, but I didn’t mind the fizz and the crisp but slightly chemical flavor.
Three hours of waiting and then a small hopper flight later, I was in France. After that, it took a baggage claim, a bus, two trains, a phone call, another bus, getting lost, and then being directed to the UTBM before I finally got to my destination.