the long and crazy journey …

I’ve arrived on the 8th of December 2009 a a bit earlier than my sweet love at the airport of Guatemala City.
When I’ve seen my sweet love again, she was already very nervous before her first flight.
First we let pack her big red luggage into blue plastic, which would protect it against all kind of brutal airport transportation.
Then we went to the check-in desk of Mexicana, where we had to fill out the first unnecessary forms from Guatemala’s (not honestly existing) border protection …
After writing my passport number (which nobody ever would check if it’s the correct one) many times, we finally could check-in.
After the check-in we had to go to the airport bank, where we they asked us to pay USD 2,- for airport tax.
Following that we walked a last time outside the airport and taken a last look on Guatemala City. My sweet love called quickly her mum to say good-bye, until we had to move on to the duty-free-area.
We walked through security, where they asked us to even put off our shoes. This is one of the typically things for Guatemala. They don’t really know why they make it and also don’t offer the necessary standard to do it, but they just do it. I think as well, that the USA is already a bit too crazy about all their security stuff, but at least there floors are clean and they give you exact instructions.
The next point was the 100ml liquids limit … my sweet love got a little bit too much in her big hand bag. (I would say about 3 litres too much ;)
While in the USA this limit is strict, Guatemala got the same limit, but handles it more lazy. They put all my girlfriend’s stuff out her bag (and it was clear to see that it has been over 500ml ;) and just put the bag another time through the x-ray machine. Than they put everything back and gave the okay. Normally you need to put everything in those transparent 100ml plastic bags and you are allowed to only have one per person. As my love didn’t had everything in a bag, they just told her, that she should please buy one later and put everything inside bags.
I would also call it bad standard, that in case you need a bag, you can’t just have one for free like in the EU. At their security check you can only buy one.
Anyway, I could talk for ever about bad security checks … so let’s move on with the story …
We walked to our gate, where my sweet love spent the rest of her last minutes on Guatemala’s floor, talking on her mobile phone, saying everybody good-bye.
Our airplane started about 40 minutes too late and I already have seen the problems of our transfer in Mexico City coming closer.
Two hours later we finally landed in Mexico City, still 50 minutes too late.
Actually it was planned, that we would have two hours to change our airplane. As we landed 50 minutes too late, we got only about one hour left.
Badly Mexico picked up part of the border security system from the USA. What you have to go through in Mexico, to change your airplane, is the small version of the USA and a bit less professional.
Even we arrived at Terminal 1 and our connection flight was going to leave from the same terminal, we couldn’t just change the gate …
In Mexico you have to run, like in the USA through all the border and homeland security, even you just want to catch a connection flight.
In Guatemala they weren’t able to check us in for our Lufthansa flight from Mexico City. Following that we had to check-in at Lufthansa in Mexico City, even our luggage was going to be send through.
As soon as we exit the airplane in Mexico City we run to an information desk, where it took them about 3 minutes to let us know that we are at the wrong place and that we have to go through all the border control.
So we speeded up and run the way it say “passport control point”, where we had to wait for half an hour in the long line of people. It was already evening in Mexico City and I got the feeling that the border security personal was already looking forward a lot to go home.
Glad fully they stopped all the H1N1 virus tests and forms. So we were asked to fill out only a total of two unnecessary forms! =P
As soon as we finally went trough border security and got a 30 days tourist visa in Mexico, we continued running.
We only had 30 minutes left until our airplane would start.
Normally we would have needed to go through the homeland security and let our hand luggage check.
As there were million of people standing in those gigantic big lines, I asked a woman quickly, if we have to go through it and as she answered “yes – definitely” I decided to do “no” …
I’ve chosen, that whatever might be the second option, will definitely be faster than standing there in those big lines …
We quickly run the small way it told “national connection flights”.
I’ve known that this way might not be 100% correct, but definitely the option which will raise up the possibility for us to catch our international connection flight.
We run and run and finally came to a small desk, where I asked a lady again, where to go. As we told her that we got an international connection flight she told us as well, that we have to go through homeland security. I wasn’t lucky with her answer, but it turned out we’ve done the right. All the people who got international connection flights were waiting in the big lines and nobody was taking the “wrong” way to “national connections”. Following that, nobody was waiting in lines at the “national connection” homeland security check.
After quickly filling out the last un-useful form, saying that we have no bad things with us, we went through the hand-package x-ray and exit the duty-free-area.
There we have been … outside the terminal and continuing running …
As I’ve already been before at the Mexico City airport, I remembered good, where to go and found the right way very fast.
We run down the big airport hall to the Lufthansa check-in desks. Over there was only one stewardess left. I explained her in hyper-speed where we are going, what’s our flight number, what we went through and what we need … to check-in …
Flash back to the same location a few months earlier, when I missed my flight to Miami, I was very afraid I might hear the same thing again … “no – sorry sir, you came to late to check-in …”
the stewardess checked the computer and my only question has been: “are we checked-in ?”
When she finally answered shortly “you are in” I’ve shot my hands up into the air and shouted out “YEEESSSSSS !!!”
Now I was positive, that we would catch our flight …
Just a few seconds later the stewardess gave us more information and told us, we better hurry up as our flight was just about to start boarding.
Following my short question “left or right”, the stewardess’ answer “right” and a quick “thank you” from my side, we were on our run again.
We run down the big hall and have been lucky, that the security control has been empty. It took us less than a minute to go through the security and we continued running. Our flight has been about 10 minutes too late and so they just started boarding, when we finally arrived where we started in Terminal 1 at the International Airport of Mexico City.
We flown in a Boeing 747 “Jumbo-Jet” over the Atlantic Ocean. The food was not the best but okay and everything has been relaxed now. Even it has been a long flight, it seemed to be much shorter as we slept quite a few hours. From the two playing cinema movies, I’ve actually haven’t watched any. I remember good in old times when I’ve been a little boy and such big flights seemed endless long for me.
We landed in time and without any problems in Frankfurt am Mein, Germany, where we got another 2 hours to change the airplane.
When we exit the airplane, the German police was standing there with a police dog, letting everybody, who is coming form Mexico, go through a very fast check of drugs.
We followed the way through the airport, which should have brought us to a small airport train to switch from one terminal to another.
Badly they forgot to put a sign to the train and so everybody thought we have to exit the airport. Once we run through the passport control, we weren’t able to go back to the train.
Following that we speeded up again our walking to get in time to the right gate. We went outside the terminal and continued walking to the other terminal.
As we already were checked-in we could easily walk back into the duty-free-area.
When we had to run through security again, they stopped both of our hand packages. My ones had a little bit of toothpaste inside, which they considered to be no problem.
My sweet love on the other hand had way to much liquid stuff in her hand bag. In the moment, the security guard started searching her bag, I started talking to him in German and told him, that we already run 3 times through security.
He asked me if it has been in the European Union and I answered that it has been in Guatemala and Mexico. He tried to explain me that the EU has the 100ml liquids limit and let him know, that those countries as well imported this crazy rule from the USA. Following that he gave up searching my sweet love’s big hand bag and answered me without much motivation: “than I guess it has to be okay …”
We continued walking and reached in time our gate, where we both had enough time to use the bathroom one more time, before we would take our last flight.
I opened my girlfriend’s notebook and searched for a WLAN access. For sure they got one in Frankfurt, but like at most international airports, they ask you to pay for it. (NOT AT THE AIRPORT IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA – I LOVE IT !!! =)
Our last flight was filled up with many business travellers and just a small & fast connection between Frankfurt am Mein in Germany and Vienna in Austria.
Our flight took less than two hours and even we got bad weather in Vienna, we landed good and safe.
Everything seemed to be good and we were happy, to finally arrive in Vienna, Austria. Well, lucky us we arrived good … our luggage didn’t …
We went to the Austrian Airlines service office, where they have been very friendly and helped us immediately. they searched in their computer system, found our luggage still waiting in Mexico City and told us, that they will send it during the next days to my home address.
Finally after all this, we were walking out the duty-free-area and I seen my family after so much time again!
A good feeling to come home! =)

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