Thursday, January 16, 2020

Travel Snafus

There was a time in our lives when our basement held several sizes of crutches and a kid-sized walker. I tore my ACL, Tucker broke his ankle on a trampoline, Spencer broke his ankle playing football. I liked to claim that we weren't accident-prone but just really active and that's why we always had medical emergencies.
Perhaps the same thing is happening now with our travel plans. It's not that we're unlucky, but that we just travel so much -- we're bound to get glitches.
You may recall that the strike in France caused havoc for us when we were headed to the States back in December. After our train was cancelled, we rented a car and zipped up to the airport early before the freeways were closed, spending three extra nights at an airport hotel so we could catch our flight. All's well that end's well, we got back in time for Christmas and Grace's wedding.
Earl is scheduled to fly back to France on Saturday. We both have tickets, but I plan to stay on and teach until the end of February.
This morning, I opened my email and Icelandair informs me that a big snowstorm is expected January 19 and 20 so flights may be cancelled. Where is that big snowstorm going to be?
I realized as we flew over from Paris to Reykjavik then Reykjavik to Orlando that we had come way out of the direct flight path.
My estimation of our flight line from Paris to Rejkjavik to Orlando
I had forgotten that we would be in the arctic as we flew over, and we never saw the sun that day after we left France, landing at 2 p.m. in the dark of Iceland and then flying to Orlando, never catching the sun.
Since then, I hadn't even thought about the dark of Iceland, until I received that email about snowstorms and possible delays.
Icelandair is being proactive; they'll let us change our flights to leave Thursday or Friday to avoid the snowstorm.
The only problem is that we aren't in Orlando to catch the earlier Icelandair flight.
Originally, Earl and I would have driven back to Florida with Mom and Dad after the wedding, spent a few days then caught the flight in Orlando.
Since I wasn't going back, Earl opted to stay in Ohio with me and the kids.
The family
 He has a flight scheduled for Saturday to fly into Orlando then to catch the Icelandair flight to Rejkjavik, then Paris -- unless it's cancelled.
I checked to see the cost to move his Orlando flight. Since it's last minute, the costs are high, more than we paid to fly to Paris.
He could rent a car and drive to catch the Friday night flight, but then we'd have the rental car cost, the gas and a hotel as he drove 16 hours to Orlando.
The real question is, where is he likely to be stranded?
In Orlando, he can rent a car and go to my parents' house an hour away.
He can relax in the sunshine while stranded
Reykjavik is a bit more difficult.
Landing in Rejkjavik during some daytime hours
  If he gets stuck in Rejkjavik, we already know that the price of two cheeseburgers is $31. Will he sleep in the airport? How long until he gets out to travel on to Paris?
One of the reasons he is headed back on our regular flight is that we had a hotel room reserved for two nights in Paris and we can't get a refund for them, so he is forced to spend two nights in Paris, sitting in cafes, visiting museums. Sounds dreadful, doesn't it? If he is stranded in Iceland, there go the hotel rooms.
And he has a train scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st. Although the strike is still ongoing, SNCF assures me that 9 out of 10 trains are running. We might lose money for that cost, too, if he doesn't make it back.
Traveling is expensive and cancellations are even more so.
I have tweeted Icelandair asking when we will know if the flight is cancelled. Perhaps we could get reimbursed for the flights, and he can return to France later with me, but that is 37 days away.
Before I opened the email this morning, he had sighted heavily and bemoaned that he wasn't looking forward to six weeks away from me. It's more like a month, I had reassured him.
Still, if it's between staying in frigid Ohio or returning to the South of France, I know what I would choose.
Our friends Derrick and Kris Facetimed us this morning, and as Derrick stepped out of our construction zone house, the brilliant blue sky shone above him. He had a winter coat on, but there was no denying the twinkling sun above him.
So here is us again, stressing about travel plans but knowing that wherever we are, huddled inside in Ohio, under the sunshine of Florida, or in the construction zone of our house, we're lucky to have friends and family close by -- everywhere but Reykjavik that is.


Just Me said...

What is the emoji for there they go again, shaking our heads with love and great admiration.

Marg said...

2 days stuck in Paris certainly sounds like the most preferable option!

A Quick Visit to Paris

I love traveling to Paris. It always fills me with joy — all the beauty and the history!  Lights on the water The sky was much darker than s...