Monday, March 9, 2009

Five Airports Later...

And I am here in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

I can definitely say this has been the worst travel experience of my life, but at least I made it here on the same day I was supposed to.

I went from Los Angeles to Chicago to Copenhagen to Vienna to Sarajevo. (On a side note, one interesting thing is that every airport had a different kind of toilet.) Our flight out of LA was delayed because of weather in Chicago, which made me miss my connecting flight to Munich. The customer service counter in LA, which I visited three times, told me I would have to spend 24 hours in Chicago and catch a flight the next day, putting me in Sarajevo 24 hours after I originally planned to be here.

When I got to Chicago, I waited in the customer service line for 3 HOURS (along with many other very agitated people) to find an alternative to having to spend the night in Chicago. The lady there gave me the option of going through Copenhagen and flying out that night, and she printed out my new itinerary for me. I excitedly took the train to my new terminal, and went to check in only to have the man at the counter tell me United overbooked the flight to Copenhagen, so I would be first on the standby list. I waited in the customer service line for three hours only to be further frustrated and disappointed… I was pissed. He said I should be hopeful though.

So I hurried through security and went to the gate to have a different man tell me not to worry because I would make it on the flight. There were three of us on standby: a man, his teenage son, and me. The problem was that there were empty seats, but not enough meals. All of us said we were willing to go without the meals, but the lady said that was not an option. The same lady then allowed the man and the son to board, and I kindly told her that I was also on standby and was actually first on the list. Then she told me that there was no more room on the plane for me! Once again, I told her I was FIRST on the standby list. She apologized again and said, there are only two seats, you wouldn’t want to separate a father and a son would you. I then began crying because I was exhausted, frustrated, and hungry. I just sat there in the gate and cried, and she came up to me and said, I can give you a seat on the plane, but I can’t give you any meals. I said, that’s fine, I already told you I don’t need any meals. I then proceeded to walk through the plane with tears still rolling down my face and everyone looking at me like I was an idiot.

I continued on my long journey, finally landing in Sarajevo only to… not have any luggage! And the story will continue hopefully with a happy ending if I get my luggage tomorrow.

On a better note: I am here, it is beautifully snowing, and I had a really nice taxi ride from the airport. The taxi driver gave me an impromptu tour of the city, so tomorrow when I go out I know where to explore.

I don’t know when I will be able to post again, due to the fact that I don’t have a plug converter for my laptop, because it is in my suitcase with my warm jacket, mittens, scarf, clean underwear, toothbrush…

Ah, the joys of traveling!

Time in Bosnia: 11:21 pm, Monday, March 9


  1. What a story, Brooke! Glad you made it and we'll pray for your suitcase to show up. LOVE YOU. mom p.s. good for you for crying your way on to the plane. A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.

  2. Sounds rough Brooke! Chalk it up as another exciting story to tell!

  3. I was following your progress with your mom. I am waiting to find out if/when you get your suitcase. My suitcase was lost for a few days on a business trip once - not fun!! Love you!

  4. Oh man, Brooke! You are definitely experiencing the joys of international travel at its best! I feel for you! I hope you got your luggage and will be praying that the rest of your trip is insightful, fun and safe! Can't wait to see pictures!