Friday, January 17, 2014
Our trip to Arizona
Earlier this year around spring we decided we would go home for Christmas. I learned a lot about Space A, which is a military plane. It takes people deploying and people PCSing (moving to new bases). Usually there are empty seats on the plane. And those go to Space A'ers. We have a active commercial contracted plane that leaves from our base to Germany to Baltimore once a week. I think it was around 40ish dollars for all three of us (allowed 2 luggage 70+ each) to fly to Baltimore.So we just had to buy our tickets from Baltimore to Home (AZ) which was a really good deal.
So here is our crazy travel story, if you were wondering LOL.
We were supposed to leave base here in Italy on Thursday, but Wednesday we found out our flight would be delayed till Friday. I guess the plan was having mechanical problems. So Friday AM we woke up early and headed to base. Come to find out when we got there, our flight was delayed again till Saturday morning. Sooo we headed home, really bummed.
Saturday morning we headed to base. Got there and checked in. We were number 3 on the list and there was 100 empty seats, so no sweat. Sooo many people were negative that we would get out of here. But in reality since we were traveling with Josh we were one of the highest categories 3, out of 6. So that helped a lot.
We checked in our lugage and waited around for our Plane to arrive with some returning from deployment airmen and army. We waited and waited. Then right when they landed seriously minuts before, this huge blanket of crazy fog rolled in out of nowhere, and it was around 3ish/4pm. Yet for some reason they had us all get on the plane. I knew there was no way we were leaving, Im talking you couldnt barely see a couple feet infront of you fog.
So we sat in the plane for an hour, and then the piolt said the fog wasnt going to leave till like 11pm but we would go back in the terminal and wait and see what happens. So we all got off and they locked the doors to make the whole terminal secure so we didnt have to go through security again. After an hour, the fog still didnt let up, so they sent us all home with a come back in the AM for the flight.
So Sunday AM again we headed to base. All our lugage, carry ons, carseat was already on the plane (they didnt give anything back to us) We were ready to GO. We packed the plane and finally got the hay out of Italy. But we didnt know what was yet to come LOL.
So we landed in Germany. We were supposed to be there for a 2 hour layover. We quickly went to thier Mall (YES they have a MALL on thier base! Can you believe it) for some food from thier food court. Then we rushed back. Come to find out our plan was not at the gate anymore. I guess it was having mechanical issues. So after waiting for like 4 hours, they said they fixed it and everything was good to go. I cant even rem what time we started heading back on the plane maybe 6ish/8?
We all got on. And had to get out of there within 15min because the crew couldnt be awake much longer. So we are about to leave and the captain comes on. "Not sure if you felt that, but someone ran into our plane." NICE... -.- Sooo they had to go out and see the damage. After an hour of that sitting. They concluded we had to get off. So we got off then all our luggage was sent off too. Turns out some German tower stair driver ran into our plane.
So they told us a breifing would be held at 8, then it got moved to 9, then 10. At 10 when they moved it to 12, Josh took Ethan and got a room. But there were no family rooms left, so now what? There were many familes there too. So we just got a single room, Josh went through the line again lol. Our room was just like the TLF rooms that we stayed in when we left SD and came to Italy also, so not sure the problem. But w.e.
Meanwhile Im sitting waiting for this briefing. Finally at 12 midnight it starts and basically all the guy says is. The next plane out the guys with guns have priority because they cant leave the terminal. And to come back at 4am for roll call to see if you can get on.
So I headed out to go to the room. You know they have these nice knew rooms and its like a big hotel looking building, but they didn thave any avalable so we had to use the old rooms. They give you this map and it looks easy peasy to walk to like its one block away. So I headed down the road. It had to be like 3 miles or more away lol. And I turned back. The hotel actually had a van that brought you there. Good to know now...
So got to the room and I didnt even sleep. Because we had to leave around 240ish to get back to the hotel lobby in time to check out. Then head to the terminal and wait for the roll call at 4am. So we did all that. What a waste wish we stayed. Only because nothing happened. We got there this official guy said there was 60 open extra seats after the military guys. We werent worried about getting on since we were number 3 in line. But then no one said anything and the plane left. Just a, "Come back at noon for another briefing." At this point sad to say but I was ready to drive back home. I was over it.
So we stayed in the terminal from 4am-12noon. What a mess. Ethan slept for alittle while. Then he enjoyed playing at the indoor playgound they had inside there. I however got zero sleep. I tried. But honestly being all pregnant and sleeping on the terminal chairs wasnt going to happen lol. So we were waiting around. Our families back in Az were wondering where we were what was happening. The Wifii was horrible.
Did I mentioned I had changed our tickets 4 times now? Yes I had to call and change our tickets with each delayed fly out. The first time we had to pay 1200 extra dollars, but the next day we got it all back because the tickets had gone down from the day before (hidden blessing). So up to 5 different iternaries.
Around 11ish I overheard a offficial guy telling another guy our orignial plane was fixed and we would be boarding at 12. So noon finally came and instead of a briefing, they started calling peoples names to board. I was freaked out because Josh had left around 1140ish to the mall to get us lunch. We didnt think we would be leaving so promptly at 12 since so many times before nothign happend. So I waited around for Josh hoping he would be back soon. As a mass of lugage, kids and adults were walking around me. And as I was on the phone with Delta changing the tickets again. Which was the last time (thank goodness) but this lady gave me a hard time lol.
Josh got there finally. We checked in our bags. We waited for about an hour at the gate. Then they bused us to the flight line because the plane wasnt at the gate. Everyone was joking and nevrous telling the bus driver dont hit our plane LOL. After all these days we had gotten to kind of know the people all around us.
We finally boarded and took off. Phew! YAY! 8.5 hours later we landed in Baltimore. Got our stuff, went through customs, and went to our hotel. The next morning we headed out to AZ.
So that was our crazy trip. I was so anxious for the trip coming home. But it wasnt bad at all. We arrived back in Baltimore and we got on a earlier flight (a day earlier) to Germany, which originally only had 7 seats open and we were numbers 9-10-11 (close eh), but then to our luck 70 people were held up in other states with bad weather. So we got on that night. We got to Germany and stayed the night agian in the hotel and headed out to Aviano, Italy the next am which had 200ish open seats. No problems :)
Im so glad we got to AZ though. It was hard seeing Ethan so upset each time we headed home or each time we boarded OFF the plane. He was so excited to leave and see all the family! So Im just so glad it worked out. And even though it felt like we were stranded and God didnt care lol, it all worked out in the end. And for some reason thats just the way he wanted it to be.