Sunday, November 02, 2008

Flying to Europe

I moved a step closer to Europe yesterday by finally booking my airline flight. My big thing was that I was willing to pay full fare if I was able to use my frequent flyer miles to upgrade to business class. This meant flying on Northwest, Delta, or one of the airlines affiliated with them. Well, after I finally found a travel agency that was open in Huntsville on a Saturday, I managed to book a flight on Northwest AND get the upgrade to business class to both sides of the pond.


For reasons that are probably easy to figure out if I gave the matter some thought, Delta does not accept NWA's WorldPerks miles, even though Delta just bought NWA. No problem: the NWA flight was cheaper anyway. The only downside of the flight is the return portion. Outbound, I fly to Memphis and then head to Amsterdam from there. The return flight is Paris (CDG) to Minneapolis, then Minneapolis-Memphis, and THEN Memphis-Huntsville. The other icky part is that I leave Paris around noonish, arrive in the States around 4 p.m., and finally get home around 9 p.m. Sort of like a time travel episode of Star Trek, as written by a sadistic airline scheduler. There has to be a way to get an overnight flight back to the U.S. doesn't there? Well, maybe it won't be so bad. If I sleep in that day, get to the airport, and stay awake through the flights, I should be able to get home and crash hard...just in time to go into work the next day. Oy.

Anyhow, I'm jazzed. After half a dozen years of shoehorning myself into a bunch of RJs, it'll be a frickin' novelty to be able to sit in a decent seat and not pay $5 for a cocktail. I might even learn to like airline travel again, even if it means getting to the airport two hours before flight time. Might have to buy that Kindle. I could be doing a lot of reading on these flights.

I suppose the next thing I'll need to do is to start nailing down what I need to pack--Rick Steeves provides a recommended list--try to pack all that stuff into the suitcase, and then see how far I can walk with it before collapsing under the weight. Oh yeah, and I need to learn how to wash my clothes on the road. Yippee.


lin said...

Yearn for the days of the Concorde. This is just a suggestion on something that helped me tremendously. Purchase some wrist and ankle weights and start walking up and down hills and stairways every other day. When you get over there, you will see more and go farther.

Bart said...

Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. Those weights were on my "tentative" list of things to acquire. Christmas is coming.