So many airports...
New York Travel Blog› entry 2 of 23 › view all entries
Finally I had everything I needed: the visa, my plane ticket and enough funds to be trustworthy ;-) Also made a great deal on the ticket, though it meant more transfers than needed. Last time I got this perfect flight route with Austrian Airlines, flying via Zadar - Zagreb - Vienna - New York JFK, with waiting times not longer than 1.5 hours at any airport - left home at 7 a.m., landed at JFK at 3:30 p.m. Perfect. This time it was different. It was holiday time and the prices are double than in October. But I was lucky to get a good deal with www.etours.hr. It just meant a longer route: Zadar - Zagreb - Zuerich - Washington DC - New York La Guardia, with United Airlines. But, hey, if that means saving a couple of hundred Euros, I take it.
On my flight here, I've been to 5 airports. Five! And they are all so different:
ZADAR AIRPORT is small. Small like: 100 steps from the parking lot to the airport building, 10 steps from the entrance to the check-in, another 10 steps to gate, and 100 steps to the aircraft (yes, you walk to your plane). I love it, actually. No hustle and bustle, no must-be-there-3 hours-before-take off. My plane was scheduled to depart at 7 a.m., I came 50 minutes earlier. Just in time to see the check-in counter being opened. We even had time for a coffee at the cafe, and entered the plane 10 minutes before take off.
ZAGREB INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is bigger. But still small enough not to get lost. Here also was no hustle and bustle, everything went on quite laid back. Maybe it's just the croatian mentality?
ZUERICH AIRPORT. Ok, big city, big airport. And I had only one hour to transfer. So I ran through loooong halls, took a drive on a subway, ran through more looong halls, climbed up and down a couple of stairways, and all that time kept my eyes out for signs, since my sense of orientation sucks, and I DO need waymarks. Finally, I got to the gate. Or not. There were stands in the middle of the hallway with airport clerks. One of them scanned my passport, then another one started asking me questions: What is the purpose of my visit? How many bags do I have? Who packed it? When did I pack it? Where was my bag between packing and loading onto the aircraft? Do I carry any weapons? .
WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT. Another big one. And again, I had about 1.5 hours to transfer. The problem was, that I had to go through Immigration and Customs. The problem grew even bigger when I saw the line - there must've been, like, 500 people. I had to wait for an hour, passed Immigration very quickly (What is the purpose of your stay? Who is paying? bla, bla, bla), passed Customs even quicker (thank you, thank you!), and started running.
NEW YORK LA GUARDIA AIRPORT. No transfer! I was there, thank God! Got the luggage pretty quickly, and didn't have to run through long halls. But I guess it's a big airport, too.
It was around 8 p.m., I got a cab, and was "home" for supper.