So many airports...

New York Travel Blog

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Early morning over Dalmatia

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.

There will be better ways to spend the money :-) Anyway, when looking for airfares, do take your time and search both the travel agencies in your town and the internet. It's worth 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.

Flying over Swizerland

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? .

The small plane
... Now, seriously guys, ... c'mon!!! Security, sure, fine, I get it, but - I could've lied!!! And who'd know it??? Finally (finally!!!), I got to the gate, got my boarding ticket and tried to make myself comfortable in my seat. Which can be tricky when you have long legs... there will come the day when I'll be able to afford first class, just wait and see!

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.

Somewhere between Washington DC and New York
After crossing, as it seemed, half the building, I got to gate A3. The New York flight was scheduled at 4:55 p.m., so I called my friend to tell her I'd be arriving on time. After I made myself comfortable in the waiting area, the display changed to "New York La Guardia - 7:25 p.m." Oh, great, and I'm out of quarters (cell phoneing from a croatian operator is ridiculously expensive, you don't want to do that). As soon as I got more quarters and was to get to the phone booth, the display changed again: "..." - the flight got lost! Now what?! My fellow travellers and me surrounded the airport employee to find out what was going on, but he was as confused as we were. He left. And came back a few minutes later, to inform us that the gate has changed. So we all moved to gate A1. After I made myself comfortable in the waiting area, another commotion arose. The clerk announced something in bad english, I only catched words like "volounteers" and "hotel expenses". Huh? Then a fellow traveller explained, that apparently they've had sold more tickets than there were seats on the plane. And now they were asking passengers to volounteerely give up 5 seats - or something like that. Excuse me, how is that possible? Since nobody volunteered (of course, why would anyone do that?) they apparently picked 5 passengers in a loto-like manner, and by doing that seperated a married couple from Germany. The woman, who was supposed to stay here, started crying, since the husband didn't do much to do something about it, just stood there helplessly. It was actually really painful to watch! Anyway, I got on the plane. The smallest plane I've ever flown with, which is kinda tricky when you're tall. What did I say about flying first class? Yeah, right, some day, just wait and see! As passengers were boarding, I was happy to see the german couple coming in together.

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.

 

 

vila says:
I know, I just don't get to it ... I guess I'm really buisy :-)
Posted on: Jan 02, 2009
mothernatureobeyed says:
How exciting! and you haven't even started describing New York yet...
Posted on: Jan 02, 2009
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Early morning over Dalmatia
Early morning over Dalmatia
Flying over Swizerland
Flying over Swizerland
The small plane
The small plane
Somewhere between Washington DC an…
Somewhere between Washington DC a…