Tuesday, April, 17 2018
After arriving from Istanbul you have to get back to the Schengen area, that means you have to get through passport control and a new security check. I have the short time of 45 minutes to catch my Austrian Airlines flight. That should be possible.
Walking fast I get to the passport control. To save about 30-60 seconds, I chose the officer and not the machine. Worked and I can walk to the security check. Down the escalator and to the fast track for business passengers … Then I was stopped by a security guard.
Breach of security, they have to close down the checkpoint and I (the last allowed to enter the area) have to cue with the normal passengers for security check. A long line of people … In the business line there would have been no one in front of me. The time is ticking and the cue doesn’t get shorter. Loudspeaker announcement that the person who left a red luggage in security has to get there immediately to get it. Police with machine guns arriving. WHO CAN BE SO STUPID – you cannot forget your hand luggage at the security control. You are missing something in your hand. The cue doesn’t go forward. My time frame is getting tight.
After I finally am through (no one thought about opening another scanner or two) i run to the bus transfer gate to terminal F, where my flight will leave. Bus has just left, next bus at 10:10 with my plane leaving 10:20. No way to contact the gate, I just have to hope. The bus is 1 minute late (which matters in the situation I am in) and there is another guy entering the bus that want’s to get on the same flight to Oslo. At the terminal, running is on again. The other guy is faster and when I get close to the gate he shout that there is no need to run, the gate is closed. Fu**. What now.
Problem is that it is not Turkish Airlines fault, because they were on time and not Austrian Airlines fault because I was late. It is neither SAS where I booked the ticket because they are not operating the flights. So first step is to get to the Austrian Airlines service desk. Very unfriendly staff there. They can’t help me as it is not their fault, I have to contact Turkish Airlines. That means that I have to go out of the airport, go get to their service desk.
I have booked a flight on SAS from Oslo to Molde and there is no chance to get that flight. I call SASs service line in Sweden (Norway didn’t work) to see if they can help me, but I get the same answer – Turkish Airlines. Ok, lets’ get out of here. When in the luggage reclaim area I think about my luggage. It will not be on the flight (no person, no luggage) but where is it.
Stopping at the Austrian Airlines counter for luggage help the lady who is working there is happy to help me to get rid of a woman using very abusive language for things that is not the employers fault. I get the information, that my luggage is still in the airport and she makes a call to her colleague. After some talking on the phone she looks at me ad says, that her colleague has said that even it is not the airlines fault, she wouldn’t care and she can offer me a seat on the 20:30 flight to Oslo that night. I accept at once. One problem solved. Boarding card issued at once – business class it is. There are nice people at Austrian.
Next thing to do is call Sweden again to cancel my flight for 15:00 from Oslo. Luckily I booked a refundable ticket and after checking that the change to a flight the next morning would cost an additional 1400 NOK. No thank you. And another thing to do – book a new flight. I have to chose Norwegian as they are cheapest at 8:20 the next morning. I have to use most of my saved bonus, but that way I will save some money. And a quick call to my boss, that I will be in later tomorrow – but no problem here.
Only one problem left, I have to sleep a place in Oslo. As I want to get my Trumf bonus, I need to access a PC with internet. I don’t know it it works on the mobile phone. Leaving my hand luggage at the storage counter I leave for the hotel close by to get some internet. They want to have 5 Euro for 15 minutes of internet. Welcome to the past. I just look at the concierge and leave without a word.
I use my apps to check for hotels. Next shock – all hotels are either fully booked or have a price tag that makes you sweat. But I have to. And I don’t want to be far away from the terminal. So Radisson Blu Gardermoen was chosen. 200 Euro for one night with no breakfast … That hurts. I even managed to get the booking done on my mobile phone with the Trumf login which schould give me 3000 Eurobonus points.
I have some hours until tonight’s flight. Sitting at the airport is not an option, so let’s get to town. The airport express is a 16 minutes ride and 21 Euro return ticket. Stopping in the city center at a mall. I have no idea what to see, this was not planned. But I will find at least one geocache to get this country registered. The Stephansdom is not far away by underground. It is the heart of the city, a major sight and there are geocaches around. Ticket to the underground, 3 stops and a short walk and I am there. I have been to Vienna once before, about 11 years ago for a day, so not much memory. Just walking around, taking it easy, finding a few geocaches and then, thanks to the tip of my brother, get to the restaurant Fiegekmüller. A place known for Schnitzel. It s only 200 meters from where I stand and I get a seat at a table with some US people. The Schnitzel is pork (original Wiener schnitzel must be veal) but looks great and is massive (hanging over the plates edges. A potato salad on the side. I cannot finish the meat. To much. But they are prepared and offer doggy-bag sets. The food was great.
Some more walking around. Exploring the pedestrian shopping area, walking to the Wiener Hofburg – there is much to see here, but I don’t have the time and I am still tired from traveling that far. In the end I take the light railway back to the mall, get something to drink and go back to the airport.
There is still some time and I am looking for the lounge at terminal F. The lounge is a little bit hidden and not the nicest walk to get there. The lounge is packed with people, the buffet is empty (got filled up but that took time) and I have never seen a lounge that had so little power outlets. When all have a laptop and smartphone you cannot have a few hidden power outlets. I found a trapdoor in the floor where I could get power, but that shouldn’t be necessary. The food was basic, the drinks Ok.
Time to get to my flight again by bus. A little Embraer 195, and you got 2 seats for business class. Very friendly flight attendant, addressing everyone by name. I was so tired I fell asleep under take off and woke up and the food was standing beside me. Very simple, but very tasty food. A drink and back to sleep for the 2,5 hour flight to Oslo. Landed at 22:55. When my luggage comes out, there is a big hole in it on the side. Perfect. Going to bed delayed again. I get through the process for damaged luggage and walk to my hotel, which is only 3 minutes walk from the terminal. Fast check in, payment and up to the room, which is very nice.
I hit the hay until my flight home tomorrow morning.
PS: Pictures will be uploaded later.