Friday, August 31, 2012

The Flight Over the Pond

Traveling to Europe is always a mix of excitement and trepidation, especially when you’re with kids. The biggest issue is the health and safety of your family, but you can’t obsess over that because it just makes your life miserable. Life is full of surprises, both good and bad, so you have to embrace them all, because it’s life, after all. You can choose to either embrace it and make the most of it or live in fear and never do the things you want to do, but enough pontification

Generally speaking, flying overseas entails some form of complication. At the very least, it’s a bit stressful. It’s the “getting there” that gives me anxiety, especially in terms of entertaining the kids for 6-8 hours. For the most part, our flight on Air France was very pleasant. The flight was on time, the plane was clean and new, not to mention huge (two-stories!) and modern, and they had the holy grail for traveling with kids: small video screens at every seat.

Since we were doing the red-eye, we weren’t going to watch too many movies, even though the kids were itching to. By the time we were seated, it was well past 11:00PM, and sleep was in order. Unfortunately, I don’t sleep well on planes, nor does A, though thankfully R and N went out like a light. A and I stayed up for the in-flight meal, which was really good. Call me crazy, but I like airplane food. My Mentor is shaking his head right now.

We landed in Paris around 11:00AM, and from there, made a connection to Florence. We were told that we didn’t have to re-check our luggage and to just board the plane, but that seemed a bit strange because we had to go through security all over again. Of course, when we landed in Florence, they’d lost our baggage. My guess is that we should have re-checked our bags. Oh well.

Now it’s a bit of a bummer losing your luggage in a foreign country, but the people at the Air France help desk were very helpful. They even said they knew where our luggage was, and that it should arrive in the next 24 hours. They said they’d bring it to our hotel, and they did, so all was good.

Nothing like a little drama to make your international travel more interesting. I will say this, as well: international airlines definitely have better service that domestic flights. Even though everyone is cutting back, I think the European airlines have better food and just an overall nicer atmosphere. Maybe it’s a Euro thing, but they seem to stress good service.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.
and thanks to Oscar von Bonsdorff for the pic.

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