This was supposed to be such a “Fuck You ” open letter to Lufthansa , but I managed to get home after all. The “Fuck You” wouldn’t have been for the fact that I didn’t get home , though it’s an important point , but for the way they handled a situation and delivered services .
The long story…long.
It all started with my wife ruining my modjo at 15:50 yesterday , asking me : ” cum e vremea …. se anunta un zbor linistit?” – meaning “how’s the weather…. there are premises for a cool flight ?”. Within the same bloody minute , before me getting to put up an answer,, Lufthansa texts me: ” We apologize that your flight LH2049 TXL-MUC 12Dec 06:55 PM has been cancelled. Further information is available on : https://m.lh.com/MzQ4NzkwUXVMVw. ”
I say, Fuck ! Never had a cancelled flight before! Repeating what I already posted on FB as a status I say that , It’s common during winter time to see the flight panel lighting like a Christmas tree , full of cancelled flights. Mine was always on… Maybe delayed at most. When i see such cancelled flights i always think with compassion of those who won’t be reaching their home in time and say to myself : You’re all faaaags! Today I’m the fag…
Called instantly to Lufthansa customer service , pressing buttons to get support in English got to a guy that was kind and offering me variants to get to Bucharest. I had to opt between a flight through Munich at 6:15 (LH2047 ) and a flight through Frankfurt at 18:45 (LH199). Being afraid that I may not get in time to LH2047, I opted for Frankfurt. The guy said he’d mail me the boarding passes. Done as said !
NOOOT! I got boarding pass for the earlier flight through Munich . Then, hit the road Jack ! Leaved 10 minutes earlier than usual from the office , took the bus, as is faster than the taxi at the time, paid the ticket to the driver with 25 coins for EUR 2.60 and planned the trip. I knew already already that this is not going to turn out simple , so was making plans while posting on FB and playing chess on my mobile to chill.
Reached the airport. Looking sharp for an ATM to draft out my weekly allowed per diem since I spent business from my own pocket- that is as important as going home. Or, if I ask my wife, I’m useless if I go home with empty pockets , isn’t it? Got the money , checked the status for the newly booked flight , gone through security, posted myself in front of the boarding desk , still writing posts on FB about how luck is an insignificant factor and all that matters is YOU. Oups , I see : ” Verspaetung” for 10 minutes . Ok 10 minutes is fine.
Boarding starts , first for Business Class , Gold members and HON Circle..whatever that is … My turn! I have an iPhone with 50%battery and a passbook, ha! I’m damn modern.. like 80% of the passengers for this flight. Put down the phone scanned the code : I hear a long bip , the scanning screen goes red and there’s a message : “Nicht autorisiert” … Oh ,that can’t be good!
Lady Boarding Officer 1: – Oh , your boarding card is not valid !
Me: Well, it’s coming from you guys . I promise is not a fake :)!
Lady Boarding Officer 1: Can you please get behind to my colleague , to solve this ?
Me: Sure … not that I have other options , do I ?
Lady Boarding Officer 2 ( The Grinch) : May I see your boarding card please?
Me: – Sure….
The Grinch : Mmm, you had a cancelled flight ?
Me : Yes and I was rebooked to this one . Look I have a seat in this plane!
She’s calling someone , after some 5 minutes german talk , while all passengers were booked in , she says to me :
– Sorry , your boarding was actually changed to a Frankfurt flight 199 , becaause we though you cannot make it to this one . There are no more free seats here. You have to go at the ticket counter..
Me: – Waait a minute! I thought I am not going to make it too , but you have issued me a a boarding pass for this flight! And then you cancelled without consulting or informing me ? And now you throw me out to find my own way ?
The Grinch : I have talked to the lady at the counter 10 . Go there and they’ll issue new ticket.
Me: I am not happy how these things , go . I think I’ll make a formal complaint.
The Grinch : Sure , you can complain there.
Yeah right…I know what you mean … Going out
– Hi security guys , I need to get out now! Fine?
..Beep beep beep , rushing out , counter 10, a lady looking for me …
Me: Hello! I got a ticket to LH2049, that was cancelled , I received a boarding pass at 2047 , but they won’t let me in and they said I should go through Frankfurt.
Lady at Counter 10 : I see, .. you need to go at the counter 8 and there you’ll get a new ticket .. Go! I’ll call them .
Going… I am getting there , the phone rings ! Griin Griin! A lady answers , in Russian! I am approaching , while she continues in Russian at the phone
Russian Lady: German?
Russian Lady: Ok , I am issuing a ticket , please go and talk to my supervisor .
Got ticket for LH199 . No seat . Going to the supervisor … She’s talking to someone else. I am a Romanian , I have no sense of order , I try to interfere . She puts me down! Waiting…. Trying to interfere.. Shhht! Waiting….it’s 18:30 , the flight it’s at 18:45… waiting ..
Me: Hey lady, I am going to loose my flight!
Supervisor: Sorry , I have to finish this conversation first.
The guy that was talking to her gets the picture and cuts it shorter, before I cut him shorter! I tell her the story and she’s sorry and she apologizes , but the weather is bad in Berlin. I knew that already , but that’s not going to help me . She tell’s me that all flights are fully booked due to this issue . That’s not going to help me either.
Me: Look I don’t need to know all the details . I just need to get to Bucharest this evening, through some connection…around the globe
Supervisor: But maybe it’s too late already . If you can’t catch this flight maybe you can’t catch your connection in Frankfurt. You maybe can think at a hotel.
Me: It’s not yet late and I don’t want to look at it like that ! Put it like , maybe I can still reach my connections in time . And Yes, I consider a hotel. Do you have Ritz in town? I am planning to stay at hotel for all my life , like Coco Chanel . Otherwise it’ll be Radisson Blue , the one I’m coming from ( Yeah , right! -Bullshitting my way out)
Supervisor: But what can you do, when the weather is bad?
Me: You can certainly try to send out boarding passes to the right flights , try to respect those sent out and try to assist the passengers in need with a more positive attitude…I think?
Supervisor: OK , My colleague here will check your ticket and if any problems she can call me back .
Me: OK , I am taking that as a promise.
Going to the Lady at the Counter 8 and showing her the ticket . She says there are no more free places and she dismisses me to the central Lufthansa ticketing office . Going there , but what you’d expect .. there’s a line of at least 50 people. Oh , no! No way , I am accepting this path. By the time I’ll get to even speak to someone my flight is gone. Yeah is my flight ! My world ! My reality !My way… The supervisor! Complaints! Passenger rights! Going back at counter 8. The lady there is free !
Me: I am sorry ma’m , the solution offered is not going to work . There’s a two hours line at the tickets office ! Please offer me better ! (…or else…)
Lady at the Counter 8: Oh … ( she really looks sympathetic, but this won’t help me , I think , so I have to keep pushing ).. let me see.
She calls someone and speaks German for like 3 minutes then she says:
– Do you carry liquids with you?
Lady at the Counter 8: Large quantity?
Me: No , the regular admissible at security
Lady at the Counter 8: Great! Go through security again , stand at the gate and if someone from that flight will not come , you’ll have a seat! I talked to them they are waiting for you!
Me: Thanks a lot! What if no free seats ?
Lady at the Counter 8: Then come back to decide again :
Me: Ok , I am going to murder someone, then . I am goin’. Thanks a lot!
Lady at the Counter 8: Not that way sir! Through the middle …
Right … saying hi again to security guys , getting checked again , rushing out to the gate. Having hard time to put my belt on while walking. So good to know that someone waits for you! I am so fuckin’ important!
Boarding starts ..hmm delayed as well. Not going to stand aside . I am a Romanian , most importantly an Oltenian . I have sharp elbows and using them to get ahead with the printed board card. I know for sure that it’s going to long beep again , but scanning it to get in a discussion with Mr. Boarding officer ( The Father Grinch). Apparently you can’t interrupt these people from whatever they’re doing , so you just have to play your way into their attention! Beeep.
The Father Grinch: “Nicht autorisiert”
Me: I know , I have a rescheduled flight to this one and the lady at the counter 9 sent me here , to find out if there’s a free place in the plane ( Yeah , twisting a bit the truth)
The Father Grinch: But you have no seat on your ticket . You’re on the waiting list and you have to wait at the waiting line!
Me: Where’s that waiting line so I stand next to it !
The Father Grinch: Outside ! At the ticket counter! You cannot wait here!
Me: Really ? You’re throwing me out too? The Lady at the Counter 9 said she has spoken to you !
The Father Grinch: Nobody spoke to me! The Waiting Line is outside . Go there!
Me: Look sir , I am unsatisfied with your services and I don’t agree with the Waiting List concept you’re proposing! I am not here for a kidney transplant, waiting for a benefactor to donate something to me and I haven’t applied for a product that was not available in the moment I paid so that I be placed on a waiting list . I bought a ticket that has a returning home service included and that is Today! But I am going there , since you thrown me away and I will be either back for a seat or return with a complaint! See you! Oh wait ! At what counter should I wait?
The Father Grinch:9!
…Saying hi to security as I need to get out …Beep Beep ! Conveniently , there’s just nobody at the counter 9. Waiting ..for 3 to 5 minutes. The phone’s ringing at the counter desk … nobody’s there . Should I be bold and answer? Someone comes and picks up another phone , but it was obvious that was not the one ringing. He puts it down and off he goes. Are these guys that idiots?! Phone rings again and I am thinking to go and pick up!
Some young nice looking lady ( from Lufthansa) passes by. I am thinking if I still have the charm of a young man in need that can make me find my way with her. I look downwards and I see my jacket tied with just one button , my tie is slanting and my shirt is out of pants ..partially. Still, finding my confidence!
Me: Hello , I am on a waiting list for a seat in the flight 199 , could you please let me know if there’s any seat unoccupied by now ?
Nice Looking Lady :Umm, by now? It’s 19:00 o’clock , the flight was scheduled at 18:45 sir. That flight is already gone .
Me: No it’s not! 5 minutes ago they were doing boarding.
Nice Looking Lady : Really ? Ok , let me find out, please wait here .
She goes to the Lady at the Counter 8. They speak something and she calls me there! Going! I’m so pissed off already !
Lady at the Counter 8: What are you doing here . I specifically told you to wait AT THE GATE!
Me: I was there and they thrown me out! They said the waiting line is outside !
Lady at the Counter 8: But I talked to them…
Me: They obviously don’t care.
Lady at the Counter 8: She starts to talk to me(?) in German , then she picks up the phone while keep on talking German , someone’s answering and then she talks to that one in German , on a rough tone…. Oh , now I wish I could understand this language! Within about 2 minutes she seems to have clarified something. I am wondering if she clarified that the plane took off , or that there are no more seats ( some one has maybe taken my seat ) … or that I can go!
Lady at the Counter 8: Go again there, quickly !
Me: Thank you!
Me to the Nice Looking Lady: Can you please assist my way there ?
Nice Looking Lady : Please follow me !
She puts me ahead at the security check (Yeah !) , I apologize to the people standing for me to pass, not that I really care now , but it’s nice to do it!
Saying hi to the security guys again , getting checked . Oh , my belt …fuck it , I’ll just put it in the backpack! I look like fished out of a river , but heading to The Father Grinch:
Me: Hello , I am back and I am boarding to this plane, right ?
The Father Grinch: Yes , Enjoy your flight sir . Your seat is 37 A.
I am enjoying..(?) . When taking off , I see there’s such a thick fog and the plane’s shaking , so now I’m thinking all from a different perspective . I fought so hard to be on this plane !
What if by any chance it’s meant to crash now ? Wouldn’t that be funny? Nope! I am so going to get home , with the plane crashing , or not! However , I have no idea if at Frankfurt I can relay on really having a connection assigned. Lady with the drinks comes . Someone suggested me on FB to get a beer and chill. I would like to , but I feel there’s still a battle ahead. So, Tomatoes Juice it is!
Going to the closest desk and letting them know that I have a connection flight to Bucharest and have no boarding pass. The guy there points me to gate C17. Going in a hurry! No wait! Let’s check the flight panel! These guys are not to be trusted ! ..Ooooh, is Z17 . C, Z in German it’s so similar… Going there , through passport control . At the gate !
Me:Hi Sir! My name is Catalin , I have a rescheduled flight and I should be assigned for a connection to Bucharest
Boarding Officer at Z17: Passport please! … Umm , I don’t find you on the boarding list!
..Thinking: What a surprise!No worries , I am prepared for that, you bastards!
Me: Sir , my flight LH2049 was cancelled from Berlin and I was assigned to a connection of LH199+LH1422 to Bucharest. On that wall , I see written the following: ” Every destination , Every Country, Every Time… only you! ” Does this refer to me , sir ?
Boarding Officer at Z17: You have to understand that the flight is fully booked!
Me: Maybe , I keep on hearing that recently , but it doesn’t matter cause I am booked in, does it ? Only me sir ! Only me…
Boarding Officer at Z17: I don’t find you.
Me: I am James Bond! I will get the boarding pass!
Boarding Officer at Z17: Pardon me sir?
Me: Bond. James Bond!
He’s…sort of smiling , I think. Calling again the initial number from Lufthansa support . Waiting is the key factor … You have to know how much you should wait though! Getting answered:
Me: Hi , My name is Catalin with the last name spelled as : India , Alfa , November , Charlie , Unicode ( it’s Uniform in NATO alphabet , but I’m a programmer )
Support Guy: Hold on sir ! You’re too fast for me !
I repeat the spelling thinking that they’re too slow for me.
Support Guy: You’re assigned for that flight to Bucharest sir .
Me: But , I don’t have a boarding card. Can you please send it to me by email like in the action movies ? The way you did it previously when rescheduling my flight ? But just send it it right this time please..
Support Guy: Ummm… let… me ….seee
…. I could have dinner in the pause he makes between the words! The Officer at Z17 , stares at me . I stare at him.
Me: Hello, The flight will get going soon.
Support Guy: Sir , you can get the boarding pass at the gate!
Me: I called you because I can’t .They say I am not on the boarding list , SIR!
Support Guy: Umm, Let me see. … Can they check again now?
Me to the Z17 Boarding Officer: Can you please check now for my name ,sir ?
BO Z17: Your name? … Nope , Not here.
I am thinking … did he really checked . He doesn’t looks like ! Not giving up , now!
Me to Support guy: Nope , it’s not working this way! Please send me the boarding pass via email, so I can embark like James Bond.
Support Guy:What gate are you at Sir ?
Me: Zulu 17.
Support Guy: in Frankfurt?
Me: Yes!.. good to know huh?
Support Guy: Please hold!
…Holding ….hardly holding!.. still holding… A-ha the phone rings at the Z17 desk ..Griiin, Griin!
I am inviting the troubled officer to answer:
-Please answer the phone, sir!
Of course he looks disapprovingly to me! I am actually enjoying it. He talks on loud tone in German with the Support Guy apparently , cause I hear him speaking as well in the phone. I have no idea what they say , but I stare in turns: once at the boarding officer and then at the support guy , through the phone of course . The Z17 BO stops talking. The support guy too. What’s going to be! The support guy says :
– You’ll have your boarding pass printed ,sir !
Me: Oh , Thank you so much , Sir !
BO Z17: Here you go , Mr. Bond!
Me: Thank you, kindly!
So the Germans do joke ! While I definitely assume most of the credit of getting home last night to myself , I could not have done it with ..let’s say Blue Air. I don’t even know about Tarom.
So, I can’t say “fuck you!”.. it’s not fair . I must say Thank You , as I got home . Sure they are partly idiots , as most people in the world , but some of them really get you through..if you really wish the victory, how they say in football . And the Lady at the Counter 8! I have to thank her, personally and I hope I’ll remember her face! And the guys that couldn’t get home . I maintain my point! The sum of everything is made of what you do and how you react. There’s no luck that you can’t change . Just need to see the best way to change your path and do it fast… Faster than all the rest! That’s the challenge and it’s not about going home, but about getting what you want. This time , I did it without yelling , screaming , cursing , stealing , or lying . Well, I had to twist the things in my favor few times , but it can’t all be straight!
No such thing as bad karma
Is that motivational , or what?
P.S. Please overlook the occasional mistakes in the text . I’m in a hurry and no time to corect! With a double R!