Monday, December 13, 2010

We Made it....Barely!

Well we're here! And I'm really relieved and thankful to say that after the absolute craziness we experienced in trying to get here. The flight to Paris was a little less than 10 hours, and that was the part I was most afraid of. But the kids did fantastic. I was so proud of them and happy with their behavior. I had called the airline ahead of time to see what kind of onboard entertainment would be available, and they told me there would be individual televisions at each seat, as well as a selection of 18 video games to play and several channels, so I was relying on that for the majority of their entertainment on the flight. But when we got on the airplane, there was no tv, no games, nothing. I was a little nervous about that and they were pretty disappointed, but they did great. They entertained themselves with their little toys and coloring books that we packed, they were considerate and helpful to eachother, and they each slept at least 5 hours of the flight. Jonah slept on my lap so peacefully and I just watched this beautiful baby sleep and tried to take it all in, because he never, ever falls asleep on me. He's getting so big so fast and being able to watch him sleep for so many hours was truly a blessing to me. I didn't get one minute of sleep but I was thankful that the kids did.
When we arrived to Paris I thought, "We did it! Woohoo! Now it's just an hour and a half flight to Paris and we're done! What could possibly go wrong now?!" And then, all hell broke loose.
We got off the plane and I took out our itineraries and they didn't have a gate listed on them. So I waited in line with the children and finally spoke to a French woman who looked at my itineraries and said, "You're flying with 4 people, correct?" I told her yes, 4 and a lap child, and she proceeded to tell me that Jonah was not listed on any of my information and that he did not have a ticket. I sat there and argued with her for 20 minutes with no progress at all. Because my airline switched from Delta to Air France in Paris, someone dropped the ball and didn't list Jonah. Anyway, she told me I needed to go through customs, out of the airport, take a bus to terminal 2D and get him a ticket, then go back through security and on the shuttle to my gate. My flight left in an hour. It was 3 AM Utah time. I had no sleep and my children were exhausted. I asked so many people for help and NOBODY would help me. Nobody, nobody, nobody. So I started heading for the terminal. I couldn't find it so I asked someone else and they said not to take the bus but to just walk. So we RAN, and I'm sure it was well over a mile, to the ticket counter, where they gave me a paper and told me it was what I needed to get Jonah on the flight. And then we RAN (poor kids) back across the airport, made it through security (of course, they had to pat down Chandler because he looks like a total terrorist), to the gate, where everyone had already boarded the airplane. I showed them what we had and they said, "This is not good enough. We can't let your baby on the plane." At that point, I lost it. The plane was about to take off and they told me I needed to go BACK to the ticket counter (a mile away) where I had come from and get something else. I could not believe it. I had no idea what to do. I cried and begged and pleaded for her to just call Delta and ask them to clear it up. "This is YOUR FAULT, NOT MINE!! FIX IT!!!" I told her. She told me there was no possible way over and over and finally she got so sick of hearing me that she made some calls. Long story a little shorter, after the doors had already closed to the airplane, she figured out a way to let me on, walked us down to the airplane where they opened the doors and let me and my four children on. What a nightmare. I was so shaken up and so sleep deprived and so ready to just GET THERE, and then they came on the intercom and said it would be an hour before we could take off. Nice. Then, the flight attendent came and informed me that none of my luggage was on the flight and that I'd have to track it down once I got to Frankfurt. UGH! We are still missing one suitcase so Anna and Jonah are without clothes, but we finally got our other suitcases yesterday after a few trips back to the airport.
Anyway, I'm just very thankful that we're here, safe and sound. My kids are really jet lagged. Nobody fell asleep until about 2:30 this morning but hopefully tonight will be better.
The kids are so happy to be at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and that makes it all worth it.


  1. I could feel my blood pressure rising just reading that! So I cannot imagine what it was actually like to LIVE it!!! Oh my goodness Toby I'm so sorry they put you through that. Can you say RUDE and MEAN! Yeesh. Well that aside I hope you have the best trip ever and that your journey home is significantly better. :) Merry Christmas!

  2. Wow. That sounds like a total nightmare. I am amazed that you pulled it off! So glad you arrived safe and sound. You are in good hands now-the best! Have a fabulously Merry Christmas! Give my love to all....

  3. Oh man! What a ride!

    And can I say how jealous I am that you are in Germany??? Eat some schnitzel for me! Have a fabulous trip!

  4. I'm so happy you all arrived safely! How rude of those people! People's lack of empathy and courtesy towards others astounds me. Have a fantastic trip, and have some spaghetti eis for me!

  5. Toby, poor you! Jenni has told me all about your terrible time in Paris. I´m so sorry! I´m really impressed that you flew with your 4 kids to Germany. You are a strong woman!
    Have a wonderful Christmas with your great Family!