Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mumbai, India (BOM) July 2008: Departing Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

03JUL08 Houston intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

We arrived at the airport at 4:30p, so we decided that it was necessary to park at the terminal with its $15/day charge :-(. We made our way down to the departure level of Terminal E via the ever so slow elevators. I sometimes have to wonder if the designers and implementors of the airport ever use the facility; the elevators are too small and excruciatingly slow.

Eventually, we arrived on the departure level and then we realized that my colleague had forgotten his identification in the car so we returned to get it.

Once through security, our first mission was to get tickets for the journey. We spent about 30 minutes doing that and then headed for the Emirates ticket counter at about 5:30p. We had met a few colleagues while getting tickets and they had said that KLM had a cancellation so the flights across the Atlantic Ocean were now full.

We got to the Emirates check-in area and stood on line. The agent advised us that due to the KLM cancellation, their flight was now full and our chances of making it were now very slim to none. They told us to wait anyways and see what happens.

As we did so, more passengers arrived who were late for their flight or were sent over by KLM. It was getting ugly as the agent tried to prioritize everyone. Needless to say at 6:10p, another agent advised us that we did not make it along with about ten or so other passengers.

So my quest to get on a Boeing 777-200LR has failed once more. This is the fourth time now; the first was actually on this same flight back when Emirates started service, then on Air Canada’s (AC) from Sydney, Australia (SYD), then Delta’s (DL) from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) on the inaugural. Will I ever get on a LR?

Dejected, but not beaten, we headed back through security towards the Presidents Club in terminal E. There, I tried to devise n alternative plan, which I had in mind, but had hope I would not have to execute.

Based on the time, we did not have too many choices to arrive in Mumbai at the same time as having taken the nonstop flight to Dubai. Also, since it was now so late, the Continental flight to London at 6:25p was no longer an option.

I used as well as some other tools to device a routing for which we had tickets. I had already bought some backup tickets just in case my planned routing did not work.

After a few minutes, it was evident that we needed to get on the British Airways (BA) 8:00p flight to London-Heathrow, England (LHR). It would arrive at the same time that Etihad's flight was leaving for Abu Dhabi, but it would connect to yet another BA flight to Dubai, UAE (DXB), then we can take Cathay Pacific's flight to Mumbai arriving just about three hours behind schedule.

We left the Club and made our way to Terminal D once more; outside security to the BA counter. After talking with the agents, we were able to get a seat in World Traveler Plus. We re-entered security once more and headed for the gate.

We tried to get into the Air France Lounge but we did not have adequate credentials. We then went looking for an ATM and the one we found would not accept any cards.

I did see the KLM Boeing 747-400 Combi at the gate that had broken down. And then the Emirates (EK) Boeing 777-200LR passed by as well.

It was soon time to board the flight, so we did.

1 comment:

Juan said...

KLM is great! My girlfriend and I took that when we flew to Scotland!