Tales from an American girl living in Denmark
I have always had amazing luck with travel including the transportation part. Not so much this time. Due to some horrendous weather and various other delays I ended up getting here (Copenhagen) a day and a half late.
My initial flight out of Denver was delayed due to mechanical issues, but I wasn’t overly worried because I had a reasonable amount of time to make my connection at Chicago O’Hare. But au contraire! There was a terrible storm cell over Chicago that kept any planes from getting in or out. The flight attendant reassured everyone who had a connection to make not to worry because our next flight would be delayed as well.
What she didn’t count on was the eternal queue our plane would have to wait in before we got a gate assignment. We didn’t have enough fuel so our flight was rerouted to Rockford Airport which is about 75 miles north of Chicago. At that airport we all sat on the plane for over an hour before heading back toward O’Hare. Needless to say I missed my connection.
I spent forever on the phone with United booking, but there was absolutely no way I was getting out on any of the flights that night, which of course meant that I would also be missing my Newark connection to Copenhagen. So… yayyy… a surprise visit to Chicago… hm. Despite the relative crapiness of this situation I thought I might as well see the city since I’d never been there. Luckily, I was sitting next to a really nice guy on the plane who lives in the downtown Chicago area, and he gave me the quick rundown on what to see/how to get there.
We had some time to chat and it turns out the nice guy is named Eric and he works at Leo Burnett on the account management side of things. He’s worked there about 9 years now. How awesome is that!? And what a coincidence that I would be sitting next to someone in the same field I’m entering now that I’ve graduated. He and a bunch of his workmates were coming back from a retreat or something along those lines – I’m sleep deprived and the details of life in general are very fuzzy right now.
Unfortunately the process of obtaining food and hotel vouchers, rebooking a flight that wouldn’t delay me by 2 or 3 whole days, and trying to ensure my luggage eventually ended up in Copenhagen took so long that I didn’t get to see any more of Chicago than the part visible from my hotel room. I had to wait forever for a shuttle to take me there, too, and my flight (which was now to London) took off early in the morning. I got 3 hours of sleep, tops.
London was even worse. Chicago United had failed to inform London United that I would need a hotel voucher (I had an overnight layover) so it was a big fight to get that all arranged. I met a nice American/British couple who were in the same situation as me, and they helped me get everything pushed through. Thank goodness for these kind-hearted people I keep encountering! I got even less sleep at that hotel.
I’m a zombie right now. But I’m here! I’m in Copenhagen! My angel of a friend,Tasja, fetched me from the airport. I’m about to take a nap on her couch before she and I pack up and leave for Roskilde Festival. Woohoo!
P.S. – Guess what? They lost my luggage. I have my rucksack with me because I insisted on carrying it on (they fought me on that in London, too!), but all my camp gear and weather protective clothing is gonzo. Don’t care. I’m in Copenhagen again!