Iceland - Day 1 : Missed my flight
When I woke up it was a strange realization that I would be flying to Iceland, but I wasn't really nervous. I had planned everything as good as I could and the only things I was worried about was the transfer and if my stove would make it through customs. Even though it was empty I wasn't sure if it was allowed on the plane.
In the afternoon I got on the bus with a stuffed backpack and another 2 kilos of granola as hand luggage. I took the train to Schiphol airport were I arrived on time and the check-in went fine. I was four hours too early. In hindsight I had probably been a bit too cautious in not taking the afternoon flight, but I didn't have a lot of experience in flying alone yet.
I walked around to kill time and take my mind of the transfer. I met two cousins I hadn't seen in years. They didn't understand why I hadn't taken a direct flight. I explained that those tickets were a lot more expensive and those airlines didn't allow bringing more than 3 kg of food on the plane. They looked very confused. I had considered buying all my food in Iceland, but that would be difficult to do quickly and it was nice to have everything ready.
Back at the gate I received some bad news, my flight was delayed by 30 minutes. There was no Lufthansa help desk so I had no choice but to complain at the stewardesses and try to break the world record of running with granola as soon as we landed. I could tell by the stewardess' face that she was convinced I wouldn't have made the transfer even if my flight hadn't been delayed. I knew she probably was right, but the lady on the phone had assured me it would be fine. I would have only 5 minutes to transfer.
In the airplane it suddenly smelled horrible and the man next to me put on his fan, nice. I tried to stay calm which didn't really work until the pilot announced, 7 minutes before we were supposed to land, that we would land in 22 minutes. I don't know how they can get a 22 minute delay on a 30 minute flight. Eventually we landed 25 minutes behind schedule, on top of the 30 minute late start.
At the airport I still sprinted towards the gate where my flight was supposed to leave, hoping for the odd chance that it had been delayed as well. To my surprise I still saw a Lufthansa flight to Reykjavik, but at a different gate. I ran as fast as I could and saw there were still people waiting. Not sure if this was the correct flight I got in line. The stewardess scanned my ticket... DENIED!! As I expected I had missed my flight.
I was directed to the Lufthansa helpdesk. The lady there said: 'Hi, you must be Mr. Teunissen. You will be staying at the IBIS hotel tonight and here is your plane ticket for tomorrow morning'. That was pretty awesome. This was even better than a direct flight where I would have arrived in the middle of the night. My luggage would be automatically sent to Iceland as well and held there until my arrival. There was also a taxi waiting for me outside, which would bring me and another passenger to the hotel.
I walked outside where I saw the other passenger. I don't remember his name but let's call him 'Henk'. Henk was pretty weird, his teeth were all black, he had long hair, and his eyes looked like he had been stoned for the past three years. We both couldn't find the taxi. Henk proposed to just sit down on a bench. I thought it would be better to actually fix the problem so started asking around. A lady was nice enough to call the hotel for us and told us the cab was at a different terminal 100 meters away. Henk also asked to use my phone because he didn't have any money, I told him my battery was empty because I didn't want to risk draining it in this situation.
In the bus Henk explained who he wanted to call. A friend of him was supposed to pick him up in Iceland but wasn't aware he had missed his flight. I didn't really want to pay for his international calls. At the hotel we found out a free dinner and breakfast was included as well. I had eaten some food in the airplane so went to bed, but not before arranging the bus that would take us back to the airport tomorrow morning. It was already around midnight and we would take the bus at 5:15.
I had a 3 person room so that was pretty great. In bed I realized that my delayed and missed flights were about the worst things that could have happened, but the result was even better than I could have hoped for. Instead of arriving in Iceland at night and still needing to find a place to sleep, I now was staying in a luxurious hotel with breakfast for free.
I quickly ate the complimentary wine gums on all the beds and went to sleep.