But you’ve given us so much more- said Bill Murray in Quick Change to a guy who robbed him in NYC.It wasn’t that bad, but what a time Wendi and I had getting ourselves and our luggage here in Germany for tour!
But if I was praying for patience, God answered my prayers!
There are a few things about London’s Heathrow Airport I like very much… and a few I really dislike. But this is true about many such situations.
Wendi and I flew from Chicago to London, changed planes (or so we thought) to fly through to Stuttgart, Germany and then linked up with our friends Jim and Gerhard for the last hour and a half drive to Schoenblick Arts Session near Lorch in Schwabia.
At least, that was the plan!
The flight to London was quite good, smooth and even quick as it only took about 6 1/2 hours. But Wendi and I had to take an airport bus (with a LOT of other people) from one terminal to another, and as the buses were running so slow and there were so many people making connections all at once, it took a good forty minutes just to get the bus and get to the proper terminal.
When there, the security lines were so very long it took another half hour to get through, and another 15 minute walk to the gate. You guessed it- our flight had left long before we got to there!
Now I won’t mention the two airlines in question but to say they are two of the world’s largest and we have flown them both many times. Today was supposed to be one to the U.K., the second to Germany.
The second said it wasn’t their responsibility that we missed it, all remaining flights to Stuttgart were full… and sent us back to our original terminal again to talk with the original airline.
Terminal transit in Heathrow takes anywhere to 25 minutes (on a good day) to Lord-knows-how-long!
Back to where we started. The original airline said it was the bus company’s responsibility, that the airport delays weren’t their problem (technically quite true) and said they couldn’t help with either transit or accomodation should we be stuck in London.
As our tiredness began to take it’s toll, my poor wife’s arthritis kicked in and she began to cry asking what we were to do if they weren’t going to get us to Stuttgart?
With zero guarentee either we or our luggage (all clothes, music gear and most of Wendi’s medication) were going to make it to Stuttgart much less on to our final destination… it was a great question!
Frankly, the lady at the desk wasn’t having the best day. At this point I decided to ask her what other airlines besides these two had available flights we might swap to -and what WAS she prepared to do in order to get us to Stuttgart -today-?!
After her frowns and terse manner and a bit of computer checking, she found a two-flight combination on a third airline that would get us there six hours later. We had no other option so took it.
She made a point to tell us there was absolutely no gaurentee our luggage would get where we were going.
We then went slowly through the bus ride and yet another security check, to a 3rd terminal. Let’s just say we felt REAL secure!
Thankfully this terminal has what is one of our favorite breakfast restaraunts in Heathrow, and so we took our time and at least weren’t hungry any longer.
Eventually we boarded, flew to Dusseldorf, changed planes again and flew on to Stuttgart, met our friends and off to Schoenblick Arts Session we went.
We had called the guys from London so they knew what had happened and when we were actually arriving, but they of course also spent the entire day at the Stuttgart airport having to wait for us to get in.
I’m hoping the people at the conference enjoy the Chicago Bears t-shirt and my black track shorts- because that’s what I’ll be wearing for a bit!
Did we pass the test? Not with flying colors but by God’s grace we finally got where we needed to be. Dinner was great and sleeping was AMAZINGly good!
We praise God for His mercy and are so thankful for prayers so many of you reading this send to our Lord for us. There is no question that’s what sustains us in these crazy moments.
I’ll write more on the Arts Session in my next blog update.
Grace to you, -Glenn