I fell in love with the chorus of this Jimmy Buffett song the first time I heard it. For the most part we live safe and boring lives, but my secret desire is to sit around as an old man telling tales of the great adventures of life, just like the old man in this tune. That is why we wander.
Last Monday, we had a bit of adventure, leaving Dublin, with the mass crowds fleeing Ireland before the travel restrictions went into effect at midnight. It was not planned this way, we were flying on the day we were scheduled to six months earlier, but we literally ended up on the last Delta Airlines flight out of Dublin, for a month.
Unusually J was awake before I was, and ready to leave the hotel room before I was. We had stayed at an airport hotel the night before what was scheduled to be a morning flight from Dublin to Boston. I got up, showered, dressed and we caught the hotel shuttle to the terminal 40 minutes earlier than planned, and arrived to a crowd, snaking in lines around the terminal waiting to check in bags. I left J with the bags and slipped under the rope and printed out boarding passes. We waited in line, nearly 45 minutes later the line had moved forward maybe 100 feet, a guard came up and asked if we had our passports and boarding passes, I said yes, and he opened a new line and directed us to it along with 30 other people. That saved us at least half an hour. We went upstairs to security and things looked not bad, until we passed through the first check point, and entered a room that was standing room only, in neat lines. We waited, cleared security with metal detectors and one set of rules about what was in or out of our bags, went into the next room, waited another 30 minutes to clear security a second time, with different rules, no metal detector this time but shoes off instead of on, then into another room were the crowd was divided into two groups, those who had only been in the UK and Ireland and those who had been elsewhere in the world. We had only been as far as London, so we were directed to the shorter line, where we cleared US immigration, about half an hour later. Dublin is an international Pre-Clearance airport for the United States, you clear customs and immigration in Dublin, and are classified as a domestic flight when you arrive in the US. In all it took us 2 hours and 40 minutes to check bags, clear security and immigration, and process that normally takes less than an hour. That is why you always need to be there 3 hours before an international flight, poo happens sometimes. We actually made it to the gate in time for the scheduled boarding as we had been about 3 1/2 hour before flight time when we arrived at the terminal. Global Entry was closed - we are both enrolled for the express lane. Those that went into the other line, waited an additional 2 to 4 hours to go through the "health screening" that amounted to asking them where they had been, if they felt sick, and if they had been in contact with anyone who looked obviously sick. Even if they had, they were handed information and sent on through the terminal. The flight was delayed, from 9:25 AM to 2:00 PM. Two hours after our scheduled departure the gate agent announced that they were waiting for 120 people who had checked bags and not cleared immigration and health screening yet. They held the flight until nearly every seat was filled. It as after we were in the air that I realized that we had caught the last (Delta) flight out of Dublin fleeing a global pandemic.
Strangely the crowd remained calm throughout the process. Some of the fleeing college students got a bit drunk (I was surprised a couple of them were not denied boarding - more on Chris if he ever sobers up and sends us the selfie.)
Part of the adventure of life. If we had missed that flight, we would have had to go to London and wait for a seat on a Delta rescue flight for US Citizens stranded in Europe, who are all being funneled through a couple of airports for the next month.
Would an experience like this stop you from traveling?
|Leaving Boston bound for DC|