Date: Sat, 21 Sep
1996 21:42:08 +0200
(Written in Vienna Sept. 21, but sent who knows when) The taxi came at 5:30 AM. I started out by forgetting my alarm clock but I didn't know that then. At the airport my colleague (C1) arrived after a while and when we both both had passed through the passport check and bought some whisky (I bought Laphroaig cask strength which I am sipping now and watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Doomed on the TV dubbed in German) in the tax-free they called our plane. (There wasn't much else to call, Bergen is not a busy international airport.)
After a short while they cancelled the boarding and got people off the plane. Something was wrong and we were to get more information in ten minutes time. After ten minutes we were to get more information in fifteen minutes etc. Finally we were told that our flight was cancelled and that we would be sent via Oslo (we were going via Copenhagen anyway).
C1 and I hope that we may be able to make SAS page C2, who will be waiting for us at the Vienna airport with a car. This turns out not to be. When we went for the Oslo plane they took our boarding cards for Copenhagen. We hoped they knew what they did.
In Oslo it struck me slightly too late that I could now have earned some money by selling the whisky I had bought tax-free in Bergen since we were suddenly back on the other side of the customs control. So in Oslo we had to go through a pasport checkpoint again. There was the beginning of a small hassle since we only had boarding cards from Copenhagen to Vienna, but since we were about 80 people who had been supposed to be on the plane from Bergen to Copenhagen we must have seemed convincing.
At the SAS transit desk they told us that everything would be fixed in Copenhagen and that we were automatically checked in on another flight since we had lost our conection to Vienna ...
In Copenhagen we had a little less than an hour from we landed until the flight we had been told we were checked in on left. Of course the plane from Oslo got into a gate as far away from the one the plane was leaving for Vienna from as possible. We did as we were told and went to the Transit help desk no: 1. There we first had to wait in line for a looooooong time. Then the lady at the desk took our old boarding passes, wrote something on a slip of paper that she glued to each of them, and *did not* enter anything into her computer. She then told us that the flight we had been put on was an Austrian Airlines one, and since SAS and AA were no longer in close collaboration she could not issue a boarding card. So we were told to go to Transit help desk no:2. (Luckily this was halfway towards where the AA flight left from.)
At Transit help desk no:2 we managed to look so much lost that we didn't have to stand in line. Instead we were told that we should not do anything there, we should just go to the gate. At the gate it was obvious that no one from the SAS had informed the personel there that we had been checked in on AA. So the lady there started making telephone calls asking whether we should be accepted on the flight at all. Well, finally we were, and I am now in Vienna where C2 did of course not find us at the airport. But we (C1 and I) managed to go by airport bus to the city air terminal and from there by taxi to our respective hotels.
Later this afternoon we all managed to connect, and I have been to the Schoenbruenn. I must say that it seems that the Habsburgs lived slightly better there than Hearst did at St. Simeon. From a very European biased point of view I find it fitting that, rich as Hearst was, the German/Roman empire may have been richer.