Monday, March 1, 2010

La Tempête Xynthia and her effects

I've never been a big fan of traveling as I prefer the actual destination visits. This year mother nature has decided to test my stress management and bank account with her constant weather affecting my travels! Only on the days when I travel does mother nature think, what can I throw at Liz to test her ability to cope? Well this time, was literally the icing on the cake to convince me never to travel in the winter ever again. never.

I started out my trip on saturday morning in Toronto. I was scheduled to leave at 11:20 for cincinnati and then later that afternoon to paris. INSTEAD, due to the storm in New York (where the flight team was coming from) my first flight was cancelled and I was rescheduled for a 1 p.m. flight to detroit, then 3:30 to Pittsburgh then 6:15 for Paris getting me in a little earlier around 8:25. (I was thinking, amazing-I'll totally make my 13h01 train!) The even better part, I got to fly first class all the way!!! Even on the night flight!

So my first flight left 45 minutes late causing my luggage to never make it to Pittsburgh. Thats fine cause there are at least 1 flight from detroit to paris and it'll be there when I get there! Right? WRONG...

Storm Xynthia off the coast of France and Belgium caused high winds (some deaths too) all along northern france and my flight couldn't land. They diverted us to Amsterdam. Ok. I guess at this point I'm not making my train, thats ok I can catch the 16h or 18h one...think positive!

Nope. We sat in the plane for three hours until delta told us to get our luggage, proceed through customs and then we were going to be bused to paris from Amsterdam. Yes, I said bused. lol. It took about 7.5 hours due to the wind. Also because my suitcase never came, amsterdam KLM told me I had to file a claim in Paris. Yikes.

Once in Paris, the delta representative told me I officially reached my destination and there was no more they could or would do for me. All the hotels around the airport were full and so he told me to look in Paris. Oli took care of that for me like a wonderful future husband while I got into various lines to claim my lost suitcase and have it sent to me in St. Chely. That took about 3 hours. My suitcase was still in New York (don't ask why cause I don't know, I never went there!) and it should arrive on tuesday morning when flights resume service nyc-cdg. From there it could be 2-3 days until it gets here. I'm so lucky that I have some clothes here to wear and I left some toiletries. In any case I am to save all my reciepts to file a claim with Delta service care for my hotel, train and necessities until I get my bag. I hope they accept this claim because so far they have cost me a little over 100 euros surplus.

In the end, I made it to St. Chely in one piece, one bag lighter and semi-lucid enough to walk into town for some food.

I encourage all of you to look online at the french news because despite my horrible travels there are people in the north west of France that are suffering hurricane katrina like conditions. There are people missing, dead and the houses are destroyed and waterlogged. It makes me sad watching the news because more rain is heading that way again this week.


  1. I was traveling from Chartres to Jarny on Sunday and it took all day too! I was supposed to get back to Jarny at 1:30pm, but because of the wind the train lines were heavily perturbed and I didn't get back to Jarny until 7:oopm. And I woke up at 7am and took the earliest train out of Chartres specifically so I could get home in the afternoon. ::sigh::

    At the time, I had no idea why there was SO MUCH wind. My german assistant says the high winds stretched all the way to Frankfurt at least (where she had to travel through). Now I know about the storm that hit...

    Glad you made it back safe though!

  2. Liz, in Frankfurt we also had Xynthia and I couldn't even drive to the airport in Frankfurt from my house because literally every major road leading to the airport was closed because of fallen trees. The expressway was jammed because it was the only other way, and part of the new rail terminal being built flew off and onto the highway. The airport in Frankfurt closed, and the trains weren't even running. AND I WAS IN GERMANY. I can only imagine the chaos that ensued in France. I could also come visit for Easter Weekend if you like, and I can get you 10% off Lufthansa flights.