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Saturday, April 30, 2005
From Seattle to Malta Day 1
Didn't get a good flight experience on my way to Malta.

First, United Airlines screwed up its ground logitistics at Sea-tac, and made everyone queue up for nothing before checking us in. Aboard the plane, all i can remember was i slept through it until it landed in Chicago O'Hare airport. Here, it was chaotic! Not that Sharon and I have the best memories of this airport, but this just added to the bad memories again.

Here, Luthansa Airlines was the one that screwed it up big-time, or (UA, as the ground staff there implied). During the start of the typical boarding process, there's no logical grouping, not even for first and business class passengers. Then, as peole slowly reach the ground staff to check the boarding passes, they started to reject the passengers and direct them to the desk counter, which has only 2 personnel. This caused a huge problem, as four random queues were lined up, and people were just trying to squeeze in one way or another. Futhermore, one of the two personnel suddenly walked away for twenty minutes, and with time counting down to just seconds before departure, another ground crew, perhaps a more senior one, appeared and told the passengers to just BOARD! That was quite an experience.

Didn't get to sleep on this leg of the trip, as i was "allocated" a nice seat along the baby-row. Four babies were seated in this lane of 11 seats. The mother that sat next to me had a one year old and a two year old, and both were hyperactive throughout the trip. Even the first class "child-bed" wasn't used until about one hour before we landed in Frankfurt. Oh well.. somehow, this made my back pain go away, perhaps the babies' wailing and crying numbed my body!

Now, at the Frankfurt airport, was waiting at the proper gate and saw it changed at about 45 mins before boarding, to another terminal!!! It required a quick dash to the sky-train terminal, and a short wait for the train, and another dash to the actual boarding gate. Goodness... the Frankfrut-Malta leg went through without more issues.

Landed in Malta, and got yet another shock. The currency exchange rate is quite scary. Changed 120 USD to only 35 Lima pounds. Didn't realise that other than the Euro, the Malta currency is that strong! The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel alone took 5 pounds, so it's gonna be an expensive trip. *wow*

The hotel itself was pretty nice, right at the edge of the island, and has a great view to the ocean. Went out and about for a while, and came back and COLLAPSED.

Slept a few more hours before i uploaded those pictures to Flickr.

posted by Jonathan at 1:48 PM | Permalink |