Friday, September 22, 2006

International air travel to Hungary: not so bad, after all

I was not looking forward to the air travel part of my recent trip to Hungary, via Frankfurt. In fact, contemplating the prospect of it depressed me. The news of draconian new search procedures seemed to ensure that unpleasant experiences lay ahead. Parts of my summer trip to Sri Lanka, especially flying on United Airlines and negotiating London’s Heathrow Airport were painful.

My worries were unfounded.. I arrived early for flights and lines were short. My bags and travel vest, filled with computer, printer, USB hub, camera and the transformers, plugs and connectors necessary to make them work, sailed through scanning machines without incident. Ticket agents, security screeners and passport control officials were pleasant and efficient. I was particularly impressed with the efficiency of German security officials in Frankfurt Airport.

I flew on Lufthansa, experiencing quite a different level of service than that provided by disorganized and dispirited United Airlines staff members on my last flight. I was particularly impressed that the Purser chose to serve passengers in economy class.

My worries probably did lead to more proactive planning and scheduling. This may have contributed to a positive outcome. I am rethinking how I should frame my next flight. Probably anticipating the best, but also preparing for the worst is a good strategy.


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