May 18 2008

SAPPHIRE 2008 – Getting There is NOT Half the Fun…

Categories: 2008 SAPPHIRE (Europe), Conferences Dave Rathbun @ 12:31 pm

One of the advantages of living in a big airline hub city like Dallas is that flight connections are generally good. Things start to fall apart for international flights… especially for some destinations. Berlin is one of those places, it seems.

I had booked a flight from DFW to La Guardia (New York). From there I had to take a shuttle bus to JFK (also in New York) which is where most of the international traffic departs. From JFK I was flying to Brussels, and finally a connection from Brussels to Berlin. Or at least that was the theory.

I got to the airport at about 7:45 AM on Saturday for my 9:15 AM departure. Everything went well on that leg; I watched a few DVD’s and read part of a book. (I don’t generally work on airplanes anymore since seats are closer together and laptop screens are bigger. Those two facts make up for a very dangerous combination.) I got my checked bag from LGA and easily got a shuttle bus across down to JFK. That’s when the fun started.

When I was rechecking my bag I was told that the outbound flight was delayed by 2.5 hours. As he was reconfirming my itenerary the delay changed from 2.5 hours to 4 hours. :shock: Fun. It was about this point that I remembered that I had no idea which hotel I was booked into; I was meeing another Integra consultant in Brussels and we had the last leg of our flights together. Or at least that’s what I thought. It turned out he took a later flight into JFK so we were on the same (delayed) flight.

Long story short, we got here, but many hours late. From the airport we got on the train (the Berlin train system is quite good) and made our way to the SAPPHIRE site and got registered. From there we went back to the train and made our way to the hotel. Once we got the room configuration straightened out everything was fine.

I’m posting this from the wireless access point in the hotel lobby. :) I didn’t remember to check if they were providing wireless at the conference. If they do, I will see if I can post semi-regular updates over the next few days. 8-)

2 Responses to “SAPPHIRE 2008 – Getting There is NOT Half the Fun…”

  1. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    American Airlines sent me an email today giving me an extra 4,000 frequent flier miles for my delays. I guess it’s better than nothing. 8-)

  2. Comment by Dahler

    Yes but why did you not take a direct flight from JFK to Berlin? All in all, you were pretty lucky to get the miles from them. I had a delay back in Oct 2008, leaving Amsterdam, for 3 hours which caused me to miss my last train home (taking train from JFK to NYC and then to Secaucus, NJ) so I had to sit and try to sleep there the rest of the night on a hard bench.

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