Santa

Surprised by Santa at Munich Airport

While I’ve had my share of long waits,  I’ve thankfully never been one of those passengers held hostage for hours on end on a plane waiting to take off or deliver passengers at an airport

So, last night, when the captain of my Lufthansa flight on a small plane heading from Munich Airport to Geneva – a one hour trip – announced we’d be sitting on the ground for at least an hour because snow removal had closed two runways, I thought “OK, now it’s my turn to be stuck on an airport for ten hours.”

I wasn’t prepared.  Neither my cell phone nor my laptop was fully charged. For food, I had a bag of licorice I’d bought as a gift.  And my book was in the carry-on suitcase I’d stuffed into the overhead bin.

I stole a look at my seatmate and at the people around me.  Were there kids or babies bound to start crying; who was likely to be traveling with good food or snacks; and were these going to be interesting people to be held hostage with on an airplane?

Luckily, I didn’t have to find out.

Within minutes of the pilot announcing our delay, flight attendants appeared with water and juice and trays of white cloth bags, each with a jolly embroidered Santa Claus on the front.

 

Inside each bag was a mandarin orange, a cheese sandwich on dark bread, a package of good cookies and a tiny chocolate Santa.

“Classy,” I thought. “Definitely not the bag of pretzels passengers would be getting if they were stuck on an airplane in the U.S.”

I immediately ate the chocolate Santa and half the sandwich. Then, already thinking like an airplane hostage, I  carefully re-packaged my snacks for later.

I didn’t end up having to swap that orange for a sweater, something to read  or the use of a charged cell phone to call my family or the hotel. After about an hour and a half of sitting out there in the snow, we were indeed on our way.

Good job, Lufthansa and Munich Airport. And thank-you, Santa!

 

 

 

BBC Fast Track & ANZ’s new Boeing 777-300ER

On the BBC World News program Fast Track this week, Carmen Roberts offered up “Hi-tech ways to pass time at the airport.”

I’m delighted to find out that StuckatTheAirport.com was featured in the story, along with some other “online innovations that may just prevent that air rage from bubbling over.”

Please take a look:

StuckatTheAirport.com

And speaking of innovation….

In Everett, Wa. on Wednesday, Air New Zealand took delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.  The plane is on its way to to Auckland, with a planned touchdown on Christmas Eve morning.

Sadly, I couldn’t join that first flight, so I can’t report for sure whether or not Santa is on that plane, but I do know that the plane is equipped with the new lie-down Skycouch or Cuddle Class seating in economy class, induction ovens that allow the preparation of made-to-order meals, bathrooms with wallpaper depicting book cases, chandeliers and other home interior elements (photo coming soon) and an in-flight story-time for kids hosted by the cabin crew.

ANZ Boeing 777-300ER

Going to the North Pole as an embedded elf

Today, about 60 kids from the Spokane, Wa. area will be going on a flight to the North Pole.

Spokane Airport Fantasy Flight to North Pole

Each year, with the help of more than 100 elves and incredible amount of local and regional support, the Spokane Fantasy Flight takes about 60 kids from shelters and community programs in the Spokane area to the airport, onto an airplane and, after about a 30-minute flight, to the North Pole for a full day of magic, complete with reindeer, all the candy you can eat, a visit with Santa and, of course, piles and piles of presents.

I went along as an embedded elf last year and it was so much fun that I’ve signed up to join the elves again.

Before we can get on that flight to the North Pole, of course, we’ll have to get through the security checkpoint at the airport.

TSA sign for North Pole

And then, of course, we’ll have to make sure to find the right gate for our flight.

I’ll report back tomorrow on whether or not jingle-belled elves are subject to enhanced TSA pat-downs and, of course, I’ll let Santa know that you’ve been very, very good.

“Notes,” the embedded elf…