Another dream trip was to go to Greece. Not just the mainland, but a Greek Island. Corfu is one of the Ionian Islands off the west coast of Greece. Tourist season is in full swing June, July and August, but early May is just getting warm and just right for someone wanting to avoid all the crowds.
We had a brutally cold winter in Upstate New York – the month of February broke records for cold since records were kept in the 1880s. So I was really looking forward to my week on the island of Corfu. My smart phone told me temps were into the 70s and even low 80s, Fahrenheit.
I had booked through American Airlines, who used their partner British Airways for the actual flights. I drove to JFK (230 miles) and caught a redeye to London Heathrow, then was supposed to catch a direct flight to Kerkyra. Something was wrong with online check-in, so I had to wait in a long line with hundreds of other people at British Airways desk at JFK. They only gave me a boarding pass for the JFK to Heathrow portion, but I thought maybe I had to pick up the other boarding pass when I actually got to London.
Turns out , when I tried to use international connections to catch my flight to Corfu, JFK had only booked my checked bag as far as Heathrow. They mistakenly handled my trip as 2 separate tickets instead of one connecting flight. So my checked bag was waiting at baggage claim. I was told I had to go back out to disembark through customs, fill out a landing card to enter the UK, go retrieve my bag, go upstairs to departing flights, drop my bag, go back through security and make it to my gate. I said I’ll miss my flight to Corfu – Oh, you’ll make it they said. NOT.
I don’t usually feel my age, but try being over 60, dashing through a large airport, having to deal with long lines and airport attendants who didn’t care what my story was – I still had to go through with everyone else, exit secured area to retrieve bag at baggage claim, go back upstairs to departing flights, try to drop off my bag again to go back through security and get to my gate – I was almost in tears when informed I was too late, they’d taken my name off the flight.
British Airways tried to make it up to me, apologizing profusely. They only have one direct flight a day to Corfu and offered to put me up overnight a the 5 star airport hotel. I wanted to be in a remote part of a Greek island, away from tourists. They finally got me on a flight to Athens, then switch to Aegean airline to arrive in Corfu close to 10 PM – 5 hours late. Getting to ride in business class was nice, but doesn’t make up for getting to Kerkyra after dark, having to drive in the dark to my destination at the southern end of the island. They did call Budget for me to make sure I’d still have a rental car, and I was able to call my small inn.