Stuck in Frankfurt due to bad weather with no confirmed flights back to KL

lufthansa sign

This is quite a funny story. Not LOLOL funny but an interesting experience coz I like to take things in stride and things like this happen. I had a flight cancelled due to fog in Melbourne when I was in uni. Hey, it’s an adventure to me. πŸ™‚

Our flight from Berlin to Frankfurt was delayed due to bad weather in Frankfurt. No flights were allowed to take off from Berlin. We all waited in the plane for ages. No flights were allowed to depart from Frankfurt too – all the planes there were grounded so we thought we could still make the connecting flight.

frankfurt delay

Everyone boarded an hour ago but we could not take off – at least we got updates from the Euro 2012 Germany-Italy semi-finals match from the pilot, sorry for your loss Deutschland, I supported your team…coz we were in your country and it’s a fine one. Heh.

Anyway, when we finally managed to get airborne, we ended up taxiing above Frankfurt coz there was a sudden influx of inbound and outbound air traffic. That’s when we knew we couldn’t make the connecting flight to Bangkok…and sure enough, we only landed way after that flight has departed.

sheraton frankfurt

Lufthansa issued us a free night’s stay at Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel and 30 Euros in β€œcredit” which turned out to be dinner. This is dinner:

lufthansa dinner

There were heaps of people trying to get on a flight – any flight – so one of the staff advised us to get some rest and come back the next day. There were over 200 people on the waiting list after midnight! Thanks for queuing up and checking Nigel!

german cigarettes

I had packed my cigarettes into my check-in baggage so I had to get another at the airport – it’s 5 Euros, which is almost double our price, but with a long flight ahead and no bookings yet, you gotta have that nicotine hit.

checkin line

We went to the hotel and found out that the queue there was quite impressive too. This is where all the cabin attendants stay – it’s connected to the airport so that was good. The queue was still there after we finished dinner. Mind, this is only the Business and First class people so imagine how many people in total which was affected.

sheraton frankfurt internet

I had my notebook and bought 24 hours of WiFi from Sheraton for 19 Euros (about RM 76) using my credit card. I didn’t know how long I would need to wait, and I ended up wasting it coz I crashed at 2 am and woke up at 4 am to go line up at the airport. Oh well.

frankfurt shower

It’s a good thing I had a souvenir t-shirt of the Berlin Wall so I could change my shirt at least before heading to the airport. I didn’t even unpack coz I fell asleep after the long flight delays.

lufthansa delay queue

This was the line this morning. I started queuing at 4 am and this is what it looks like at 7:37 am. (!)

I waited in line for hours before one of the Lufthansa staff saw my ticket and brought me down. I managed to get a confirmed ticket – a husband and wife team with us went through India at 12 pm and Nigel also managed to get the 3 pm flight that I was on.

(all times are GMT +2)

lufthansa breakfast

The reason for splitting up is due to the sheer amount of stranded passengers so we couldn’t stay together. There just wasn’t enough seats. The grounding of the Frankfurt airport really affected a lot of people – several thousand people stayed at the airport (Economy) or the Sheraton in Frankfurt (Business and First).

sheraton frankfurt airport

You know what the worst thing was? No one could retrieve their check-in baggage! There’s a rule that it has to stay at the airport or something to that effect. I’m pretty sure I’ve broken the record for wearing the same underwear, jeans, socks and shoes. I could only change my shirt. I can smell myself from 200 meters away. Heh.

I’m also staying awake on willpower and coffee alone. I’ve drank more than 15 cups in the past 24 hours. 😑

I’ll have to wait for a while before I’ll know if my flight back to KL later is 100% confirmed. I’m the only one left here coz there were just too many people needing to fly to various parts of the world.

It’s a good thing the Thai Airways Royal Lounge in Bangkok has a shower room so I could use their fresh, fluffy, wrapped towels and brush my teeth and freshen up.

thai air lounge shower

Thanks for booking us on Business Class, Volkswagen Malaysia – that really helps when stuff like this happens. πŸ˜€

I’m still wearing the same clothes from several days ago (except for the t-shirt) but that shower really freshened me up. I can semi-write coherently while being extremely sleep deprived. Heh.

Now, I shall go back and check if my outbound flight is confirmed. I need to go back today. I don’t even know what β€œ50% confirmed” means. *shrugs*

bangkok shower

Oh well, it’s all good! Sawadee krap from Bangkok! πŸ™‚

Posted: 11:33 am Bangkok time (GMT +7)

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25 thoughts on “Stuck in Frankfurt due to bad weather with no confirmed flights back to KL”

    • Thanks mate!

      Yeah, me too, so this makes this the second time. Heh.

      I’m back in Malaysia…

      …but they lost all our luggage (not just our group, a lot of the people who were stuck in Frankfurt).

      The complaints I heard were quite epic – some were waiting, some didn’t have clothes, some had another connecting flight (some are not Malaysians).

      I got mine back yesterday, KLIA asked me to come collect and I said no way, you deliver.

      They delivered to my condo so good on them. πŸ˜€

  1. € 5 for the packet of ciggies is good value, come to Ireland and you will pay € 9 for it!!! Hope you arrived safely in Malaysia. I have travelled through Frankfurt Airport before, once and never will again. It’s not a people orientated airport. Too much walking/distance between gates, not many eateries and unfriendly staff!

    • Hmm…that’s about Australian prices. I got used to it after a while and non-smokers who went back would get duty free for me. πŸ™‚

      Thanks, I’m back home.

      Hey, that’s what I think of Frankfurt airport too! It’s one hell of a walk between gates and there are no travelators.

      I ate inside the lounge, didn’t dare to sleep in fear of oversleeping. πŸ™‚

    • Heh! That wasn’t all. Lufthansa lost all our baggage – not just our group – a lot of the people who were stuck in Frankfurt too.

      I heard one German guy shouting in Lost and Found that KLIA is the worst airport ever. Haha!

      But it’s not really their fault, the re-routing messed up the baggage somewhere along the line.

      Oh well, I got it back yesterday, it was delivered to my condo, so good for them. πŸ˜€

    • Well, I did shower. πŸ™‚

      I showered at Sheraton in Frankfurt and the Royal Thai Silk lounge in Bangkok. I was tempted to go into their sleeping room but I was afraid of oversleeping so I drank heaps of coffee instead.

      I just couldn’t change ALL my clothes (except for my t-shirt, changed once). Haha.

  2. I like how you’re handling the whole thing. When shit happens I always tell myself that the whole experience will make for a good story over a cup of coffee / beer in the future. Hahaha. Anyway, hope everything goes well and have a safe journey back!

    • Heh! Exactly bro! πŸ™‚

      Awesome adventures make awesome experiences. Of course, it’s not all fun and games, but that is the definition of an adventure – it’s not just smooth sailing, but has it’s ups and downs and it’s great. I love it. Heh.

      The another thing was that they lost our baggage. 😑

      They lost everyone’s baggage from the Frankfurt delay as far as I can tell. I could see some very irate people in KLIA.

      I managed to get mine yesterday though, they delivered it to my condo, everything intact. πŸ™‚

  3. HB, that some experience I never in counter. You’re the first and only person I know that use the airport lounge to take a shower. Most people and me just to do wireless and eat and drinks sit around read. Still it great to have a lounge to go for all those things .

    • Heh! Really? You wouldn’t use the shower in the airport lounge after 3 days of not showering?

      Those fluffy, soft, wrapped towels? That nice smelling designer shower gel and shampoo? πŸ˜‰

      I did it in a heartbeat coz I was at the Bangkok airport for 8 hours. I was tempted to even use their sleeping rooms. Heh.

      Yeah, I usually just use their net and drink and eat but this was different. πŸ˜€

    • Well, it was a fun experience. πŸ™‚

      They also lost my luggage and returned it to me the next day. It’s a good thing they sent it over to my condo – I was still sleeping at the time and blearily woke up when I heard them call telling me they’re downstairs (security at my condo is quite strict – Domino’s can’t come up etc).

      It’s quite efficient though – they said there’s a van departing KLIA every 3 hours. Nice. πŸ˜€

  4. Gosh! That certainly was quite a mess…but all’s well that ends well. I guess if you’re in no hurry for something, things like this make flying more eventful…but still, if you ask me, no, thank you! LOL!!!

    • Heh! Well, I was in a hurry to get back for a Monday morning meeting but good thing they switched it to Wednesday instead.

      I’m still a bit jet lagged.

      It’s an interesting experience, that’s for sure. I just got my bags yesterday. Haha! πŸ™‚

      All in good fun! πŸ˜€

  5. Welcome back, Huai Bin! I’ve discovered that the bag you use to carry your laptop can often fit an extra t-shirt, so at the very least you won’t stink too bad if such things happen, heh. πŸ˜›

    • Thanks my favorite ex-neighbor! πŸ™‚

      I was carrying *two* bags – a sling bag for my iPad and other stuff that I need instant access to and a backpack that has my laptop and all the cables. It’s a good thing I make it a habit to carry both, so when things like this happens I still can work or get online.

      Haha! Yeah, the optimal thing would be a set of everything except pants (coz you can wear pants for a long time, if need be). πŸ˜€

  6. Experienced something the same when I was in Paris during the Winter season 2 years ago. Eurostar service got disrupted and we had to stay extra 2 days in Paris. Luckily we had accommodation, the others were stranded at the station. :/

    • Well, then it’s all good! πŸ™‚

      If you’ve got accommodation sorted out, it’s not bad, I don’t mind staying at airports but not for several days without a change of clothes or shower.

      Good thing Volkswagen Malaysia put us on Business Class so we had access to hotels, lounges etc where food, showers and beds awaits. πŸ˜€

  7. Dude….in the old days you would have posted picture of the skid marks…anyway…great travel post ” the unexpected”.

    • Heh! I didn’t have skid marks, to my great surprise.

      It was a good experience, I liked it, like you said, unexpected is always fun. πŸ™‚

      Thanks mate! πŸ˜€

  8. I’ve been stranded before but at least it wasn’t for as long as yours. And biz class does help and that’s why people pay those big bucks for better service. hehehe… well, at least you arrived home safely!

    • Yeah, it’s a good thing Volkswagen Malaysia put us on Business Class. You not only get better reimbursements in situations like this (we got a hotel room and meals) while others flying Economy had to choose between a meal or a shower.

      What a difficult decision. Heh.

      Business class lounges are really good in some airports with showers, fresh towels, sleeping rooms etc so you can actually just stay in there if you like. πŸ™‚

      The bags only arrived the day after, I saw a lot of irate tourists at KLIA, one German guy was shouting at one of the staff that this is the worst airport ever…but it’s not actually their fault per se, the luggage all got jumbled up coz everyone took different flights out.

      Well, they delivered my bag to my house the next day so all is good. πŸ˜€


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