Your flight is cancelled / Atcelts lidojums

It’s rarely pleasant when your plans get cancelled. Even more so when it’s a flight that gets cancelled. This is why I always try and limit the stops on my flights, but when flying across the ocean you will have to stop a few times at least.

A few years back I was flying back home for Christmas from Marseille with a connection in Germany and my second flight got cancelled. The company gave me another flight through Frankfurt, but that got cancelled as well. So I ended up taking the bus home from Berlin to Riga, but it wasn’t too bad. I arrived in Riga the same time I would have with the flight through Frankfurt and I had a really good nights sleep on the bus, so I wasn’t too tired. But when I got to NY and my flight got cancelled it got a bit more complicated then just getting on a bus. Here is what happened:

Flew into NY, first thing I saw.

Flew into NY, first thing I saw.

I was already in the Helsinki airport when I noticed that the flight from NY is cancelled, so I kind of new something was wrong. When I flew into JFK the screens said that the flight is on time, so I happily went through the security checks, gave my suitcase away and headed off to my gate. But then it turned out the flight really was cancelled and I had to go get my tickets exchanged. Three hours after I arrived in JFK I finally got to the ticket office. There were two options: 1) a confirmed seat on a flight on Sunday or 2) standby mode. As it was Friday evening I though no way I am waiting till Sunday, so I got them to put me on the standby list. Huge mistake. Never ever chose standby. Should have listened to TC and gotten the seat first thing. Standby means that if there is a seat on the plane that is empty, you get it. The problem with this is that, because of the amount of cancelled flights there are a lot of people on standby and no one really wants to miss the plane, because everyone is already been waiting for a while to get out of NY. You can help your odds, but checking as the first one on the standby list, which I did by staying the whole night in the airport and quelling at the check in desk from 3AM, but the problem was that people with a membership card/first class ticket get bumped up the list so anyway I was 5th in line for the first flight. Of course the plane was full and no one from the standby list got on the plane, so then they just check you in for the next flight and again on the standby list, but there are people already that are checked in directly for the second flight, so you are even further down. I realized that a confirmed seat is the way to go, so they gave me a flight on Monday morning, but that was two days away. So when I heard that there is a flight from a different airport leaving the same day(Saturday), I bought the ticket on the phone and got on a shuttle bus to Long Island Airport. It took me a bit more then an hour to get to the LIA and by the time I did I was in for a pleasant surprise. The new flight I bought less then 2 hours ago was cancelled. Super. You should try this at least one time, because the feeling you get is awesome. The adrenalin rush. Sweet.

Fortunately, thanks to Thomas and Meaghan I got a place to stay in NY for two nights and Yumi was a really welcoming host. Saturday evening I went for a walk around the block and I was already impressed. Tall buildings, a lot of coffee shops, lights, people. Could not keep my diet going though and now I will have to start from day one again.

That's how you par in NY

That’s how you par in NY

I had all Sunday to walk around the city so I tried to hit the main tourist attractions in the time I had. How do you think I did? First things first, I went to see the statue of Liberty. On my way to the ferry that takes you to the island, I went by the Union square and the Wall Street Bull. But when I bought the ticket and looked at where it will take me, I finally saw Liberty. And it looked small. Seriously. It looks much smaller then I had imagined, especially from Manhattan. When I got closer it looked bigger, but still not as big as I had imagined it in my mind. Nevertheless, it was pretty impressive. After visiting the queen of NY, I got back on the boat and visited the Ellis island, which was an interesting experience. After that I walked to see the Brooklyn Bridge – a must see when in NY. On my way to the metro station I went through China Town. The feeling you get when walking in China Town is really authentic. If I couldn’t have seen the tall buildings of NY, I would believe if someone told me I was teleported to China as a prank. Of course I couldn’t miss going to Grand Central train station. The central train station in Riga doesn’t even compete in the same league with this one. Gigantic, with tall ceilings, big windows and beautiful marble floors. Next stop on my self guided tour was the legendary Times Square and the Rockefeller centre. Again the same as Liberty Times Square felt a bit smaller then it should be, but with all the tall LED screens and even one showing the medal count in the Olympics it will have a place in my memory probably forever. Central park is huge. Probably there are just 3 people in NY that have been all over the park. It is that big. Finally, as a HIMYM fan I had to go to McGee’s Pub. To my surprise it wasn’t under street level, but still pretty awesome to see the design which inspired the authors.

The only way to do it in NY

The only way to do it in NY

I had to get back to the apartment, because my host Yumi had invited me to join her for a soul cycle session. Good music, good people, fast pedalling and plenty of sweating. I felt like a new man after a session on the bike. And went for a night walk to the Empire state building while going by Macy’s on my way. The view from the top of Empire state building at night is magical and romantic. All the lights and stars combined with the darkness surrounding every single one of them is unforgettable. With my mind flying all over the place I went back to my hostess place, got onto the couch in front of the fireplace and fell asleep hoping my trip the next day wouldn’t get any hiccups.

View from the Empire State Building

View from the Empire State Building

It didn’t. I took the metro and airtrain to JFK. Got there before I had planed, got my bags checked in, got on the right plane and on time. With a quick transfer in Charlotte airport, I was on my flight to Greenville. Americans do travel with planes a lot and on my flight they didn’t even have time to turn of the “fasten seatbelt” sign. The shortest flight I have had, for sure. But it got me where I needed and when I got off the plane, felt the warm breeze, felt the sun on my skin, I knew that it will be a good day and a good training camp. And so for it has been.

Check out my blog next week(or the week after that) when I will try and write a little more about what we did in the first meet and greet with the team, sponsors and staff.

Thank you for reading!

T.s.

 

The Queen of NY

The Queen of NY

Diezgan reti ir prieks, kad ieplānotais tiek atcelts. Vēl jo vairāk, ja atcelts tiek lidojums. Šī iemesla dēļ parasti cenšos lidot pēc iespējas ar mazāk pārsēšanās lidostām, bet, kad jālido pāri okeānam, tad vismaz pāris lidostām ir jāiziet cauri.

Pirms pāris gadiem, kad lidoju mājās no Marseļas ar pārsēšanos Vācijā, manu otro lidojumu atcēla. Aviokompānija iedeva vietā lidojumu caur Frankfurti, bet, pirms vēl vakars bija pienācis, lidmašīna uz Frankfurti arī tika atcelta. Tajā pašā vakarā paspēju noķert autobusu uz Rīgu no Berlīnes, un Rīgā ierados ap to pašu laiku, kad būtu ielidojis ar savu lidojumu caru Frankfurti. Busā izdevās lieliski izgulēties, tādēļ biju ļoti apmierināts ar veidu kā nokļuvu mājās, ņemot vērā laikapstākļus Eiropā. Bet, kad mans lidojums no Ņujorkas, tika atcelts, tad lietas kļuva nedaudz sarežģītākas kā autobusa biļetes iegāde. Lūk, kas notika:

Long Island Airport. Would have gotten on this one, if it could take me to Greenville

Long Island Airport. Would have gotten on this one, if it could take me to Greenville

Helsinku lidostā pamanīju, ka lidojums no Ņujorkas ir atcelts. Radās aizdomas, ka ceļš varētu ieilgt. Tomēr, ielidojot JFK lidostā, uz ekrāniem informācija patīkami pārsteidza. Lidojums bija laikā. Izgāju cauri drošības kontrolei, atdevu somas un devos uz izeju. Kā beigās izrādījās, tad lidojums patiešām bija atcelts. Es būtu ticis pie biļešu kasēm vismaz divas stundas ātrāk, ja būtu zinājis, ka lidojums patiešām ir atcelts, bet, kad tur nonācu, man piedāvāja divas opcijas. 1) sēdvieta lidojumā svētdienas vakarā vai 2) vieta gaidīšanas sarakstā. Bija piektdienas vakars un neticēju, ka nāksies gaidīt līdz svētdienai, lai nokļūtu galamērķī, tādēļ teicu, lai liek mani gaidīšanas sarakstā. Milzīga kļūda. Nekad vairs. Vajadzēja paklausīt komandas menedžera ieteikumu un ņemt garantēto sēdvietu. Gaidīšanas saraksts nozīmē to, ka, ja kāds nokavē lidojumu, tad tev tiek viņa vieta. Tomēr, pateicoties daudzajiem atceltajiem reisiem, šajā sarakstā ir pilns ar cilvēkiem un visi lidojumi ir pilni, jo visi kaut kur steidzās. Savas izredzes, protams, var uzlabot, reģistrējoties pirmais lidojumam, ko es arī izdarīju, pavadot nakti lidostā un stāvot rindā jau no trijiem rītā. Izrādījās, ka cilvēki ar klienta karti, biļeti pirmajā klasē vai kādu citu prioritāti neatkarīgi tiek ielikti saraksta sākumā, tādēļ uz pirmo lidojumu tāpat biju tikai piektais sarakstā. Protams, neviens no gaidīšanas saraksta nemaz netika lidmašīnā, tādēļ atmetu visam ar roku un paņēmu pirmo biļeti, kurā man varēja nodrošināt garantētu sēdvietu. Tā bija pirmdiena. Man bija divas dienas, ko nosist. Tādēļ, izdzirdējis, ka ir lidojums no citas lidostas tajā pašā dienā, ar vienu telefonzvanu nopirku biļeti un devos uz busu, kas aizvedīs mani uz Long Island Airport. Divas stundas pēc biļetes iegādes, kad biju ieradies otrajā lidostā, izrādījās, ka tas lidojums arī tika atcelts, kamēr biju ceļā. Lieliski. Katram kādreiz ko tādu vajadzēti izmēģināt, tas adrenalīns. Vienkārši labs.

Paldies Thomas un Meaghan, kuri atrada man nakstmājas pilsētā un Yumi, kura bija lieliska namamāte. Sestdienas vakarā pastaigājos nedaudz pa vietējām ieliņām un jau augstās mājas, daudzie veikaliņi, gaismas un cilvēku daudzums mani pārsteidza. Diemžēl, nebija vairs iespējams ievērot diētu un būs jāsāk atkal no pirmās dienas.

The view from "my" sofa

The view from “my” sofa

Man bija visa svētdiena, lai izstaigātu pilsētu un mēģinātu redzēt pēc iepsējas vairāk. Kā domā, cik daudz es paspēju? Sāku ar galveno – devos apmeklēt Brīvības statuju. Pa ceļam uz kuģīti, kas aizved uz salu nogāju garām “Union Square” un uz Vālstrītas redzēju vietējo bulli. Pēc biļetes nopirkšanas, kad beidzot ieraudzīju statuju tā izskatījās maza. Nopietni. Viņa izskatās daudz mazāka kā to rāda filmās un kā es biju iedomājies to izskatamies. Nonākot statujas pakāpe varēja redzēt, ka tā ir liela un arī ļoti iespaidīga būve. Bruklinas tilts ir obligāti apskatāmo objektu sarakstā, tādēļ tālāk devos turp. Pa ceļam uz metro staciju izgāju cauri Ķīnas kvartālam. Ja nebūtu spējis redzēt pilsētas augstās celtnes, tad spētu noticēt, kad kāds man teiktu, ka esmu teleportēts uz Ķīnu joka pēc. Apskatīju arī Centrāl staciju. Rīgas centrālā stacija pat nav tajā pašā līgā, iespējams, pat ne tajā pašā sporta veidā kā Ņujorkas centrālā stacija. Milzīga, ar augstiem grieztiem, lieliem logiem un krāšņu marmora grīdu. Tālāk savā paštaisītajā tūristu maršrutā devos uz “Times Square” un “Rockefeller centre”. Arī “Times Square” izskatījās mazāks kā biju to iedomājies, bet ar visiem krāšņajiem LED ekrāniem un vienu, kas pat rādīja Olimpisko medaļu skaitu, šis laukums noteikti saglabās nelielu vietu manā atmiņas kastīte visdrīzāk uz visu mūžu. Centrālais parks ir milzīgs. Visdrīzāk ir tikai trīs civlēki Ņujorkā, kas tiešām ir bijuši visā parkā, tas ir tik liels. Beigu beigās kā jau HIMYM fanam, devos uz bāru, kas iespaidoja autorus. Interjers tiešām bija līdzīgs, kaut arī mani apbēdināja tas, ka bārs atradās ielas līmenī, bet interjers tiešām bija gluži kā seriālā.

Don't worry kids, Spiderman is keeping Time Square safe

Don’t worry kids, Spiderman is keeping Time Square safe

Devos atpakaļ uz dzīvokli, jo Yumi mani bija uzaicinājusi izkustēties body bike nodarbībā. Nekad pirms tam nebiju uz tādu bijis. Laba mūzika, labi civlēki, ātra pedāļu griešana un daudz svīšana. Tas bija tieši tas, kas vajadzīgs. Jutos kā no jauna piedzimis. Tādēļ vakara pastaigā devos uz “Empire State building” pa ceļam noejot gar “Macy’s”. No augšas skats ir iespaidīgs. Gaismas, zvaigznes un tumsa, kas tās apņem ir romantiska un burvīga. Domās par rītdienu devos atpakaļ uz “savu” dīvānu iepretim kamīnam un aizmigu, cerot, ka nākamās dienas ceļā nebūs aizķeršanās.

Central park. Several carriages and a lot of snow

Central park. Several carriages and a lot of snow

Turpmākais ceļa posms noritēja raiti. Iekāpu metro, ātri vien pārkāpjot uz “airtrain”, kas mani pirms manis ieplānotā laika nogādāja lidostā. Nodevu bagāžu un izgāju drošības kontroli. Pēc lidojuma, kas nekavējās ne sekundi un ašas pārejas no vienas izejas uz otru es jau gaidīju pie noslēdzošās lidmašīnas durvīm. Amerikāņiem patīk lidot. Lidojums bija tik īss, ka “fasten seatbelts” lampiņa pat netika izdzēsta. Īsākais lidojums, kādā esmu bijis. Noteikti. Nonācis savā galamērķī, izjutis sauli uz savas ādas bija sajūta, ka būs laba diena un lieliska nometne. Pagaidām tā arī ir bijis.

Rocking chairs in Charlotte airport. Didn't have enough time to try them out.

Rocking chairs in Charlotte airport. Didn’t have enough time to try them out.

Nākamnedēļ vairāk uzrakstīšu par to, ko darījām nometnē un kādi ir pirmie iespaidi pēc tikšanās ar komandu – braucējiem, apkalpi un sponsoriem.

Paldies, ka lasīji.

T.s.

The Legen...wait for it.. dary pub in NY

The Legen…wait for it.. dary pub in NY

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