We are in Denver, where we will have Thanksgiving with Eli, Naomi, and Ella and Kristina. It’s been a long three days with six very good experiences and one not so good.
Very Good Experience #1 was when we were upgraded to first class on the two hour flight from Marseille to Lisbon. Even though it was only two hours, it was a treat to be in first class. Not so much for the size of the seat, but for the service and the food. Lunch was described on a printed menu, 3 courses, including wine. I skipped the wine, although I love Portuguese wine. Traveling and wine don’t go very well together for me.
But, then things didn’t go so well. TAP, the Portuguese Airline, somehow lost our luggage between Marseille and Lisbon. Hard to do that . . .
When we arrived in Lisbon, sans luggage, we checked with the TAP staff who opened a “case.” They took all of our information – we were flying to Newark the next day, staying overnight in Newark, and then flying to Denver for six days. We gave them the name of our hotel in Newark, our address in Denver, and our home address. They promised to send an email when they knew anything.
The company Blacklane, which we are using to take us back and forth from airports, picked us up at the Lisbon airport. Very Good Experience #2. Very nice driver, nice clean Mercedes car. One of our fellow Mirabel homeowners told us about them and we were very pleased with the service.
After checking into our gorgeous hotel, (Very Good Experience #3), we immediately set out to buy some underwear and a partial change of clothes, just so we wouldn’t have to wear the same thing for three days in a row. TAP had given us both “goodie bags” with basic items such as tooth paste, tooth brush, hand cream, deodorant, etc.
That accomplished, we went out to dinner at a wine bar/restaurant on the waterfront. This was Very Good Experience #4. The food was excellent, there were almost no other customers, and they were playing amazing American blues and R&B on the music system; and not too loud either. We drank a whole bottle of our favorite Portuguese red wine, Esparao Special Reserva, from the Alentejo region.
We headed back to the hotel, fell asleep, had a delicious Portuguese style breakfast at the hotel and were picked up by another Blacklane car. This time a BMW.
But no word from TAP about our luggage. . .
We arrive in Newark safe and sound and clear customs in a breeze with our new Global Entry. No line, nothing other then checking in at the automated Global Entry Kiosk. Definitely Very Good Experience #5 and text our children. Lia responds back that she and Mike and the kids are actually arriving in Newark in one hour!!!! We arrange to meet them at the baggage claim, since we are staying at the Marriott hotel right at the airport.
But first, we head over to the TAP special service desk. They tell us to head back to the baggage claim right around the corner and wait until all the bags have come off on the unlikely chance that our bags were on our flight from Lisbon.
No such luck. The very nice young man at TAP special service checks his computer and tells us that our bags were sent to Frankfort by mistake. How they did that is a mystery, since they were clearly tagged LIS for Lisbon. They will be flown back to Lisbon, loaded onto the Lisbon to Newark plane the next day and will then be sent to the address in Colorado. Unfortunately, our Denver flight leaves 4 hours before that Lisbon flight arrives.
But, we feel as if we actually have some solid information and the young man seems very conscientious.
We walk over to the Marriott, start a laundry, and then head back to the airport to meet Lia, Mike, Ava and Rowan. WHAT a TREAT!!! Truly amazing and definitely Very Good Experience #6.
They are spending Thanksgiving with her dad and Lyn and their family. Just a perfect coincidence that we are at Newark Airport at the same time.
They arrive in good humor after the long trip from LA. We help with the kids, who are taking it in their stride that we are at the airport, while the luggage arrives, get everyone out of the airport safe and sound and into the taxi that takes them into the City.
We couldn’t have planned it better if we tried.
We headed back to our hotel, had dinner (which was pretty good, actually) and went to sleep. By now it was 1am “Lisbon time”.
We walk over to the airport in the morning to catch our flight to Denver. No word on the luggage and no one at the Special Service desks on this Sunday morning. The European flights don’t arrive until the afternoon.
If all goes well, the luggage will be on the flight from Lisbon to Newark that arrives at 4pm today and we will get a call from TAP telling us that it is on its way to Golden Colorado.
But, Six Very Good Experiences vs One Not So Good Experience isn’t bad. And I did get to buy myself a new pair of Geoxx shoes in Lisbon. So that probably counts as #7, actually.