I am charmed today. And I hope the day stays that way.
At 1.17 a.m. in the USA, my perch is currently the wonderful AMEX/Diners Club lounge at Vienna International Airport.
Vienna does this right. I checked in my bag at the train station and didn’t have to schlep the damn thing (21 kilos today) with me to the airport. The 16-minute train trip from the city center to VIE meant that I had no hassles at all, and I walked directly to the security gate. No airport lines!
And then they opened two new security lines just as I was arriving, so I was waved into a lane with no people waiting. A quick trip up an escalator, with no waiting at passport control, and I’m suddenly in the international departure terminal . . . where the lounge is literally ten steps ahead.
Now if the flight leaves on time, an the connections work in Chicago (always dicey), I should be in Saint Louis by 6.45 p.m.
Of course that means an 18-hour travel day. Such is the price one pays, though.
Flights leaving Vienna within the next hour:
And yesterday I was talking with a German engineering student who is skipping his planned trip to Hungary, and instead going to Slovakia, then to Italy, and then on to Turkey via the Balkans. Train travel is truly international on this side of the Atlantic.