Saturday, July 18, 2009

Travel: Things that Make You Go “Huh?”

There were thunderstorms across Germany yesterday so my plane out of Dresden was delayed. The Lufthansa people in Dresden more or less promised that I would still make my connection in Munich, but there was a huge backup at passport control to get into the “international” part of the airport and (even pushing my way to the front) I ended up missing the connection. The Lufthansa people did manage to get me booked on a plane early this morning and found me a hotel for overnight.

To get out of the airport to go to the hotel, however, I had to go back through passport control --- essentially re-entering Germany from the international terminal of the airport. Going through the passport control the bundespolizei looked at the stamp in my passport and asked “You left Germany today… and now you are coming back into Germany?”. I explained that I had missed my international connection and now I was going to a hotel for the night. Well, apparently such a thing had never happened before because the bundespolizei had to get on the phone with four of his managers and I stood waiting at the passport control booth for about half an hour. Apparently this was cause for great concern because it was absolutely verboten to leave and enter again so quickly.

Am I completely wrong to think that this is completely absurd? Wouldn’t you expect that such a situation must happen hundreds, if not thousands, of times per day?

I’m thankful only that I am not from a country that requires a visa to visit Germany. No doubt they would have thrown me back to international territory to sleep on the floor.


MC said...

This situation must, in deed, happen hundreds if not thousands times a day, but the learning curve for some never flattens.

Doug Natelson said...

Come on - they're Germans. They do precision work. Missed connections are impossible. :-)