Unlike on our way to Madagascar, I knew exactly what we were getting into with two 13+ hour flights (not counting the hours in the Istanbul Lounge between flights). It was going to be two extremely long flights punctuated by meals, beverages and attempts to sleep. Business Class on Turkish Airlines includes the Wifi Access, but really – who can’t do without internet connection for a few hours?
There are two lounges in Tana – one for Air France and one for all the other airlines. It wasn’t much of a lounge, just a few seating areas, a bar and a vertical cooler with a variety of drinks. It did provide me with an opportunity to insure that my electronics were charged, just in case there were outlet problems on the flight. I did no shopping; we used our last bit of cash to buy one more candy bar. Should have purchased outside the airport, of course where things were much, much cheaper.
tBoarding consisted of hiking along the barriers, across the tarmac and up the steps onto the flight.
Oh, wait! I forgot the fun of the other couple leaving the same time as us! Ann and Phillip were booked through Ethiopian Air. Arriving at the airport, they were informed that their flights were Sunday. Excuse me? Our printed reservation says today. And around and around they went. The manager said they could make the change for the small upgrade fee of $1000. It was at this point that they went and got Alain – our in-country group leader. Suddenly, the reservation seemed to be today without an extra charge. But there was this small issue of luggage. Can’t check luggage through when the connecting flight is tomorrow. Hello? They have two hours between flights in Addis Ababa. No reason why they can’t check the luggage through. But the second flight is on a different date…. and around they went till someone in management took over (not the same person who attempted the shakedown) and their luggage was checked.
Made our hours in the Turkish Airlines Lounge seem simple by comparison. Plenty of food, olives, beverages and places to plug in electronics if you looked closely enough. Boarding the connecting flight included a bit of confusion since we wound up leaving almost an hour late. Again, plenty of food, a bit of beverage plus my realization that I still had my Adia cloth but had left the pouch with threads, needles and the like on the first flight. Ah, well, sleep and solitaire on the iPad were good enough.
I was through immigration, customs and had the luggage before George made it through the line. If you are a US passport holder/permanent resident and haven’t downloaded MobilePass – I strongly recommend you do so. Faster than Global Entry and doesn’t cost a thing.
BART to home. Time to sleep….