To recap my trip so far.
- I am in Munich Airport with my wife Kelley on Tuesday morning at 8:00am waiting to board an Air Dolomiti flight to Venice.
- We left Monterey at 8:00am Sunday on a flight to SFO, then spent 13 hours waiting for United 194 flight departure SFO to Munich.
- The flight departs 9 hours late after the original aircraft was hit by a catering truck while sitting at the gate minutes before boarding was to commence at 12:35pm.
- We waited for a new aircraft, finally boarded the new aircraft 4 hours later for a 5:15 departure, then had to deplane after the flight crew and pilots timed out of their maximum work hours.
- Our flight to Munich, originally scheduled for 1:20pm departure, finally took off from SFO at 10:00pm.
- We arrived at Munich Airport 17:30 Monday.
- Our original Air Dolomiti flight to Venice departed at 11:50am on Monday.
- Lufthansa Customer Service agents rebooked flights for passengers who missed connections out of Munich. We left Munich Airport with our boarding passes for an Air Dolomiti flight Tuesday morning at 8:25am, a free night hotel voucher and two dinner vouchers for Hotel NH Munich Airport.
- Tuesday morning I enter the Lufthansa Business Class lounge around 7am, show the agent my boarding pass and Aegean Gold card and I am told that Air Dolomiti is only a Star Alliance Cooperation Partner and our flight does not give me access to the lounge as a Star Alliance Gold member.
Sitting at the gate for our Air Dolomiti flight reading a paper copy of the New York Times. When I feel for my passport in my pocket I don’t feel my boarding pass sticking out of it. Kelley frequently gives me a hard time about not putting things back in the same place I got them. I have a habit of moving tickets around from one pocket to another, or in my jacket, or in my backpack. I check all my pockets and my coat and the floor space around me. I had my boarding pass to get through security and I showed it to the woman at the Lufthansa lounge. I figure I probably left my boarding pass at the lounge, but I don’t know if there is enough time to get back to the lounge and back to our gate near the end of the terminal. I decide to wait for the gate agent.
The time is approaching 8:00am. A gate agent arrives and fires up the computers with a lot of clicks on the keyboards. The Air Dolomiti plane arrives and passengers begin deplaning from the gate. I approach the agent and confess to losing my boarding pass.
“No problem. I can print another boarding pass. Can I have your passport?”
A bit of typing. She looks at the screen and says to me, “Your ticket to Venice has been cancelled.”
“How can that be?”, I say, “Lufthansa just booked us on this flight 13 hours ago.”
“Does your companion have a boarding pass? Can you show me?”
I get Kelley’s boarding pass and return to the desk. A few more keyboard clicks and she responds, “This ticket has been cancelled too.”
Now we are 25 minutes from flight departure and she announces plane boarding. Meanwhile she is working a phone with Lufthansa Customer Service who she says are contacting United Airlines.
I am pondering how this can even be legal to leave us in a country that was our not our ticketed destination. I wonder if our six day trip in Venice will become four days or no days.
I don’t often commend airport workers or airline staff. This Lufthansa agent was amazing. At one point I see her with two phones to her head and still checking in people boarding the Air Dolomiti flight.
Our hopes dim as the last passengers board the plane and it is 8:20am.
“I’ve got them”, she exclaims as the ticket machine grinds out a couple of new Lufthansa boarding passes for Air Dolomiti.
“Go ahead and board. Enjoy your trip.”
We board the plane quickly as all the passengers on the plane are already seated and seatbelted in wearing their KN95 equivalent masks (mandatory for flights to Italy). A few minutes later we are finally up in the air on our final flight leg to Venice.
Losing my boarding pass turned out to be fortuitous in this situation. We likely would not have been able to get the cancelled tickets situation resolved before the flight departed if we had simply waited with our original boarding passes to board at the normal time with other passengers.
In the end I never received any information as to how or why our Air Dolomiti flight tickets issued to us by Lufthansa Customer Service in Munich on Monday evening had been cancelled by Tuesday morning.
In the end we arrived at Venice Marco Polo Airport around 9:30 on Tuesday morning, some 20 hours after our originally scheduled arrival time.
I had already contacted Hotel Aquarius Venice the evening before to explain we would be arriving Tuesday morning. After all the drama involved in getting to Venice, we were ready for some walking and sightseeing.
Venice Stairways and Canals (April 2022)