I probably saw this movie with Tom Hanks ten years ago but in these two days I could imagine how the main character felt. Luckily my situation was a not as hard as Victor's but nevertheless there were several hours where I wasn't sure what will happen next and how long I am stucked in this terminal.
Everything started on Monday January 2nd at the online-check-in: My first flight to Frankfurt was no problem but for my flight connection to Dallas there was a problem. So I couldn't reserve a seat and had to ask at the Check-in-desk the next morning.
After my arrival at the airport, I checked-in. Without any special mentioning of my yesterdays problems I got my boarding passes. Pretty good so far, but I realized that my second boarding pass for the flight to Dallas included the words "standby". As unexperienced passenger I had no idea what this word stands for and because of that I asked on the next desk for some informations. This woman on the desk told me, that she can't do anything for me because the staff at the gate in Frankfurt is in charge of that. She told me that with a certain undertone in her voice which made me nervous. Because of that I asked on a second desk what this "standby" is standing for. This man again made sure that there won't be any problems but the staff in Frankfurt will work on it. So far, so good. The flight to Frankfurt got take with probably one of the smallest planes which are used for European short-distance-flights. This doesn't really matter for my further connection, I thought. The only thing I was concerned about was the close connection time of 50 Minutes which my travel agents booked. But from my own experience I knew this works even if I would walk the wrong way, as I did the last time.
The flight to Frankfurt was more or less on time, although the plane stopped on a place far away from the terminal and we had to change to the bus. Because of our small plane, every big hand luggage had to be stored in the main storage room of the plane and the passenger got their stuff right after leaving the plane. During this time I was sitting for an eternity in the bus, staring every second on my watch, waiting until everyone went out of the plan and took their hand luggage. Fore sure there was a telephoning businessman which realized after several calls of the crew that he would have a luggage too. Because of that I had to wake another minutes in the cold, overloaded bus for the transition to the terminal. Finally, we arrived at the Terminal and I had still around 30 minutes left until the plane take-off and I was confident that I can catch the flight. I walked in "Race-walk-style" to the passport control. As I got in sight of the control, there was the next surprise. There was a big queue because several travel groups reached the control the same time. Because of that I had to wait for a long time and reached the gate at 10:10, ten minutes after the official departure. - stranded in Frankfurt!
For sure not really happy with that situation, I went to the costumer service and which followed several hours of discussions and calls with the airline and my travel agents. The recap of the whole discussions. The airline told me I was just too slow (as runner). I had 47 minutes for the transition and that's two minutes (!) more that the minimal required time. Because of that they didn't organize me an accommodation and couldn't give me another indemnity. But the will be obliging to me and would offer me a boarding pass for the next day. -"standby".
The general highlight of my discussion with the help desk was following dialog :
They: "You were the only costumer of this connection which missed the flight to Dallas."
Me: "Were there some other costumer with the same connection?"
They:"Well, not really." - Thank you...
In the afternoon, my travel agents organized a hotel room for the night and because of that I spent my Tuesday evening with a run through the dark forest of Frankfurt (see below) and did a skype-core-session in my hotel room, instead of arriving in Dallas.
Unfortunately, I missed because of that problem the first official workout with my guys and had to run that workout several days later by myself during a snow storm at 14° F. The good thing in this uncomfortable situation was the call of the travel agency which told me that I would have now an official seat for the flight on the next day.
End of the story, I thought.
On Wednesday, four hours before departure, I arrived the airport with the conviction that everything works. But at the check-in-desk they told me: "You are allowed to go to the gate, but you got a standby-ticket. Since the plane is on it's higher weight barrier, I can't tell you if there is a spot for you." I got nervous, again. At the gate, I had to wait for two hours until the staff arrived, since I was so early. After several requests I finally got a seat.
If the upgrade to business class let all the stress of the last days forget is anyone's guess.