Finally made it to Germany

Our flight from Singapore to Frankfurt boarded at the expected time of 22:40 (after the 23 hour delay). However, there was a further delay once we were on board. The captain told us in an announcement the reason for the initial delay. Two members of the crew independently fell sick in Singapore. Apparently they have capacity for one crew member to be incapacitated, but not two, so they had to fly out an extra crew member from Germany for our flight. And then that person had to have a legally specified rest period before working on our flight, thus resulting in the total delay of 23 hours.

We noticed on the departure boards that there was another flight leaving for Frankfurt at 23:40 as well – Saturday’s regular flight. Apparently some other passengers on our flight got confused, thinking that was the delayed flight, because once we were on board and had been waiting for some time without any movement, the captain announced that we couldn’t leave because three passengers had checked bags on the flight, but had not boarded or shown up at the gate. They assumed they were at the gate for the later flight and were trying to find them, but not having any luck.

After almost an hour of sitting motionless at the departure gate, they announced that they’d located two of the missing three passengers and they had boarded, but they were still missing one. As a result, they were now searching through all the baggage in the hold, looking for that passenger’s luggage to remove it from the plane. This was supposed to take another twenty minutes or so.

It took longer than that. We finally pushed back from the gate at 24:15, an hour and 35 minutes after our rescheduled departure time, for a total delay from the original departure time of 24 hours and 35 minutes. We were actually leaving after the next day’s regular flight. In other words, if we’d departed Sydney a day later, we would be arriving in Frankfurt sooner.

Our flight landed at 07:10, over 49 hours after we left Sydney. We went to the Frankfurt Airport train station and bought tickets to Würzburg. Our pre-bought tickets were Flexpreis tickets which allowed us to take any train on the same day, in case our arrival was delayed a few hours. We hadn’t reckoned on being delayed a whole day! So we had to buy new tickets (another claim to Lufthansa/travel insurance). The train dropped us in Würzburg about two hours later. We walked the few blocks to our hotel. We checked in and made it to our room at 10:45. Door to door it was something like 56 hours from home to our hotel.

We had time to visit my aunt in her nursing home – the whole reason we came to Würzburg in the first place. We saw her in the afternoon and that was really good.

Tonight we had dinner in the Bürgerspital Weinstube, which was recommended to us by our hotel check-in lady. It was delicious and a very Franconian way to end our first day here. Now, time to sleep… hopefully, for about 9 hours. We have to get up early and hop on a train to Cologne for the first of my standards meetings tomorrow afternoon.

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