Updated on January 30, 2010
Europe for the Weekend
Ever since the dawn of the first city, urbanites have been working hard to find a reprieve. Nowadays, many people are flying to a sunnier, quieter destination for a mere two or three days before zipping back to the city. Living in New York means that flight options are plentiful, so why not zip over to Europe if you have five days to spare? Here’s why.
Now that we’re accustomed to flying, we forget just how wide the Atlantic is and how many things can go awry while we’re in transit. Take my first attempt at a European weekend getaway. I booked an inexpensive ticket through Air Europa from New York to Paris, and agreed to connect in Madrid and travel during the off-season for that lower price. Had everything been on time, I would have enjoyed four full days in Paris, but that would be too easy. My flight to Madrid was delayed four and a half hours, which meant that I missed my connection, and had to make an emergency call from a Madrid airport phone to a relative in Paris that ended up costing me $54 (I talked them down when I got the bill). By the time I dragged my cynical, exhausted body to the center of Paris, I had missed meeting up with two people who were expecting me, and simply passed out in my hotel. On my way back to the U.S., I arrived back in Madrid with an hour to spare and to my great surprise, was met by a guy with a sign bearing my name. This guy said that my flight was closed, God only knows why, and that I should sprint across the gargantuan airport to make it on time. So I run with my bag, only to find a gigantic, heinous line at the gate, in which I waited another 20 minutes. This flight also left late.
My first suggestion is to pay more for a direct flight, and my second suggestion is to shorten the distance. I had an excellent time in Paris despite the above inconveniences, but the fact remains that Europe is still far away. Believe it.