Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Missing Info

There seems to be somethings I forgot to post. Here is where I'll be adding info as I remember or get asked.

- I did have a return ticket for 3 months later
- I was only going for "traveling". My first trip, which I wanted to stay for 6 months was for rugby and traveling. They said I needed a visa to play and denied me entrance.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


2/2/10 - Home and after 11+ hours of sleep

Getting on the plane was a blast, please note sarcasm. With the new security that the US/TSA/Homeland security has implemented, almost every passenger has to be searched and carry-on bags inspected. This is just ridiculous and a waste of time. Of course, they have everyone get in line just to wait 20 minutes to get processed. This also makes the departure late. They didn't take my passport but my ticket did require input from the attendant.

The flight itself was fine and again had the middle seat open. We land in Philly, after taking a not so direct route, and find out that our gate isn't ready. (I really dislike this airport.) They change the gate 2 times and finally pull in. But wait...the crew was at the first gate so now we have to keep waiting from them to make their way. We finally get off the plane and everything else runs smoothly. Both my bags made it, which is awesome.

So now I've been home for over 24 hours. This trip was definitely worse than the first one. Not sure I would do it again.

Something I forgot to mention, I already had a ticket threw Airfrance that I had to change. So my initial ticket only cost a $240 more.

Haven’t cried yet, not sure if that is a good or bad sign.

2/1/10 – 2nd trip home and summary of my short stay

Please excuse the next paragraph.





I am sitting here at Paris CDG attempting to re-cap the disaster of the last few days. With few exceptions this is how it’s gone. Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Fuck You. Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Fuck You. Waiting, Waiting, Fuck You. Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Fuck You. Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, ohh…yeah, Fuck You.

In all seriousness, this trip has been so mentally draining and probably my worst trip EVER. After I finally get to Bath from the airport, I hang out at the house. The plan for the following day is to head to town to look around and site see and then meet up with the family I’m staying with for dinner (Tea). After waking up for breakfast, I went back to sleep an ended up sleeping thru the last bus into town until late afternoon so I just stayed at the house.

The travel time from Bath to Heathrow on trains is just over 2 hours and £36 off peak. My flight the next day was at 7:35am, which meant that I needed to make my way that night in order to get to the airport on time. I stayed at a hotel for £55 (£69 with tax) and took a bus that was £4 each way. I finally get to the hotel and get something to eat and it’s almost midnight. I need to wake up at 4am to get the 4:30 bus back to the airport. I end up getting about an hour of sleep, which sucked.

I get to the airport before 5 and follow the instructions I was given. I called immigration and they tell me to get my boarding pass. At this time the ticket person calls immigration and says that someone will meet me. After waiting 1.5 hours, I ask someone what’s going on. They make some calls and tell me that there is an issue with my passport. She takes me to the immigration office and there is where they tell me that they have misplaced my passport and I will be getting 2 more days of temporary admittance. So now I’ve wasted over £100 for nothing.

So now it’s 7:30am and I need to figure out what to do. The 2 options are go back to Bath or get a hotel around the airport. Most hotels, even with early check-in, the earliest you can check-in is noon. During this time I try to call the coach and am unable to reach him. Finally after 2pm, I am able to get into contact with him and make the decision to back to Bath. I make my way to bath, this time taking a bus from Heathrow to Reading and then the train from Reading to Bath. The plan for the following morning is to go to the Rec (where Bath plays) for an under 8 touch tournament and then the England Saxons vs. Ireland A.

Except for the parents, the tournament was good. The boys and girls were so cute. One of the highlights for these teams was the fact they were going to go on a parade during half time. The crowd gave them a really good reception. You could see the smiles on their faces.

After the tournament and before the game, I helped with face painting with the Bath Ladies. They are going on a tour to the USA in June. The game was great to watch. The stadium only hold about 8,000 and the crowd wasn’t too exuberant, but it was still fun. England won 14 to 13 (I think). There was a great break and chase that prevented Ireland from scoring.

After the game, we headed back to the house with a quick stop to the coach’s office. While at his office, I checked to make sure my passport was found, which it was. I felt that they “lost” my passport just to screw me over again. After a delicious meal back at the house, I was off to the train station. I end up staying at the Yotel located in the airport. It’s a rent by the hour with a 4 hour minimum. It’s weird but cool. For 7 hours it was £50 and didn’t need a bus since it was at, the airport.

I decide to get to check-in around 5:30am, since 4:30 didn’t work out well before. She is was only able to get me the boarding pass for the first leg to Paris. After going thru security, I have to wait for immigration to give me my passport. Of course it takes them awhile, but finally the lady finds me. I make my way to the gate. The boarding is a little late and of course my boarding pass is flag. They take my passport and tell me I will get it back when I land. They also have me weigh my carry-on bags. Of course I have to check a bag, the same bag I was able to take with me on the way here and the lady saw and didn’t say anything about when I got my boarding pass. I now have to pay £45 to check this bag, but it has to be cash and I don’t have that much on me. I end up giving them $80 US dollars. When I get on the plane I find that it’s the last row center seat, the worst on the entire plane. This flight is barely half full, so I’m able to take the aisle seat in another row. I realize the absurdity of them making me check my other bag.

I get to Paris and I am met at the gate by 2 police officers that have my passport. They escort me thru the airport to the Air France ticket agent. The lady is on the phone for awhile, obviously something isn’t right. I end up having to pay €125ish for this ticket change. This is where I almost lose it. I try to hold back the tears, but I’m just getting more and more irked. I didn’t think to ask was this change from the original ticket or the ticket immigration set up for me. Finally after awhile I get my boarding pass and the police take me to their headquarters. I remain there for about 10 minutes and then they send me to my gate. So now I’m here waiting for my flight, wondering if they are going to take my passport again.

I am so mentally drained and all I want to do is be home and cry. I despise crying, but it’s hard to think about anything else at the moment. So much money and time wasted. So much of making me seem like I’ve committed a crime. This entire experience I’ve held it together: Always being nice to everyone else, even when I’m not shown the same. I’m just so done with this.

Is the news good?

1/27/10 – 2nd time around trip to England.

I officially HATE airfrance. They sent me an email a few days ago stating that I needed to provide them with more information. I tried about 10 times to complete what they wanted, but their site never worked. It ended up not being an issue, but still is just another thing to add to list. I tried to check-in online, but it wouldn’t let me, another thing to add to the list. When I get to the airport, I can’t use the kiosk, another thing, and had to talk to a person. When she was checking me in, she realized something wasn’t quite right. It ended up not being an issue, just something weird since these tickets were changed and the person didn’t do something, another thing. To top off all my frustration and nervous, I rip a hole in the knee of my jeans saying bye to my mom.

Flight was a Delta flight that left out of a domestic terminal, yeah; I thought that was weird as well. The flight was schedule to depart at 6:35pm, but didn’t until after 7:15ish. It turns out that the plane had landed at 4pm in terminal A from Paris (the international terminal) and had to be taxied over to terminal D. When the plane finally arrived it still needed everything done for the new flight. So not only was it poor logistics, it wasn’t efficient use the time. My flights to London were glorious once it got going. The flight from Philadelphia to Paris was pretty empty, leaving the middle seat open. Probably could’ve laid down in a row of seats had I thought about it. It had Delta Demand, which is an individual screens for each seat to play movies/tv/music/games.

With the plane being late, my connection was close, but I got there 15 minutes before boarding. Going thru security was a breeze and didn’t have to travel far luckily. This flight was packed but I had an aisle seat and wasn’t so bad. It was a really short ride. Landed in Heathrow and made my way thru customs.

In case you weren’t aware of what happened before: I was denied entrance because I was told I needed a visa and had to leave 2 days later. I knew that I would be on a list and most likely get held up at customs. I made sure that all my ducks were in a row and my stories were straight. Nearly 7 hours, 3 interviews, bag inspection and 2 free sandwiches, I was told I was being denied again. The basic reason why I was denied this time was because I messed up before and nothing changed for this trip. She said that If I had gotten a job and then came back in 8 months to a year, I probably would’ve been fine. (I’m sorry, I live in USA where 2 weeks starting vacation is good. Not everyone can have 4-6 week vacations.) She stated some other stuff, but above were the main reasons. She said that I could’ve gotten a visitor’s visa from the embassy. When I was doing research, I saw no such thing for USA. This is now the 2nd time their stupid site has help ruin a trip. She also said having an itinerary would’ve been good. The point of this trip was to just go with the flow, so having an itinerary would’ve been opposite of that.

I’m currently on the way to Bath to meet up with the Coach. I really didn’t feel like being miserable for 2 days in London by myself and in some cheap hotel.

So now I have no plans to return to the UK and will probably run into trouble every time unless I get a visa. This sucks. At least now I can waste all the money I haven’t been spending by visiting people, going to shows, learning to snowboard and going out. Las Vegas and/or Savanna for rugby? Toronto and/or Colorado and/or Boston and/or LA to visit friends?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Night Before

Tomorrow/Later Today is my 2nd attempt to visit England. This will hopefully go more smoothly then the 1st time. I'm getting a little nervous, but trying not to worry about it too much. I'm heading off to bed now and will hopefully post again with good news.