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Returning to Texas

I don't often do trip reports, but do share the aspects of coming and going, so ...

I have a 6am flight to AUS so about 16 hours ago I used the City Taxi App to set up the taxi to the airport. My impression of the app is that it's not a reservation, but it puts your request in the system about 30 min prior to pickup, and whatever taxi is free, responds. With that in mind, and it being Friday, I requested 3 hours prior to flight time just to have a little buffer. I don't sleep anyway, so it doesn't matter.

The taxi arrived 15 minutes early, so I am way early. Cost was 11300 forunts from about the Opera House. Took 35 minutes.

Went straight to security as I am carry-on only. I dont have a hangup on traveling light. I just dont like waiting in ticket counter lines. Everyone else will need to wait until at least 4 am.

Most EU flights depart 2A, but 2A security was stiĺl closed, so I walked past the few dozen people who were waiting, and I walked down the hall to 2B where security is always open. Both dump into the same departure hall, so it doesn't matter. Took 5 minutes to pass through security laptop and liquuds out and shoes on. The agents were kind and helpful with everyone. One perfectly legal hard sided spinner and one backpack legal on Lufthansa because the only thing in it are a laptop some meds, liquids and my keys so it will scrunch down to the Lufthansa 4" maximum thickness. My carryon is half empty, so I might cram it inside of it before the flight. Also, a small cross body pouch that hangs at my hip for the cell phones, passport and wallet. Empty pockets, watch is packed.

Then straight to the rooftop terrace to watch the planes come and go. Not many this early. Where I am comfortably sitting now. About 4:30 my favorite restaurant wilĺ open and I will have breakfast. Most open at 4am.

Now at O'Leary's for breakfast. Full English breakfast about $12 and its enough for 2. Americano coffee is about $2.75. Expensive for Budapest but cheap for airport food. In front of me is a flight board so I can see when my gate opens.

So far, stress free.

Posted by
18824 posts

I've done this flight a dozen or more times. It's almost routine.

My gate isn't on the board yet, says 30 minutes, but Lufthansa updated my boarding pass on the App and it says A04.

I am basic economy but I got boarding group 3. Doesn't matter as they board these small planes like cattle. Really just one group. We will see. In Frankfurt I am group 6 LOL!

Posted by
346 posts

OK, I have not traveled to Europe since 2019 (pre covid). At that time there were no "group" boardings except First, Business and Economy. What is the deal with Lufthansa grouping? Sounds like Southwest before one could select a seat for extra $$. Is this the same?

Yes, I could have googled this but what the heck. Isn't this type of question what the Forum is for?

Posted by
2113 posts

I can’t!!! I can’t be at an airport that early. I’ve done it a few times and will never do it again. I don’t know how some do it and think nothing of it. I spend a lot of time looking for flights that work with my natural sleep patterns.

What is a T-sip?

Posted by
18824 posts

I understand, but I am at the lower end of the RS member income spectrum and I like to travel .... a lot .... so I grab the cheapest flight with very few exceptions. We do what we gotta do. 4 of these cheapo tickets is the same as 2 or 3 nicer flights/class.

Didn't notice Lufthansa switched my seat. I'm at a window. I dislike window seats. But short flight so I will live.

Posted by
4943 posts

Relax, Diane. no 6am flight for this traveler, either!

United 9537 @ 11:10 Budapest to Frankfurt, wait 4.5 hours, then United 927 Frankfurt to SFO.

Posted by
18824 posts

It's okay. I cleaned up the T-sip with a baby wipe I borrowed.

Flight into Frankfurt only 10 min late. Bus trip from the plane, the walk to Z gates and the TWO passport checks only took 45 minutes. Would have been easier on the bus if people had removed their backpacks.

Departure 60 min + delayed. Trying to blame it on a gate change, but that was an hour ago. No plane so far.

Posted by
18824 posts

People are holding up boarding while trying to cram way too large bags in the overhead. Where was the Lufthansa Agent!! They should pay the agents $20 for every bag they catch.

And we are apparently missing 2 passengers who, if they checked luggage, will further delay the flight while they get the luggage off.

The middle seat is empty so my personal under seat item just went there. Home in 9 hours.

Posted by
4174 posts

You can run but you cannot hide. They're everywhere!

Hope you get back to Austin safe, sound and soon.

🤘 Hook 'em! 😉

Posted by
1989 posts

In the Delta Terminal at Lisbon Airport

Custom agents have gone on strike so lines are very long but staff granted mercy upon me, took me out of line and gave me priority screening

Sometimes old has its benefits.

Posted by
9880 posts

It's okay. I cleaned up the T-sip with a baby wipe I borrowed.


Posted by
18824 posts

Flight arrived AUS two hours late. AUS is one of the airports where you claim luggage before passport control and I think that works pretty good at releasing the crunch at passport control. I have Global Entry so really doesn't matter. Took 2 minutes.

Then UBER 2 hours home. Only issue is US phone data refused to work, so to TMobile today.

Posted by
18824 posts

Okay, about 2 months in Europe and TMobile blocked my data service. Took 2 trips to TMobile store to figure it out and 2 minutes to fix it.

Posted by
18824 posts

There was a short lived post that suggested this post was Facebook like. I dont have Facebook so don't know.

I hope that I provided information on:
A concern on the taxi app to the airport
How long and the cost to the airport
A backdoor through security at BUD
The time things open in the airport .... food and cost
A sort of unknown roof top terrace at the airport
Lufthansa carryon checks
Lufthansa boarding group cattle caĺls
Lufthansa seat switching
Flight delays and layover times
Austin passport control
Getting from AUS to SAT
Cleaning up T-sips
The possibility of your data being turned off if you stay too long.

I forgot, FRA to AUS was about 80% full, I was in the last boarding group (6) and still no problems with space in the overhead.

And I think we did the thread with a little good humor and fun.

Posted by
581 posts

You took Uber from Austin to San Antonio?? Wasn’t that outrageously expensive?

Posted by
11511 posts

You took Uber from Austin to San Antonio??

I doubt it was to San Antonio. Its only 80 miles. 2 Hrs on Texas freeways is 150-180 miles.

2 hrs gets you close to Houston

Posted by
18824 posts

Wrong oh great one. I35 between Austin and San Antonio is a horrible mess of traffic. The trip was closer to 2.5 hours which unfortunately isn't unusual. And the trip is 80 miles, almost exactly. My uber driver was starting to doze off. Miserable trip. If my flight had been on time and had arrived before 2pm I suspect I would have gotten home 30 to 45 minutes sooner. But I arrived at 3:45 which was already rush hour. Downtown Houston would have been a solid 3 hours.

We are twice the size of Austin, but have half the income so the only international flights are to Mexico. Have to go to Austin or Houston for everything else. But I understand Condor is coming next year with flights to FRA I think.

Posted by
18824 posts

I was really expecting a question on the TMobile..... Very disappointing experience. But interesting in that the block was apparently at the network level and not something put in my phone. In Europe I wasn't using the US TMobile network (but was using the European TMobile network) so my phone worked flawlessly up until I tried to log into TMobile in the US. Also explained why for a few minutes it worked on the highway going home. Probably hit a TMobile dead zone and was on another network. And there is no notification given before it happens and it does not show up when the TMobile store checked my account for problems. Only showed up when the specific question was asked with the service rep on the phone (after 30 minutes of fussing with the phone and settings)

"Did you guys block me because I was in Europe too long?"

"Oh yes, MrE, that is apparently what happened. I just took the block off, you are good to go"

Posted by
18824 posts

Oh, I left out another little tidbit. Leaving Schengen at passport control, they do check for compliance. I was curious, so I neglected to give the agent my Residency Card. I could tell by the look on his face after he ran my passport he wasn't pleased, he got as far as "can you explain ..." and I handed him the card. He looked and passed me.

Posted by
548 posts

Enjoyed reading about your experience getting back home. Thanks for the tips on security and roof top terrace at Budapest airport. Who knew?

We had a delay on our flight from Berlin to LHR. Pilot said “apparently we have two passengers who have decided not to fly with us today. We will be delayed until their luggage is removed”. Still don’t understand how that happens.

Enjoy your time at home. Maybe we’ll see you next Apri.😊

Posted by
18824 posts

Texas is my visit. Budapest is my home.
I am apparently hosting Muster in Budapest in April (if we get enough to show up), so I will definitely be there.