Our planned connection flight to Valencia Thursday night was missed due to American Airlines scheduled “routine maintenance” delaying our overseas flight from Miami to Madrid by 3 hours.
By the time we took off, there were no direct flights Friday from Madrid to our connecting city Valencia.
We decided to instead fly straight to Vienna a day early, and paid out of pocket for a reasonable flight.
Cue our panic as the American Airlines representative tells us we MUST follow them on a wild goose chase of 2 connecting flights and a day wasted to get to Valencia that night – or else!
Friday morning in Madrid. I was distraught and sleep deprived, so after yelling at the AA rep, Sam sent me away so he could be level headed and convince the AA rep to keep our return flight.
He succeeded- he has a way with people. After fresh squeezed orange juice and a cafe con leche – we took off to Madrid to visit El Prado museo.
Now on to the prayer room.
Flight from Madrid –> Vienna no issues.
We arrived late Friday night in Vienna and our airbnb could not host us a day early.
Whats one more sleepless night at this point? We decide to post up in the airport. I google popular sleep spots in the terminal. We decide on the prayer room.
4 hours of fitful sleep pass with no issue.
But since I am a ninja with honed paranoia skills from many a manly stalking in Chicago and European streets, I do not sleep deeply in situations with a degree of risk.
At 1:45 am, I hear another muslim enter for the hourly prayers, as a few others had done previously. Within my light sleep, I hear him remove his shoes and enter the space on the other side of our curtain. Then the noises uncharacteristically stop.
My subconscious perks its ears. Something is off. As the silence stretches 1 minutes, 2 minutes- no shuffle of the prayer mat, no murmured “allahs,” my spidey senses tingle.
I remove my eye mask to see his body deftly skirt around our curtain. Startled, I get up from my sleep bench and see a young man crouching on the floor of the prayer space. He did not expect me to awake.
“Hello,” I say, not yet realizing why this man had been so close to our sleeping bodies. He answers in German. I still know something is up. Sam wakes. I say he was behind our curtain, and then Sam noticed the white noise app on his phone has ceased.
“Hurry!” Sam takes off after the man, who had snuck out after realizing his imminent quandary.
Lo and behold, the two return to the prayer room to empty out the man’s bag and find Sam’s iphone. Well, only after I threatened to fetch the “security.” The thief recognized that English word.
All in all, I would not gamble on sleeping in an airport again. We stayed up 2am – 6 am watching LOTR and planning our first day in Vienna.