Uggg Egypt Air, but Cairo is Awesome!

Without a doubt, the worst part of our trip was actually getting out of Greece.  Dealing with Egypt Air on the way out was a complete pain start to finish.  We did catch a bit of a break, the metro wasn't going on strike until noon that day, so we were easily able to take the metro to the Airport instead of having to navigate the bus system again. I really wish international airports checked in based on airline instead of the specific flight.  On numerous occasions, we've been stuck waiting to even check in to the flight before we even hit security or customs!  After they finally started checking in for the flight, we were told that we needed to show the credit card we used to pay for the flight.  Since we go cash only when we travel, and that particular credit card is vicious about international fees, it happened to be sitting in my wallet back at school, not with us in Athens posing a potential risk for theft and fraudulent charges.  One of the ladies tried to tell us that we would typically have to purchase new tickets (!) but that they would kindly make an exception and take a photocopy of my passport along with my signature.  This cheesed me off to all kinds of Mondays because we already had problems buying the tickets; the bank thought the ticket charge was fraudulent and blocked access, and now the airline was trying to tell me the ticket purchase wasn't legit.  There is no reason they needed to see the credit card for a purchase that was made almost a month prior to the flight, when there was no issue with the departure tickets.

Next, they tried to tell us our carry on luggage was too heavy (it weighed exactly as much as it did when we flew Egypt Air to Athens!) and that Steve's backpack didn't count as a personal item!  So we had three carry on items and one personal item instead of two of each.  We have traveled with this exact combo of luggage through no less than six airports and have never had an issue.  While it is most likely not the fault of the woman behind the counter, the fact that they are applying Egypt Air rules, that clearly didn't exist/apply when we flew two weeks prior really bugged me.  So we ended up having to check one of the bags.  Thankfully, they don't charge extra for this convenience, so the only loss is time spent waiting at the luggage carousel.  Since the handle on Steve's luggage broke about 20 feet outside of our apartment on our way to Athens, we decided to check his and not have to deal with the inconvenience.

Thankfully, the flight to Cairo was relatively peaceful, after only a slight delay of our departure.  Once in Cairo though, we got more of the airport run around.  Since we had an eight hour layover, we were directed to go to a special counter an have our tickets checked.  It turned out that they were checking to see if we'd made hotel accommodations, and if they had asked us, we easily could have told them that we hadn't.  But alas, line waiting instead.

So how do you comfortably kill eight hours in Cairo's airport?  VIP lounge is how.  It was $25 each for us to get in, but it was completely worth it.  We easily would have spent that amount on food while in the airport, so there was no doubt that for a long layover, it was money well spent.  We even had great comfy couches, but sadly only 30 minutes of free internet.  I really wish more airports had free or ad included internet access instead of trying to charge for it.  We're getting ready for our Spring break trip, and hopefully we can avoid flying Egypt Air through Cairo, but if we have to at least we know where to spend our layover.

The layover passed quickly and the flight from Cairo to Jeddah was uneventful.  We even had our taxi waiting for us when we got through customs!

*Catch up on our entire Athens adventure by checking Our Travel Page, or our Greece tag.*

Catch up on the rest of our adventure: