We got to the Tenerife Norte airport just before 6am, and there was a large crowd gathered outside – apparently the terminal didn’t even open until 6! When it did open, there was a bit of a mad rush to get in line at the various counters, and we then had to wait for the Iberia counter to open. Finally I got my luggage checked through to Los Angeles, and my boarding passes. Unfortunately it looked like I was going to be stuck in a middle seat from Chicago to Los Angeles, but I would try to fix that in Chicago.
The plane took off around 7:30 – and having been awake for about 23 hours, I was out like a light shortly after we were airborne. When I woke up, we were landing in Madrid 3 hours later.
The problem with the Madrid airport is that it’s so huge – and we only had an hour to get through passport control and then get to our gate, which seemed like it was 2km away! We did make it, though by the time we got to the gate the plane was boarding. I got my my seat towards the rear of the aircraft, and prepared for the long (8.5-hour) flight. The man next to me on the aisle asked if I could trade with his friend – who was in the last row. I declined, since I wanted to be able to recline my chair – and suggested that he trade with the guy who was next to his friend. Big mistake, since the gentleman who now sat next to me was rather… large, and spilled over into my personal space. Urgh. It was gonna be a long flight. Luckily, I did manage to sleep for a decent portion of it – about 4 hours or so – and enjoyed my iPod for the remaining time.
Soon we were landing in Chicago, and it was time to go through passport control, get my luggage from the baggage claim, check it back in, and go to the American Airlines flight to Los Angeles.