From the window of our hotel room, we could watch the busy movements of the crowds growing and dispersing after each flight. The plane would land on the tarmac with a great squeal from the tyres before the plane approached the terminal.
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is deceptive. It is not close to Frankfurt, or Hahn, as I understand it. It’s outside of a town called Koblenz. This airport caters for most of the budget airlines for Europe who touchdown here every couple of hours.
There is a shuttle bus that leaves every hour on the hour to Frankfurt, about 70 minutes away. These shuttle buses are packed with budget travelers who have come from the flights ready to shimmy their way to a seat. I know from my own bus experiences that it’s really a two-person juggle to get seats, as well as your luggage, on board.
Jez and I were packing our bags to leave our hotel and join the group of travelers on the shuttle bus later in the afternoon. As I paused briefly to watch the new influx of weary bodies stumble and queue up for the bus, I wondered where these people were going with their huge suitcases and plastic carry bags. Five minutes later, the bus closed up the luggage compartment and with a hiss of the brakes, pulled away from the curb.
The airport footpath was now empty again, save for one, lonely, dark blue suitcase.
My heart rate surged. Unaccompanied luggage.
In the scramble for seats, someone must have forgotten to load the suitcase on the the bus. I felt sympathy for the poor person that left behind the bag, but as time went on, I was concerned that no one had moved it from the footpath. Jez and I checked out of our room and wheeled our luggage across to the bus stop. I eyed the suitcase warily, not knowing what to think of it’s presence.
I approached the ticket booth with trepidation, as my lack of German language skills was going to be put on display.
“Excuse me, uhh, there is a suitcase over there that has been left behind.”
“Yes?” said the grey-haired man behind the glass.
“Yes, a blue one, just by the steps… It’s been there a while.” I explained.
“Okay, they will call” he said with a thick accent, turning back to his machine and ending the conversation. I walked back to the line and our own suitcases.
Fifteen minutes later, our bus trundled up to the bus stop and groaned as it let us on board. Jez was in charge of getting our bags in the hold and I was in charge of the seat scoring. I made sure that we had a window seat so that we could watch as we passed the lovely landscapes of Germany. But before we pulled away from the curb, I caught one last glance at the lonely blue suitcase and wondered: “What will happen to you?”