The plane went around 0930 from Frankfurt to Chicago and from there on to Orlando. Afterwards this was one of my worst flights I ever had and at the same time my first intercontinental flight. I think that I flew with American Airlines at that time. At that time there were still. Shortly afterwards I flew with Delta and United and they didn’t really give each other anything. The plane was old and the seats in the economy were extremely tight. Maybe it seemed like that to me at that time.
But I thought I was 9,5h just cramped. Today I can easily handle an 11h flight, but the place should not be like with Ryanair for such a long distance. Unfortunately we got into a storm in Chicago that forced us to stay on the runway for three hours. So it became over 12h. I had missed my connection to Orlando or it went later. In any case I had to spend some time at the airport. Quite late the flight finally went to Orlando, so that maybe I finally arrived there around 2200. Somehow there was nothing going on at the airport and I had to orient myself first.
Naive as I was at that time I wanted to get to the pre-booked hotel somehow by public transport. So I wouldn’t book a hotel today, nor would I go to the USA without a rental car. You just can’t get away from the hotel without a car, unless you take a taxi and it costs you as much as a week to rent a car. Motels can be found at every corner from 40$ and I find them mostly better than hotels, as the rooms are about the same or even bigger and more comfortable. In addition, in the USA I also immediately fall for the laziness to want to park the car directly in front of the door. At some point I realized that I had to take a taxi to the hotel.
My conference hotel should be reserved for me the following night. Here I can perhaps make a small excursion to the USA. At that time there was still the note i-94, then free ESTA, then 15$ ESTA. Let’s see how it develops. Basically the entry person decides whether you can go in or not. There is nothing you can do. If YOU don’t like it then it goes back. The people ask you basically what you have before in the USA and who you are. Meanwhile I have made the experience that they are trained to connect the answers. If you say you go to a conference, then which ones, what do they do professionally, can you buy the technology somewhere, for what is it needed etc.?
So they make sure that what you tell them is true and that you know the material and not some crap. If a person believes you, there is a photo and a fingerprint. With a little luck the entry procedure doesn’t take that long. After that there may still be customs, but I’ve never had that before. So the taxi driver brought me for about 100 $ to the hotel which also cost somehow 80$. Since it had become very late and I was totally finished from the nevertheless long journey I banged myself immediately on the bed and matted off until the cleaning person woke me. (Here still what: Basically always not disturb sign at door. Always!)