08/05/2013 05:59 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2013

One Final Duty-Free Gauntlet Before Leaving Scotland

This video clip may show what seems like any old airport, but after two weeks in unpolished Scotland, it came as a jolt to me. At Glasgow's airport, there's only one way from security to the gates, and it routes you through the duty-free mall gauntlet.

Having survived this, I boarded my plane and settled in for my flight to London Heathrow, where I was connecting to Berlin. But then they announced that there was a fire at Heathrow, and Europe's busiest airport was completely shut down. I fly a lot, and I'm amazed how rarely I've hit a bump in the tarmac like this. Back in the airport, you can imagine the chaotic scene as everyone scrambled to sort out their plans. This is when I'm really happy I use a living travel agent. I simply called her back home and asked her to get me to Berlin any way but through London. I spent the night at the airport hotel ($100), was booked on a flight early the next morning via Amsterdam, and got to Berlin before noon.