Adventure of an Easyjet Flight
Yesterday to Athens;
Travelling. It does all of those things it is supposed to. Broadens the mind etc etc. After all it is ‘an adventure’. Just sometimes it is not quite the adventure expected.
Today was planned as the first, well may be second, day of a trip to Greece. In actuality it became The Adventure of Manchester Airport’, directed and produced by EasyJet.
My hazy early start began well enough. A ‘planned’ overnight stay at an airport hotel, so as not to get up literally in the middle of the night, left me a little bleary eyed but was softened by hot porridge in the lounge. (A freebie from my bank). Cosy contentment lasted for the two hours it took EasyJet to process myself,fellow passengers and luggage and get us safely onboard.
Act one, scene one. Complete. I was on my way!
But no! There was a change. The writer had fiddled with the plot! The flaps on the plane were not co-operating. Never mind the pilot announced. He would look for another plane. After all we were at an airport. Imagine the communal delight when he announced that he had found a spare plane. Just across the terminal. All we had to do was skip across to gate number 6 and we would be on our way. Nearly 200 people breathed a collective sigh of relief and amid snippets of ‘well it wasn’t too bad’ and ‘better to be safe’. We skipped, trundled and turned our way to Gate 6!
Which said Athens – as we approached. But then Moscow… what had happened? Yes they had a ‘broke’ plan too and their pilot had managed to whisk them on board from the next door gate. grrrr. Back to gate 20. To be precise the information desk by gate 20 where a voice from a phone next to the unmanned desk informed it would be a four hour delay until the plane from Geneva arrived. But we would be given a voucher for £3 to keep us going.
Have you ever tried to buy anything for £3 at an airport? I settled for 2 bottles of water as I slipped away from the crowd and guiltily hid behind the glass doors of the lounge once more, where I could eat to my hearts content and vent on Twitter and Facebook.
Switched off from day to day hassle I have to admit to quite enjoying my stay. I was not on such a tight schedule and though meeting a group in Athens the lovely lady organiser, when I phoned, said it would not be a problem as the other flight came in sometime after mine. Four hours in this safe haven was possibly better than four hours in Athens, I thought, unaware of what the director had in store.
Gate 3 appeared by the flight. Confirmed by a pleasant man in green. It was time to venture out again. Gate 3. There was a plane. There were all the people I had left a few hours earlier. Stressed or sanguine, they were there. Finding a seat on the periphery I waited until ‘ground crew’ announced that this plane too was ‘crock’!
Ryanair flying me to the wrong airport in Croatia last summer was beginning to look a little tame.
So, we waited. And waited. And I read a few chapters of my book and began a twitter conversation with @Easyjet. Just to pass the time.
Gate 10. Go to gate 10. Eventually there would be a plane. It was not broken. The flaps worked. The breaks worked and it would take us to Athens. 7 hours late, but hey we would get there. What is more we would get another £3 to buy some food on the plane. And we were handed a leaflet which suggested we may be entitled to €250 of compensation! Things really were looking up.
The choice of food on the plane was overwhelming. £2.75 would buy me a cup of lentil broth, £2.50 would buy me a cup of Heinz soup. With an extra £1 could purchase a sandwich or hot snack. Ah, what the heck, may be I’ll blow in on a £6.50 glass of wine. Scrap that thought. In large orange letters the voucher announced it would not buy alcohol.
I am pleased to say I am now airborne and on my way to Athens. What happens next? I will fill in when I next get an internet connection.
Addendum: The rest of the journey passed like clockwork. A bus, a boat and taxi to my hotel on Evia, where I am now watching the world wake up. But if it had all gone to plan, well it would have been a very boring day!