Are We There Yet?
No. And we’re not going to be, either.
Sometimes don’t you catch yourself thinking ‘If only I could suffer all the pain of airports without having to go through the boring holiday bit in between’? Well, I just did.
Yesterday morning I set off for Marseilles from London. Eight hours later I was still in the departure lounge. Storms were turning the destination boards into roulette wheels, and suddenly I was Steve Martin in ‘Trains, Planes & Automobiles’. For the first time ever I had decided to travel without my laptop. ‘Why would you need it?’ I told myself. ‘Prove you can go without it for three days.’
I had a book on me (one of Peter Lovesey’s ‘Sergeant Cribb’ books). That lasted an hour. I had my Kindle and iPad and phone. They soon all needed charging. I eventually paid forty quid to go into the lounge, only to have the flight cancelled. Of course there were no more seats on any other airline available for days. I had friends waiting for me in a rented apartment in Marseilles. I had clocked up flights, trains, lunch, duty free, dinner and lounge costs without leaving the country.
I’m now back at home almost feeling like I had the break, just without actually having had it.
I don’t get upset because there’s no point, but I’m always staggered by how rude some people can be to the ground staff, forgetting that they’re usually the only person qualified to get them back in the air. And this isn’t as bad as the journey I once had between Thailand and Malaysia, when I changed planes at five past midnight on New Year’s Eve only for the travel company to discover that their flight permit had expired with the old year.
Worst travel stories welcome!