Well my bank holiday weekend ended up being an epic adventure, it started Saturday morning by me waking up earlier than usual because I am as bad as the kids, I was excited. I had booked months ago tickets to see Andre Reiu in concert in Vienna, they had cost a small fortune and they were tricky to get. So the weekend had come finally not only a weekend away but the beginning of my half term holiday. The concert was due to start at 7.30 that evening, but that was ok because the plane got into Vienna at 5.30, plenty of time. My brother in law took us to Heathrow, we left at nine and arrived at one. Was dropped off at Heathrow said our ‘goodbyes’ and in we went.
- Because we had checked in on line the day before all we needed to do was to check in the luggage. There was no queue which was great considering it was a bank holiday weekend. Went straight through security and had time to look around duty free, perfect, so far so good. Then our gate came up, gate 56, why is it always the one that is the furthest away? I felt as if we had walked halfway back to Devon to get to it. Anyway we got there with plenty of time to spare, which is unusual, because it is quite common for us to be running for a plane, but today it was all going very smoothly and we could see the plane parked up on the runway waiting for us. We settled ourselves down, got the compulsory trashy magazines out and waited for the call for us to start boarding the plane. We had been sat there for about five minutes when an announcement piped up, ‘there is an electrical fault with the plane, but once it is fix we will be able to board you on the plane, I will give you an update in about 15 or20 minutes’. That’s ok I thought 20 minutes late, they always make up time in the air, we will be there in time still. After about half an hour another announcement piped up, ‘we are still looking for the part to fix the plane, we have got people all over the airport looking and as soon as we have found it we then have to fix it, I will update you in another 20 minutes’. Find the part, and to top that off I saw out the window in a white van with two men in florescent jackets looking and scratching their heads over what looked like a manual. Good job I am not a nervous flyer that would have tipped me over the edge, my confidence was beginning to dwindle. So we sat there trying to work out the timings, its ok as long as we have left by 3.30 we would still make it. We will have to get the taxi straight to the concert, but that’s alright. So we sat a bit longer, then another announcement, ‘we have found the part to fix the plane, all we need to do
- now is fix it, that might take a bit of time, but we have lots of engineers on the case, of cause it is better that the you get to your destination safely and late than not at all’. This is honestly what she said, what announcement school did she go too? If I was her I would get my money back. My better half went to find out what time they thought they would be getting going. 4.50, we were fucked, that meant that we would not arrive until 6.50, then with the hour difference that’s 7.50, then by the time you get off and get your luggage, we were not going to get there till at least 8.30, bugger, what do we do now? Our options were to continue to Vienna, but we were only going for the concert and coming back the Sunday afternoon, or not go and try and salvage what we had left of the day and maybe go into central London and claim our money back. So off we marched to ask for our bag to be taken off the plane, but the queue to the desk had become rather long as people were queuing to either get a meal voucher or get their bags off too. My better half came back saying I will be surprised if our bag does turn up they did not even take our names.
They said to go to arrivals to get the bag, so off we went to try and get out of the departure lounge. We walked all the way back to the duty free area and back to security where we came in, but they sent us back near to the gate again, who sent us back up again, how do we get out, help! Well of cause we were in a secure area so we found another security guy who said we needed to go to immigration, which was down there, round the corner, in a lift up to the next level, off we set again to find immigration, one women on a desk sent us down the wrong corridor, so back up the corridor to find more security men who let us through a secure gate, we found the lift then up to immigration, we found it, but of cause this is where everyone goes when they get off their plane and come into the country, so we joined the queue and got our passports ready to show. Interesting showing our passport to get back in when we had not been anywhere. We went up to the desk, ‘where have you been travelling from madam?’, ‘gate 56’ we replied. We did get a strange look, but then we went into our spill, the same story that had been repeated several times. So she had a little smile, one that said ‘ya good luck finding your bag’ smile, gave us our passports and off we went to the baggage reclaim. Well which conveyer belt would it be coming in on? Found the information desk, such a helpful man, not, after we and others from the Vienna flight waited for him to finish his conversation on the phone, asked were our luggage would be, he said one and pointed. So we waited. As you can see from the photo, not much action going on. It
was at this point I said ‘I need a larger’. Again we were in a secure area, we asked the security man if we went out of this area would we be able to get back in, he said yes as long as we were escorted back by security. I thought it was worth it for a larger, so out we went. Found a bar back where we started, had a pint, then trotted or should I say floated back to see if bag had turned up yet. Found the gate that we needed to get through to the other side. As the bag was in my name I was the only one allowed through, off came the shoes again, passport out, I had four security people watching me, bearing in mind I had had a pint of larger on an empty stomach, I had to use all my concentration to stay up right to balance to get my shoes off. It’s like when you are a teenager and have been drinking trying to act sober in front of your parents, I was starting to get the giggles. I walked through the metal detector and a big serious woman was waiting for me. ‘Arms out straight’, she did a full body search, she was so through, she checked my mouth, luckily I was chewing a piece of gum so I don’t think she smelt the larger. I thought any minute now she is going to slap some rubber gloves on and ask me to bend over. Another security man escorted me to my bag, it was there, a miracle. Out I went with the bag, now get to the hotel that we had booked, it was only 10 minutes away, so how hard could that be. £60 for the taxi, £95 for the hotel room later, at least we had a bed for the night. Sunday morning we thought we would get our monies worth in the breakfast. Even that did not go right. The tables were dirty, the food was cold, cold coffee, no veggie option, had to ask for clean cups and saucers, so off I went and had a little chat with the duty manager. All in all, what a weekend, thanks BMI.