By Emilie. The moment when your dream holiday crumbles into dust…
So today I missed a flight. Yes, feel free to judge, I am one of those people. Those idiotic, terrible travellers who do ridiculous things like arrive at the airport without their passports or printed out boarding passes, as if they don’t know the rules of travelling on a Ryanair flight. Today, I am them and they are me.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a Costa at the airport, trying not to get too annoyed at the freezing air-con and terrible music while waiting for a 8.20pm flight to Barcelona. This will arrive at midnight, and then the plane to my final destination (Croatia) won’t leave until 6.30pm the next day. So basically, I’ll be losing a whole 24 hours of my holiday. You won’t be too surprised to hear that I’m absolutely fuming.
This isn’t actually the first time I’ve done this. The first time was in Amsterdam around seven years ago. My friend and I had vaguely agreed on the 8 o’clock return flight, and booked it miles in advance. But when double checking the boarding pass in the morning I realised my flight was actually 8 o’clock… in the morning. Luckily, I was able to buy a replacement flight for not too much extra. I came out of it relatively unscathed, with a nice little lol-how-dumb-am-I? anecdote to tell.
Not this time. After our train to the airport was delayed by an ungodly 90 minutes, not even a taxi driver who drove like he was in a Mission Impossible movie (probably, not that I’ve seen any) could save us. We arrived just as the flight was taking off.
And so onto Skyscanner. Several rounds of anger, tears, panic and despair later, we booked the cheapest flights we could find. Which, for the record, were not cheap in the slightest. Although there was some relief in booking them, I was still mad. Mad at the money I was having to shell out for something that wasn’t my fault. [Edit: actually, it probably was my fault. Shoulda left earlier. I just wasn’t ready to admit it yet.] Mad at the time I was losing on a holiday that I’d worked so damn hard for. Mad at the stupid guy on the train who kept making stupid jokes like, ‘At least you can watch your plane take off.’ I mean COME ON?! Who says that?
But here’s the thing: you will laugh again. Three hours and twenty minutes after the ordeal started I laughed – when the Costa barista pointed at the Starbucks cup on the table and said, ‘Ew, Starbucks’. Not really all that funny, but the way he said it made me smile. It felt like one of those terrible movies when someone’s significant other has died and they insist they’ll never laugh again… until the do.
Because you see, I’ve actually always wanted to go to Barcelona. If I can get a whole day there and get to see Gaudi’s amazing architecture, then it might not be so bad after all. Even if I will have had to sleep on an airport floor the night before…