Travel Travel Tips

An unexpected adventure…

Date and time: October 14th, that evening
Flight carrier: Ryanair
Flying too: Stansted, United Kingdom

Sitting happily in the terminal, at our gate waiting to board our plane was two very tired people. My friend and I. My friend was busy editing the wedding photos from episode 9 and I was happily using the free wifi uploading photos to facebook.

I soon started taking notice of the time, as we were meant to be in the air by 10pm and it was around 9:45pm and there was not a crew member or plane for that fact in sight. I alerted my friend and told her I would find out what was happening and would be back.

There was a staff member then that came walking down, looked around the same age as me, not a smile on her face and had this sense of arrogance to her. A few of us started questioning her for an explanation. By this time it is around 10pm and we were indeed supposed to be in the air, home bound. The facts so far;

  • There have been no announcements made. Hundreds and hundreds of people locked in a this small terminal with only one shop open that was already starting to close.
  • There were no staff at this terminal until after 10pm, when the flight was to have left.
  • No TV or audio announcements were made.

She started saying that the plane was delayed and was yet to leave London (It should have left hours ago). She left and came back after some time, with still no announcements made, starts handing out food vouchers and as word of mouth got around, by the time anyone got there – there was no vouchers left and the shop had closed anyway.

After 11pm we were still sitting around in the same terminal waiting for any explanation. Around 12-1am we were told the flight was cancelled and we had to go back out through border control and customs to re-enter the Country and get a re-directed flight out. Alot of this however was not announced properly over any loud speaker. We just saw the hundreds of people rushing out and someone told us what was happening.

Once outside back into the Country again, we had to line up behind the Ryanair customer service counter which was manned by only 2 people. Facts so far after 1am:

  • Still no announcements being made about what was happening
  • Not a staff member in sight apart from the 2 Ryanair Customer service staff
  • We had not eaten, no water… nothing.
  • I was due to fly to Korea in 2 or 3 days i believe, and then home to work. So I needed to be back in the UK as soon as possible.

We stood in line for over 3 hours. I waited in line while my friend went off and fought wars with any staff member for an explanation. My friend was then told by 3 custom officials that she would go to Polish jail if she kept it up, in which my friend said she was prepared to do so. You do not mess with a Spaniard who is hungry and senses injustice occurring. She got a hold of Flight by-laws and handed them out to the hundreds of us in line. After we all read the by-laws and saw that they were going against the law, we started an up-roar.

We were starting to think outside the box and were prepared to even rent a car and road trip across Europe back to the UK. Which in hindsight if we had taken this option, would not have been ideal as France was flooding at the time.

While my friend was off battling wars. I was waiting in line with our luggage. However as I had a sprained ankle, the person behind me had agreed to watch our stuff so I could rest my leg.  I returned only to find one guy (around the same age as us) moving my friends luggage so I told him off and he replied back with a smart comment.

Around this time Missy returns to find me in a foul mood with headphones on, after she asked me what was wrong and heard what had happened, that was it, she had a go at them as well. Few moments later those same guys then buggered off to the Pub in the airport and left their luggage in line for someone else to look after. But by this stage we were near the front of the line, otherwise we would’ve moved his luggage out.

Its now 3am, we are next in line. By this time we had waited over 3 hours in line. Both of us nearly being arrested after I then started getting pissed off and joined in on my friends battles in getting us home. Most of the flights out back to London were 2 – 3 days in advance when I was due for my next flight.

My friend starts thinking outside the box with a stop-over that would give me a free holiday. So she starts asking about Germany – all booked, Switzerland – all booked. She then came up with Madrid as her aunty lives there and we will have a place to stay for the night. After much discussion and re-arranging. We were given a free holiday to Madrid leaving the next night out of Poland. We were also given a free nights stay at the Holiday Inn hotel, with free buffet breakfast and free taxi to and from the airport to the hotel.

This my friends is where the adventure picks up again and by 4am we were in our hotel room. And with our next flight not being until the next afternoon, all was perfect and right in the world again as we could both have sleep ins, relax and eat.

The view from our hotel room the next morning…

The next morning we made it down and feasted on a huge buffet breakfast, and ended up having a party in the lobby with food and drinks with some of the other disgruntled passengers that ended up in the same boat as us.

My friend raided the hotels first aid kit and wrapped up my swollen ankle from all my encounters with gravity. I also learnt/ had a wild game of chess.

All in all a lesson was learnt.
Never travel without travel insurance.
Don’t travel with aircrafts that have a bad reputation.
Always try and make the best of a bad situation.
And have a strong friend fighting battles by your side.

And on that note, I am off to MADRID!

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