Thursday, November 1, 2018

Airports: one reason why you need valium

Our airport experiences are all without incident, although from time to time the sight of police or soldiers patrolling with guns can be disconcerting.

We have also experienced the odd problem in London at Heathrow, firstly trying to get help from the designated help staff and then to find the check-in desk of an airline apparently no one available knew existed.  They were not very good ‘help’ staff.

The fact we couldn’t find the airline counter left us cursing the travel agent.  It existed in name, we found it in the phone book and on the internet, but …

The phone rang out - ugh!

The internet site could not be used to check in or manage the booking on the same day as the flight!

Double ugh!

Until a little footwork found the agents desk and the misunderstanding was sorted out.

By the way, the airline itself was a pleasure to fly on, the staff was very helpful and most of all we arrived just before the airport closed.  It was odd to discover that some airports closed, particularly Florence.  It was the second time we were the last people out and having to turn off the lights.  And, because I booked the transfer to the hotel myself, he was there waiting for us!

Holiday over, the joys of visiting relatives we hadn’t seen for a long time, and an unusual but wonderful New Year’s Eve and a wedding two days later, only a flight stands between us and getting home.  After days, sometimes weeks, it is that moment we all look forward to; sleeping on our own beds, making our own food and getting to the gym to work off those extra kilos put on by delicious hotel food or local fare where calorie counting is not part of the dining experience.

Of course getting to the airport from the hotel can be an experience in itself whether by taxi, perhaps the taxi driver from hell who knows only two speeds fast and stop and is also, unfortunately, color blind.  Or whether you have arranged for a transfer only to discover it’s not coming because the company went out of business or you changed hotels and someone forgot to tell them.  Or the travel agent made a mistake or forgot to confirm the booking.  Oh yes, it happens.

We have a hire car and will be returning it t the same place.  Let’s hope the signage at the airport makes it easy to find the rental place.  In London we had a hell of a time trying to find it; good thing we were hours earlier than we should be.  In Chicago, the car rental depot was miles from the airport.

And just because the sign says ‘rental returns’ for the lane you're in it doesn't necessarily follow it's the right lane.  Then as you miss the exit, and get stuck on the one-way road system, all of a sudden you have left the airport and you're heading back to the city.

If you're running late ...

But if everything goes to plan you can get to the airport with time to spare.

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