Sunday, October 3, 2010

what a long trip home!

That would have to be the longest door-to-door flight home I've ever had. Best start at the beginning...
Nuts to you!
Where we stayed in Oxshott is about 12 miles from Heathrow. Our flight was due to leave at 12.30pm on 30 October, so we thought in view of the usually appalling traffic on the M25 we would leave early to make sure we weren't late. So off we drove at 7am in the fog expecting to be an hour or more, but it only took us 25 minutes! We dropped off the car and caught the bus to the terminal and waited till 9am to check in. While we were having some breakfast at a cafe, a mother and her 2 kids finished their meal and headed off, but the very smartly dressed little boy had forgotten his parka. I couldn't find any ID in it, so left it over the chair hoping he would come back. He didn't. When we wandered off I spotted him and his mum on some chairs, so did my Good Samaritan deed and told them where his jacket was - I saw him later clutching it very tightly!
Anyway, by 11.30 there was no sign of a gate or boarding, and then there was an announcement that the flight was delayed till 1.45. And could we all please head to the the THAI counter to get a meal voucher. OK no worries. 1.45 came and went, but we didn't. We were then told the flight would board at 3pm for a 4pm take off. Everyone headed down to the appointed gate at 3pm, and when we were all assembled there was an announcement that the toilets on the jumbo were defective and that 'if you need to use the lavatory please do so before you board the plane'. So, a 12 hour flight with dodgy/non-functioning dunnies? That ought to be fun.
Finally we got on to discover that about half the toilets were out of action. And we didn't leave till 4.45. Which meant that we were going to miss our connection for Sydney the next morning. So we tried to sit back and relax, but the man across the aisle had decided he was going to get drunk and pester everyone - all flight. What a dickhead.
When we eventually got to Bangkok about 9.30 am on 1 October (missing our flight which left at 8am) there was mayhem. Loads of THAI staff with cards for various flights that people had missed. There was about 16 people who missed the Sydney flight, and the THAI staff had managed to secure seats on a flight to Vietnam that evening and then transfer to Sydney on Vietnam Air. We didn't like the sound of that. Or Manila. Or Melbourne. So finally the very helpful lady said that we could get on the same flight the next day, which meant 20 hours in Bangkok. She arranged hotel accommodation with full board for the 4 of us who were left, and off we went to actually RELAX - you know the kind of thing: sit by the pool, swim, sauna, massage, sleep etc. Instead of being in a plane on the tarmac in Hanoi in a storm wondering if you will ever see your luggage again.
And to our delight when we went to check in yesterday we were upgraded to business class. Whacko! The 2 guys who were with us had never been in business class before, so all I heard from their seats was the whirring of the motor on their reclining seats, and little squeals of delight when the next lot of champers came past.
So we arrived feeling pretty good after about 50 hours of travelling to get here.
And to Puntamanut J of THAI ground staff - we LOVE YOU LONG TIME!

No comments:

Post a Comment