If you think your day is going bad. Think again. Shirley Price of Yes Promo Products tells of her 'holiday from hell'.
8:30am on Christmas Eve we arrived at Gatwick (eventually via diversions, closed roads due to trees down, floods etc.).
We were moved round the airport between north and south terminal, gates, waiting areas and anywhere else they could hide people all day and evening.
6:00pm we eventually learnt that our flight was re-scheduled for Christmas day at 10:00am!
We went to the lounge (at a cost of £55.00 to include all food and drink) so that we could get something to eat as nothing had been provided and the loos didn’t flush – dreadful!.
We then learnt that as it was Christmas Eve although the lounge was staying open until 10:00pm they decided to stop serving food at 7:30pm. It was 7:31 when we tried to order! The coffee station was not being replenished and there was no milk for tea. What did we pay £55.00 for? – Oh yes, to sit in a comfy sofa!
8:00pm We were told that we had to go and claim our baggage back. That was chaos.
2:30am we found our case!!!
We went to find a seat to lay down on as we were really tired by then.
3:15am they put a tannoy out to tell us that we had to urgently go to the south terminal to check in again. Off we went – we had nodded off for 10 minutes. On arriving at the desk at the south terminal we were told that there were no staff to check us in and but they hoped to get some staff in at 6:00am.
6:30am a lovely young lady turned up to check us all in. There was just her on her own to deal with everyone.
10:00am we eventually boarded the plane and took off. Fingers crossed!
Off we went to Malaga.
Heading into Malaga we encountered heavy turbulence. On the approach the pilot had to abort the landing because of cross winds. He pulled up, went round and descended for a second attempt. As we went to touch down a flock of birds appeared and we hit some. We then had a very late abortion of the landing with big mountains just in front of us.
By this time people were being sick, screaming and staff telling us to pull our seatbelts as tight as possible in case.
We then had to divert to Alicante to re-fuel and have the plane checked over for damage. Whilst on the ground at Alicante half the passengers demanded to get off and refused to go back to Malaga for a third attempt as they felt it was not safe to do so.
In for a penny by this stage, off we went again.
6:30pm on Christmas day we eventually landed at Malaga.
Luckily some friends were already in the area, and had a hire care, realised that we were not going to get our booked taxi a day late, and came to the airport to pick us up. They very kindly picked us up and took us to our apartment.
Unfortunately the apartment was dreadful. Damp, smelly, dirty and even had mould growing up the curtains. We decided that we had no choice but to stay there for the night, especially as we had been up for 2 days.
In the morning we spoke to our friends who are members of Club la Costa, and they managed to get us an apartment in their resort. They were so kind, and used their ‘points’ to book it for us and wouldn’t even let us pay – true friends!
So we did eventually get a nice 4 day break out of our week.
My husband did say that we are staying at home for Christmas next year – no sense of adventure!!
It was a bit of an epic journey!
Hope your next holiday goes a little smoother Shirley. A metereologist on Radio 4 said that the rainfall over the Gatwick area at Christmas was highest on record. Three inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours on a surface that was already wet. Three inches of rain = 750 tonnes of water on the surface of a football pitch. Imaging that rainfall over the catchment area of the mole river, that's the river that flows next to Gatwick. May help explain just one of two of the delays. (Not that it will make you feel any better now!!
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