The Unfriendly Skies.

Hell hath no fury like a Jimi scorned! I’d like to start my rant today with a very big FUCK YOU to Vueling Airlines, whom we would happily never fly with again apart from the fact we are booked to go home with them…may the gods have mercy on their souls if they screw us around again on Saturday, let me tell you.

What should have been a most lovely start to our summer holidays turned into one of the most frustrating travel experiences that I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter. Granted, the plane didn’t crash and there was no loss of life – although it looked like some of the passengers were keen to hold a lynching near the end of our ordeal – but it was still enormously annoying nevertheless.

So, dear reader, it all started off simply enough with my beloved and I arriving at the airport an hour before our flight, as you do, only to be told that instead of the original departure time of 8.10pm it would now be 2am. This news was delivered with a goofy ‘what can you do’ kind of smile and not even a hint of an apology or vague attempt to explain why our flight was suddenly six hours behind schedule. This was a theme that continued through the evening with no real effort ever being made to justify the situation.

We weren’t even alone in our predicament as another flight, bound for Copenhagen, was delayed by three hours. By a strange twist, this turned out to be plane we eventually caught once it had made the return trip to Denmark. Sadly, this once perfectly fine airline has had a rather bad summer, with a worrying number of late or cancelled flights – something we only found out from friends when we started to broadcast about our dilemma.

unfriendlyskies

Admittedly, they treated us to a free dinner at the nearby Ibis hotel and then gave us bottled water a few hours later when the increasingly loud grumblings of the stranded passengers seemed in danger of turning into a full-scale revolt. That aside, the inconvenience of waiting until the middle of the night, in an airport where the shops had long closed, and the vending machines and water fountain were all broken, was not helped by the fact that we never were told why it was all happening. Even once on the plane, where traditionally the pilot will request forgiveness and explain the delay, regardless if it’s only half an hour, the crew was strangely quiet on the subject. In actuality, the closest we got to an apology was from their website during the flight updates – it’s a sad state of affairs when a computer comes across as far more sympathetic than the human staff.

On the plus side, under EU law we are able to claim a tidy sum in compensation for our troubles, which should cover the cost of our flights and part of the accommodation… although not our lost time. And lord knows, I’m rapidly running out of that, as my journey towards the cold embrace of death gets ever shorter. But I digress.

Eventually, we departed just after 3am, a good seven hours tardy, and arrived in Barcelona just before 5am, where we had to rouse our poor Airbnb host from his slumber to let us in. Thankfully, our black moods have since been lifted by a wonderful amount of sun-filled beach time, cocktails, pool parties and eye candy…all of which shall undoubtedly continue for the rest of our time here.

Speaking of which, the sun and sand are beckoning and I am hardly one to refuse.

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