Did I mention that Mr C and I were of to the Rugged Coast for a few day prior to his highness entertaining clients in Barcelona? This is where we were headed.
Oh and here too.
But first we had to get there and as you already have been appraised we were flying Ryanair!!!!!!!!!!
My booking fiasco can be found here (To Ryanair, a Muted Monologue) and is worth a revisit if only to get yourselves in the mood.
Now the flight was oddly timed for Michael, ie 8.45 am, nice. As many will know Mr Ryan specialises in crack of dawn excursions so ‘late’ start most welcome. The trip to Luton Airport stress free and cheap (Daughter #2) and the Lilliputian-like allowed hand luggage double measured and triple weighed.
Ok, by the time I had been told off for a too large liquids plastic bag, Mr Carmichael’s knee had been given the Spanish Inquisition (oddly appropriate) and all the seats in Pret were taken it was irritating to find that my husband had already misplaced his sun glasses and cap. This is utterly par for the course and deserves a post of its own but suffice it to say I had packed an extra hat and the Travel Shop were happy to provide Sir with replacement shades.
It’s always disconcerting to have people running past you to queue for seats on a plane. Having refused Ryanair’s kind (and chargeable) offers of seat allocation and/or priority boarding I knew we were at the bottom of the food pile seat-wise for our flight to Girona but we has a suitcase checked in so no one was going anywhere without the Carmichaels. No way José.
We were at the back of the queue.
Luckily far enough back not to be hit with the latté grandé that was dropped a few passengers forward and exploded over another passenger’s holiday footwear. Phew.
There was no plane outside our boarding gate but Mr Ryan does turn his flights around in double quick time so I was yet to become anxious. In hindsight that was foolish. The reason our plane was not at Gate No. 2 was because it had broken down.
“Your plane has a technical fault. We can give you no more information. Please go back to Departures and await further instructions.”
Some did as bidden, a few (us included) moved to seats on the concourse and other (those near the front of the queue with more to lose) stood their ground. Fools.
Two lovely young things sat beside us and we started chatting.
“This is eating into our sunbathing on Barcelona beach,” one said to her friend.
“Why did you choose Ryanair over EasyJet?” I asked, interested.
“It was cheaper,” the other replied.
“Even with the cost of the two hour transfer?”
Shocked looks of horror. “Two hour transfer?”
Girona is approximately two hours north of Barcelona, deep in the heart of the Costa Brava. We were flying Ryanair because we were going to the Costa Brava. The girls were going to Barcelona and thought, foolishly, that because Michael Ryan calls this destination Barcelona(Gir) that it is going to Barcelona. Hah!
We have renamed it Barcgirlona.
I believe that in Scandanavia he flies into one country calling it another and buses passengers across a bridge. This bridge has been known to close in bad weather.
Anyway, back to my grief filled girls who are now waiting for a plane to be mended that will take them to a city 100 miles from where they thought they were going.
“Gosh, thanks,” they said. “We would never have known.”
“I think you would have when you arrived,” I pointed out.
So while they were checking their onward travel arrangements, Mr C was on his phone and I was watching for any Ryanair movement our attentions were distracted by a woman running up and down the concourse crying, “Please, please, please,” and banging on the plate glass windows.
She accosted other would be travellers, a man emptying the bins and a crying child who had misplaced its parents.
I must point out here, in the efforts of verisimilitude that the plane she was wanting to board and had obviously missed was not Ryanair (all those had gone hours ago except for the broken one). It was a Wizz flight, bright pink and purple and ready for take off.
The air stewards were still on the steps, the doors were not yet closed.
“I think I’m going to have to get involved,” I informed Mr C.
“Up to you,” he said and went back to his call.
A young couple were already running up and down with the pleading woman. I tried a door. It was locked as expected which I think was a good thing. Not for Mrs Please but for the security of others.
I decided to take more direct action.
Positioning myself in line with the cockpit of the plane in question (see above) I began to wave. I waved grandly, vigorously and for a very long time. I then employed my limited semaphore.
And the pilot waved back.
I gestured madly (yes, I admit there was a madness to it) that someone was trying to get onto his plane.
He gave me the thumb’s up and pointed to the door.
I gave him the thumb’s up, pointed to “please, please, please” and rushed her and the helpful young couple down to the door that the pilot had pointed to.
God, I was happy with myself. Saving a soul AND an early morning commune with El Capitan.
At the door we were met by an angry Wizz ground staff person.
“No, no it’s ok the pilot said she could get on,” I panted, purring with pride at my successful endeavours.
“I have told you three times,” Miss Wizz said to Mrs Please in a very cross voice. “This plane is NOT going to Warsaw. This plane is going to Romania. Do…you…want…to…go… to…Romania?”
“Please, please, please,” begged Mrs Please.
“Oh my god, “I said to the helpful young couple. “I can’t go back to my seat. The pilot will think I’m mad.”
I know. It does beg the question, doesn’t it?
I slunk back to Mr Carmichael and my seat opposite the nose of the plane. The captain gave me a thumb’s up. I gave the captain a thumb’s up. What else was a girl to do?
A different set of ground staff collected Mrs Missed the Flight By What I Think Now Was Quite a Long Time and she ran off with them, still thinking, I believe, that she was getting on the long gone plane.
“At least you tried,” the glass half full girls said to me.
Mr Carmichael smiled and went back to his phone.