Really Shit Travelling Experiences

IdleRich

IdleRich
A few years ago we had an unbelievable pig of a journey to Russia which involved missed planes, missed connections, horrible Spaniards, days without sleep, going to three extra countries and ended up (all in all) taking two weeks instead of about fifteen hours. I thought that it would never be matched but last weekend our trip to the Algarve ran it close.

My girlfriend and I were booked to play at this party in the Algarve, it's this outdoor place in the middle of nowhere with a good reputation and on the second stage our friends (who booked us) are playing early and we're doing four until six am or something. We're excited and we decide to take our friend (let's call him L) whose family have a flat in the Algarve somewhere, and his girlfriend. We plan for a while, load up the car with records, snacks, spare clothes and so on and so forth - and, it should be said, a fair number of stimulants.
Anyway, Friday night I pick up L and his girl (who turns out to be a miserable cow) and head south, it's a long old drive in the rain and we don't arrive until about 1am. The final bit of the journey is down this muddly lane and we bump down it following a couple of other cars until we can hear music in the background. It's fucking loud, basically turns out that they own the land for some distance, they've got like this ewok village complex with loads of bars and a couple of outdoor (but sheltered stages) and even people living there. They have big plans to put in an amphitheatre, an outdoor swimming pool and - get this - they've just purchased the nearby abandoned village which they're gonna turn into a commune for wankers (er, artists I mean) and so on. It's not really my kind of place but it's impressive.
Anyway, we introduce ourselves and they tell us to bring the car up the hill so we don't have to carry the records so far... so we go back and drive nearer when L points out that the car has a flat, not just a flat, it's fucked! Totally exploded tire, the road was so bumpy I thought that it was just all the rocks and stones but maybe it burst a while back, who knows? Bit of an arse but we've got a spare stuck to the bottom and a jack and everything so should be ok... it's complicated to get it off but eventually we do manage to get the tire free and ready to go on. It's pitch dark and we're in the middle of nowhere so we decide we'll put it on in the morning and we go and party and dj and stuff until eventually at like 8am we have to face the inevitable and deal with this shit. We go back and spend ages trying to figure out the jack which is a a bit weird and we can't get it to work - while loads of crusties stand around helping by doing fuck all and pinching cigarettes. Eventually some tough looking Portuguese guy walks past and strongly and silently figures it out and changes it in about thirty seconds. Wicked we're on our way.
So we figure out that L's house is maybe just over an hour's drive away. We slowly negotiate the dirt road through to the other side and eventually get on the motorwaya, GPS thing tells us drive down the motorway for 90k or so and then turn off and we're home free. The sun is shining the roads are empty (after going past what we first think is one of the police roadblocks to catch druggies that we've heard about, but just turns out to be a farmer in a 4x4) and it's all good...
I drive for what feels like ages but we're only like 20k from home when the fucking spare tire bursts. Maybe I was going too fast, I dunno, I know you're supposed to go easy on spares (why? why not just put a proper tire in the boot instead of a specially designed shit one?) and I've been trying to most of the way but so close and I'm so desperate to get back to our friend's and start drinking and stuff that I may have got a bit carried away....
So it blows, I manage to drive over to the hard shoulder, yep it's utterly fucked again. Luis has the great idea of ringing the insurance (which thank sweet fuck Liza had renewed on Wednesday, it took her four hours on the phone and I'd said just leave it but she stuck at it) and they say they will send us a truck to take us to a garage and a cab so we can join it. Truck is great turns up in twenty-five minutes and loads up the car. He says he can't leave us by the side of the road so he has to wait until cab comes - which it does, almost three hours later. It's Saturday so only one garage is open. They take us there, annoyingly in the total opposite direction from the flat we were so close. We're sat in the cab going "We should be at the garage in twenty min, changing a tire is the easiest thing so should be done in like fifteen min.... then drive back to mine, won't be much over an hour".
We get to the garage. They say, sure, we'll change the tire, we got a slot in five hours time. We're fucked off now, none of us have slept, we're trapped on some fucking complex of warehouses 20k from Faro and we got to wait five hours? Then he measures the tire and says - we don't got this, we can order one and it will be here on Thursday. Probably. What the fuck! He says ring the insurance, they will move you somewhere else... they won't, turns out it's one tow per event.
In the end we pay 60 euros for a cab back to L's place, his girlfriend is in a massive mood cos she wants to get back to some party in Lisbon and is blaming me and (especially) my girlfriend, keeps shouting at L in Portuguese.
Anyway, we get to his, bosh all the K, c, E, speed, weed and booze and go to sleep in a fucking mood. Next two days are awful with us barely talking to each other. No other garages open until Monday so nothing we can do. Monday I phone every garage to see if anywhere has the tires - I find one that does but they say the front tires gotta match so I have to buy two. We get a train to Faro [Edit: forgot to say we missed the first train and had to wait for an hour and a half for the next one. We went to two restaurants to pass the time but they were both closed] and then L and girlfriend get a train back to Lisbon leaving Liza and I to sort it out.
We cab to the garage that has the tires. Buy them for 134 euros, then cab with them to the garage where the car is. But we've only got the tires, not the middle, I know how to put a spare wheel on but I don't know how to put a new tire actually on to an old wheel. The garage where we are refuses to help (they won't do anything with a product that's not theirs) - they won't even look or advise or lend us any tools or anything. So in the end I take the wheels off our car, cab back to the garage that sold us the tires and they put the tires back on the wheels, then we get a cab back to the other garage and I put the wheels on the fucking car.
Finally 1900 Monday we can begin the three hour drive home. Which passed fairly uneventfully.

Cheer me up, tell me something worse.
 
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Leo

Well-known member
make this into a short film, or at least a short story.

christ, rich, nothing to even remotely compare to that ordeal.

once had to spend a night in a shit airport motel in Madrid many years ago when there was a problem with my ticket in a connection from Barcelona to nyc. when I checked in in BCN, the agent said the first part of the trip was fine but the connection from Madrid to nyc had been cancelled, said to fly to Madrid and they'd sort it out there. of course, there's no love lost between Spain and Catalonia, so I seemed to piss off the woman at the airline ticket counter in Madrid when I relayed that message. that airline had only one nyc flight a day and it was full, so had to rebook for the next day.

then I somehow managed to exit the gate area the wrong way and was immediately surrounded by three Spanish paramilitary dudes working security, with their machine guns drawn. this was back when the ETA was still bombing public places and Spanish security was on high alert. once they realize I was just a harmless stupid American who didn't notice the do not enter signs, they let me go.

this was pre-cellphone/internet days, so not even sure how I found out about the motel (not even good enough to called a hotel), maybe asked a taxi driver to take me to the closest place. small dumpy place, probably a hot-sheet motel, I was probably one of the only people who actually stayed overnight. can't recall all the details but in retrospect just lucky I didn't get robbed or stabbed, LOL! no one knew where I was, anything could have happened.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Your (Leo's) description does remind me of the journey to Russia a few years back though... I think I can describe that now....

Basically Liza's dad was ill and we needed to go to her home town of Chelyabinsk to see them. You can't fly directly there from Western Europe (it's only like 1.5m people after all) so the best bet is to fly to Yekaterinberg which is just three hours down the motorway. and available from London and a few other places. In the end we found a flight from Barcelona so we decided that we would book that one... we would go to Barcelona a couple of days early on the train, take it leisurely you know.
Before you go to Russia you need a visa which I normally get from the visa office in London, but there is one in Lisbon too so we thought we would use that one. We rang three times to check it would be all ok and they said it was fine. So we were ready to go and looking forward to exploring Barcelona etc
Anyway, a week or before trip we went to the visa place and they flat out refused to issue a visa cos I was English but in Portugal. We spent a day arguing with them but no use, we told them they'd said before that it wasn't a problem and they said "Yeah, they said the wrong thing". It got quite heated but nothing could be done.
So we packed super fast and next day flew to London and went straight to the visa office there hoping they could issue a visa quickly in the five days we had. We spent the week in London getting super fucked up (a mistake in hindsight) and enjoyed it well enough, we did get the visa in time so we bought a flight to Barcelona in time to catch the flight to Yek'burg.
On the day before we flew we ended up partying all night (a big mistake in hindsight) and then got a taxi to the airport at 8am, we caught the flight to Barcelona and all was good. We had like four hours to kill there so we got really drunk (a very big mistake) and we were sitting there chilling when Liza suddenly said "Wait a minute, that's our flight, it's taking off now" and we rushed there but we missed it. In our defence there were two confusing things - it wasn't the airline it said, it was a subcontractor, and when we bought the tickets they had the UK time not the Spanish for some reason. Anyway, we missed the flight.
That was a very bad moment, Liza was crying and walking round the airport saying "My dad has cancer" and every Spanish person who was supposed to help acted like a total cunt. There was no wifi, no internet room, there was no way to figure things out. Eventually this woman at the info desk said "There is another flight to Yek'burg in an hour, queue there and you can get on that" so we thought she'd done something and we queued up and tried to get on and then we got to the front and explained that the woman from the airport had said we could get on. But it was bullshit and they said "What are you on about? Fuck off". So we went back to the airport and cried some more while getting unbelievably drunk.
Finally we found the next flight to Y was in two days and we bought another ticket for 800 euros - Turkish airlines via Istanbul. We managed to book a hotel which was really nice and we got a cab there. When we got there the cab said 20 on the meter but - I swear to God - the guy pushed a button and it flipped over and suddenly said 40 euros. I was thinkinkg, we're paying 60 euros to stay in a hotel but the ten minute ride there cost almost as much.
The hotel was lovely but it was late now and there was no food or anything available. We were like the walking dead (especially Liza, she was like a zombie, upright but dead inside). The guy said there is an Argentine restaurant down the road that might be open so we walked down and found it. Liza sort of slumped on the table and just swept all the cutlery on to the floor. The guy picked it up and changed it and she just did it again straight away. Eventually we ate, she asked for some ketchup and I found one of those red squeezy bottles with a white top... I passed it to her and she upended and started drinking it from the bottle, she had no idea what was happening. Somehow we got through the meal and I kinda propelled her back to the hotel, standing but needing me to push her to move.
In the (lovely) hotel we lay down for what seemed like two hours and slept until early morning... phone rang and it was the desk and the guy said "You gotta go your room is booked for 10am so you got twenty minutes to get out". I asked to book another room but he claimed the place was full - fuck off basically.
We sat in the lobby ringing other places, found another hotel that was just down the road. It was the worst hotel I've ever seen, basically a huge box with 4000 rooms over looking the motorway. The only food they had was microwaved pizza and there was nowhere anywhere nearby to get more food.
Anyway, next afternoon we went to catch our flight... they said "There's some bad news, the plane is a bit late and you will miss your connection in Istanbul". Fair enough the airline was great, they said they will put us in a hotel and fly us to Russia next day, no extra cost. And the flight was cool, food nice etc
We got to Istanbul... walked inside to the desk. They said if you're staying you need a visa - obviously we didn't have one cos we were supposed to just change. Turns out a Turkish visa is basically just an add-on to make some money. You just have to queue up and cough twenty euros... but they only take cash and there is no machine. We only have 25 euros between us but it turned out (thank fuck) that Liza didn't have to get one cos she has a Russian passport.
Anyway, we got through and again, total contrast to Barcelona, every Turk we met was lovely, we had a laugh with some soldiers having a fag in the airport etc but still we had to wait three hours for a coach to take everyone who missed the connection to a hotel. It was a great hotel though, five stars and they said cos our flight wasn't leaving until midnight tomorrow we could have breakfast, lunch and dinner there for free.
We get back to the hotel and then Liza starts getting all these messages. We were supposed to dj in Chelyabinsk but we missed the date - she'd messaged the guy but he hadn't read it and now loads of her school friends were saying "Hey we're at the bar, where are you?" - in a hotel on the outskirts of Istanbul I think...
So yeah we got through the next day and stuff but our bodyclocks were all fucked and we couldn't sleep. Finally we got the flight at midnight, landed at Yekaterinburg at like 7am and then waited for her brother to drive us the three hours back to Chelyabinsk... completely shattered.
Rest of the trip was ok though I guess.
 
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catalog

Well-known member
Good story rich, I like how halfway through you gave up using L's pseudonym. Such a fucker when the car or van tires go, I've had loads of that, but nowt as grim as all that.

When we were travelling round Mexico on honeymoon, we went to this place called 'chaquahua' on the Pacific coast. It was one of the 'blue boxes' in the lonely planet or rough guide, that are like the paradise spots. Usually really hard to get to, but all the better for it.

We had a good experience with another of them, so decided to go there to escape the slightly exclusive vibe of San augustinillo where we were staying. It was fine there, but loads of swanky hotels which had basically privatised the whole beach so you couldn't just chill there. So we thought let's drive 3 hours to this remote spit of land, return to nature etc. It's a long drive, dirt road for the last 20 miles, then you get to this sort of ferry port where it gets really on top with the locals, trying to get you to book a place to stay there, before you've even gone.

We go across the estuary to get to it, and it's looking a bit rubbish strewn rather than paradise like. What's happened is we've got there just after new year, and loads of Mexican kids have been through and totally wrecked the place. Literally shit everywhere. Really gross. They've had fires on the beach so there's loads of half burnt bits of driftwood, a few acid casualties, shady dudes.

You could walk along the beach a while where it got really remote, and was nice again, but then the first landmark was a dead dolphin, with its eyes pecked out!

My wife got bitten to fuck in the night by mosquitoes so we stayed 1 more night, then left and drove 5 hours back the same way, past where we had been, and checked into a 5 star luxury resort in huatulco.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Don't blame you... I can't think of much that is more dystopian than a dead dolphin with its eyes pecked out.
I revealed Luis' name by accident but I guess it don't matter.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
That's pretty bad, Rich, but does it compare to getting down to the platform to catch a Central line and seeing the waiting time for the next one is in double figures of minutes?
 

droid

Well-known member
Where was this shanty commune? I was in the Algarve last year and spent a while exploring the hills - some amazing spots up there.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It's quite a long way from anywhere... I was looking for a village called Tojeiro which is nearby on the maps... but that's actually abandoned. At the moment I think only maybe the owner (a German hippy) and a few of the people who run the bars and stuff live there but they got bigger plans for the future. There is nothing for miles around, I think the guy owns a LOT of land... the main stage was louder than Lux and carried on until 8 with no concerns or anything.
On NYE we went to a party in a mansion like 35k from Lisbon down a farm track but there were nearby houses, they got annoyed with people beeping their horns and otherwise being dickheads outside (though it was also fucking loud inside) but here... in the Algarve nobody can hear you scream type deal.
 

droid

Well-known member
Thats pretty deep in the hills alright. We were down towards Lagos and Luz, drove into the wild a few times, but not that far.
 

droid

Well-known member
Dry hills. We went to an abandoned mine that had been turned into a museum of sorts, complete with miserable animals and a colonial house crammed with creepy period artifacts.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
They got creepy colonial houses everywhere. I mean, even in the middle of the minute town I live in there is the church and a huge mansion next to it for the priest (I think) and it's all kind of fenced off with trees around it and everything... and then the fence continues and blocks off a huge area of ground in the centre of the town but it's just abandoned with no-one using it or allowed to go there and seven foot high one foot thick stone walls around it, it's weird.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Rich was being so careful with the pseudonym that I thought Luis was somebody new in the story!

I get easily confused.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Liza is having a nightmare journey right now as the result of our DJ gig in Dusseldorf last Saturday (in fact the weekend before the one that has just finished, ie Saturday the 2nd). When we were planning the trip we decided to stick around for a few days as we have a few friends there. And then cos we were sticking around, they offered us another DJ gig in a bar there on the Wednesday. Nothing special, very much a bar rather than a club booking, but if we were to be in town it could be a bit of fun and a bit of money for us and so of course we agreed to do that. And then it all kinda selected itself and the obvious day to fly back would be the Thursday. We were just about to buy the flights when some new friends of Liza contacted her to say that they were going to a festival in The Hague and did she wanna come? Turned out the festival was the weekend of the 8th and 9th so Liza decided that - as we hadn't bought the flights yet - she could in fact join them quite easily by getting the train from Dusseldorf to The Hague, leaving me to fly back to Lisbon on my own - and so that was what was settled on.,

The true nightmare is what happened to her after we parted, but I've actually just remembered some fairly bad dream elements which occurred on our way there and so I might as mention them as a kind of amuse-bouche just to get the ball rolling.

The first problem was that I had lost my passport and although I had ordered a new one in January, it had not yet shown up. In fact, it was becoming increasingly apparent that it probably wasn't going to and so I had to try and negotiate an emergency travel document. I hate doing this kind of stuff and I was really worried about it. The problem was that there was conflicting info about whether or not my circumstances met the conditions and so I genuinely didn't know whether or not they would give it to me, also you can't apply until the flights are bought, so I had to wait until the very last minute. I was telling everyone that we were playing in Dusseldorf and how exciting it all was.... and then saying "although I might not be cos I don't know if I will have a passport or not". But whatever, I did apply on the day we got the flights and I did get accepted and went to the British embassy and picked it up on the Wednesday, two days to spare in fact - surely a good omen.

But it's funny, I was worrying about that passport thing for ages, and then I got it in relatively good time and then that whole thing was immediately forgotten as the next problem came up. On the flight out we had a totally unnecessary drama cos just before we about to go to the airport we got a text saying that the flight was delayed one hour. So - pleased to receive it before leaving - we could stay that bit longer at home... and shortly after another text arrived saying it was delayed two further hours. It didn't really matter cos the gig wasn't until the next day, we were planning to meet some friends that evening, but there was no fixed time or anything. We were just pleased that the texts had arrived before we ordered an uber and so we could spend the three hours waiting comfortably at home instead of sitting in an airport, no doubt spending money.

Anyway, three hours after he time we'd originally planned we arrived at the airport, we were already checked in so thought it should just be a matter of quickly dropping off the bags. Except it turned out that the bag drop off had closed at the original time. What the fuck? Why didn't the message say that? In fact, if we still had to come to the airport at the same time and act in the same way, why bother messaging us at all? And suddenly we were stuck, it turns out that Eurowings doesn't have a permanent desk thing at Lisbon so there was no-one we could speak to, Liza rang their help line and the woman was unbelievably unhelpful, suggested we send an email which was not much use when we needed to board in 45 min - and when Liza pointed this out the girl said "there is nothing else to suggest so I'm gonna hang up" and that's exactly what she did.

It was a really bad moment cos we had looked forward to this trip for ages and we had thought that we had prepared everything nice and early - I'd even managed the, for me, incredibly complex task of getting an emergency passport - and been totally ready to go, yet suddenly, here we were an hour from take-off and we had no conceivable way to get our luggage on the plane, and there was no-one at all available from the airline that we could speak to to even explain our situation. It felt that in one moment the whole trip was destroyed - should we just leave the luggage in the airport (though where?) and take the records as hand luggage so we could at least fulfil our commitment to DJ, figure out how to manage for clothes later? Or should we just give up on this flight and try and get another one today or tomorrow at a last minute high price so we could take everything we needed? Neither seemed like an ideal solution and it seemed totally unfair that it was all happening cos of the texts the airline had sent us just as we were leaving, causing us to slow down.

The only thing I could think of trying was going through the security check anyway with our hand luggage and the other luggage (if they would let us). That way we could hopefully at least speak to someone from Eurowings - who were otherwise seemingly totally unavailable - when we got to the gate and at that point perhaps we could browbeat them into putting the bigger bags on the plane, either in the hold or with the passengers, but I reasoned that we ought to have a good case in that in that we could show them the texts telling us that the plane was delayed but which didn't mention that baggage drop off closed at the normal time. And in fact this worked - after our panicked rush through security check to the spot where they had just started to board they agreed fairly easily to put the bags on the plane. Phew.

We got on the plane pretty excited at the near miss and were kinda congratulating each other on thinking of that strategy.... which lead to the only good bit of the journey in fact. We were sitting next to what turned out to be an evil bully who, almost the second we sat down, called over the stewardess and asked her if she spoke German. Once it was confirmed that she did, the passenger apparently assumed that she had the all clear to start telling her a number of unprovoked and nasty lies about us. What it boiled down to was ultimately that "These two are definitely very drunk and I don't feel comfortable sitting next to them" - a busybody-ish and totally unjustified accusation which Liza understood perfectly and was happy to reply to in the strongest of possible terms. The way this girl's face fell as she realised that she had been caught out in her spiteful and dishonest snitching was a thing of true beauty (which, if I can be allowed a moment of spite for myself, is surely something rarely said of this cow). There was a moment when everything was almost frozen as we realised that this girl was telling lies about us, and she realised that she had been caught in her lie telling tales to teacher like some kind of overgrown school girl, and furthermore the stewardess too quickly grasped the dynamic. It was revealed to everyone that this girl (and she was young like 25 I guess) was a really nasty piece of work who had tried to get us in trouble for no reason at all and it had rebounded on her perfectly.

She was allowed to move - I guess she had to now - but I'd like to think that the untrammelled pleasure in the infuriatingly smug grin with which I fixed her as she sulkily and awkwardly got down her baggage from the racks is still haunting her now. I honestly don't know what she was thinking or why she wanted to be such a bitch, what she hoped to gain from it all, but for someone to try and be so sneakily and unnecessarily unpleasant to someone they didn't even know and for it to blow up in their face so quickly was perfect. I did make sure to go to the toilet a few times during the trip and deliberately laugh at her every time I walked past.

So yeah we go Dusseldorf and whatever is all good... Thursday we're knackered and to be honest I'm glad I'm not going to go do more partying and I wonder if Liza may not be regretting her decision - on the other hand she's always loved that part of the world, she used to live just outside Dusseldorf and she, along with everyone in the region, would regularly get some sort of drug train to a town just over the border and back after loading up on supplies. Part of the attraction of this little festival thing was the journey itself, she was looking forward to something like a trip down memory lane... it's not the exact same route, but I think she was hoping that simply to go from Germany to Netherlands on those familiar trains through familiar scenery would be pleasingly nostalgic for her.

Suffice to say, that it wasn't....
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
Anyway, we went our separate ways - me to the airport, her to The Hague - and did our stuff, before boarding I got a message from her saying that her first train was delayed and so she would miss her connection, but I didn't really think much of it. My flight was delayed by an hour too but that's pretty much standard I guess so I wasn't too bothered about it. When I landed and turned my phone back on I had a flurry of messages waiting to say that that one missed connection changed her journey into a hellish criss-crossing of the country involving multiple changes and finally arriving in The Hague much later than if she had simply got the slow train there instead of specifically paying for the fast one.... but worse than that, when she arrived in The Hague she went to her AirB&B to find it inexplicably cancelled without any warning (later the owner would claim that she stopped renting the room ages ago and told them to remove the listing but they didn't) so now she had to find a new room at the last minute at around 8pm. The festival was on though and everything was now at a premium price of course so she ended up paying 70 euros more per night and also had to pay 30 euros for an uber to get to the new place with the result that now she was all but cleaned out as she hadn't had the money back for the cancelled spot. But at least she was in the right city and had an actual place to stay.

Next day (Friday) I got a phone call from her asking if I've got her passport cos she can't find it. I searched my pockets and the bags and everywhere else but no luck.... she phoned the place we stayed in Dusseldorf to ask them to look for it.... how the fuck is she gonna get the flight on Monday if she has no passport? She phones the British embassy to see if they can help arrange an emergency document - I know from my experiences on the way here that if you have all the necessary documents then they can do one in forty-eight hours.... but brilliantly, for some reason, they were shut until Monday which was when she needed to fly so that means that they are no use to her at all. Not a lot she could do right then but forget about it and try and enjoy the festival as well as possible. She was thinking that maybe on Monday they will let her board with her driving licence or something. Certainly if you fly from within Europe there is no passport control at all when you leave the plane in Lisbon so if she could just get on the plane...

Over the weekend things improved, she found the passport (which was a big relief to me as I had totally assumed that it was my fault and that I had taken it by accident or possibly just thrown it away or something (which is what I did with mine come to think of it hence my travel on an emergency document)) and she would be able to come back on the Monday on the flight from Amsterdam as originally planned. I agreed to pick her up at the airport at 6pm.

Monday (today) I woke up to discover approximately 15 missed calls and increasingly angry texts. Turns out Easyjet had just cancelled the flight and so now she had to decide what to do. There was another later flight from Amsterdam to Lisbon this evening but it went via Madrid where she woulld need to wait for eight hours. Should she get that or the next direct one which it turned out was.... Wednesday? Or maybe she should do some in-between thing, get a less horrendous indirect flight tomorrow maybe. And then this all became academic cos Easyjet announce that they will recompense her for the replacement flight (big of them eh?) - but only if she gets the direct one. So she has to wait for the Wednesday flight and pay for it up-front and then try and claim it back from them... and also she has to pay for another AirB&B (there goes 400 euros) and try and claim that back from them.

It's this that seems so incredibly unfair to me. How can they cancel a flight, demand that unless you want to pay for a new one yourself you have to wait two whole days, and have to pay upfront for the flight and accommodation and food whatever? How many people can pay for that? What if you're a family of five or something? What if you can't afford it, what if you need to be back today? It's just awful.

Anyway, at the moment she's in Amsterdam and not happy, this little weekend having necessitated an insane amount of costs.

Paid for slow train that took longer than the fast one.
Paid for an AirB&B already, and then had to pay for another which cost waaaaay more, and then the icing on that particular cake was a 30 euro taxi ride to get from the first place to the new one.
Bought one flight back that was cancelled, and now had to buy another up-front.
And she had to stay two extra days in Amsterdam and pay almost 400 euros for the accommodation. And of course she would have to pay for food in restaurants/cafes while trapped there for two days,.

Although, on the plus side, at least I get a couple more days peace and quiet here...
 
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