Sketch #272 at Creative Scrappers was perfect to document our recent nightmare trip to and from Ireland.
Our Outward Journey
At Heathrow, we had a brief 90 minutes to connect to our Dublin flight. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. A 10 minute bus ride to terminal 1 led us to customs. We’d been assured we didn’t need landing cards -WRONG! The kids (who are American) did but I, being British, did not. Finally got to security. In a rush – too bad! Not allowed to circumvent the guy transferring 20 little bottles into individual plastic bags. Next step photos. One phorographer & over 500 passengers. Relief when 2 other staff appear but only one replaces the current photograper & the other stays to chat! Other passengers let us go to the head of the queue but yet again another check point. Photos retaken, & compared to the one 5 minutes previous. Nathan’s wouldn’t scan & had to be entered manually. Then we ran & ran & ran. Our gate was the farthest away (of course), a 30 minute walk & we had 5 minutes till the flight left. We arrived sweating, out of breath but too late.The transfer desk refused to help; we no longer had a flight to transfer to. Our tickets were with British Airways but the plane was operated by Aer Lingus. Neither wanted to help. Eventually, we were given a new flight I tried to ignore the sign saying “aggressive customers will be arrested” as they said it was our fault for not leaving at least 2 hours for security. Our return journey had a 105 minute transfer so I tried to switch to an earlier flight to avoid the same stress. However, would have had to cancel & rebook all 3 legs of the flight AND pay costs x 3. Advised to keep existing flights and hope for the best.
Our Homeward Journey
Four days before returning we heard that Aer Lingus was having a 1 day strike ,yes ,on the day of our departure. Fortunately, the unions and airline negotiated & the strike was postponed. Arrived at the airport really early & again tried to get on an earlier flight but all flights were totally booked.Our plane took off 20 minutes late. Approaching London we were put in a holding pattern for 1/2 hour due to excessive air traffic. The exit stairway broke & had to be replaced. The passengers were bussed to the transfer station. We had 20 minutes till the gate closed. Once more we raced through the terminal. Running up 30 foot high elevators is a great work out but not recommended! We were put on the fast track for passports but spent an agonizing 10 minutes fwaiting for staff to enter my green card info. Again denied preference at security. Finally, another tube ride toterminal 3. We finally made it to the gate 10 minutes before the plane was due to leave, but well after the gate had closed. This time, the plane was waiting on late passengers – I guess there was a lot of delays. Thank you God. No more Heathrow – EVER!!!!