The bald man on our plane lost control over his nerves. “I want a f … hotel and a taxi. Immediately! I don’t live in Warsaw. I have the right to spend the night at the expense of the airline. You f … hurry up! He keeps on screaming, cursing every few words. – But we have run out of available hotel rooms- says the lady behind the counter.
It was supposed to be a beautiful start to this year’s vacation. Three days in Barcelona. My daughter’s dream. Therefore, as a birthday present – I got her a ticket to the capital of Catalonia. And one for myself, also. No occasion. We have organized such trips a few times before. They always turned out great…
This time we were supposed to spend time watching Gaudi’s buildings, walking around Las Ramblas, and maybe even do a little sunbathing. The detailed plan has been worked out for the last two months. Accommodation booked. Suitcases packed.
When the first news of air strikes started to appear the week before our departure, I felt a little uneasy. The staff of several carriers, traffic controllers, as well as ground workers of some European airports have planned their protests for “our weekend”. I followed these reports. But I was comforted by the fact that it was mostly Ryanair that was supposed to be on strike. And we were flying with Wizzair. In addition, there was a reassuring message in the app. Confirmed flight. Phew.
Disturbances over Germany
Friday, June 24. Just in case, we arrive at the airport earlier. Not two, but three hours before departure, scheduled for 3:50 PM. Just as the experts recommended. It is completely peaceful at the Chopin airport. No queues, no nervous atmosphere.
We go through the security control without any problems. Just a short visit to McDonald’s (there’s no meal on board the budget airlines), a customary run through the duty-free shops and we are at the gate. It is still calm, although information about several canceled flights appears on the board …
Wizzair employees show up at the entrance on time, check the boarding passes, and direct us to the bus. We’re waiting a bit longer than usual for the staircase to pull up, but finally, we’re on board … luggage and all. At 3.45 pm, the flight attendants ask for our attention and go over the mandatory presentation of safety procedures. Emergency exits, life jackets, oxygen masks … etc. Seat belts fastened. Cells off. We wait for the take off.
A few minutes pass. And… then it starts. The captain in a polite voice announces:: “We are very sorry, but due to bad weather conditions in Germany, we did not get permission to take off. According to preliminary information, our flight will be delayed at least 90 minutes … This also means that we will not fly with you. Another crew will take our place… ”
Confusion. 90 minutes is a lot. Half of the scheduled flight. And on a small plane. Yet, what are we to do? Barcelona will have to wait. We land not at 7 pm, but just before 9 pm. We will arrive at the hotel late. We won’t be able to do the shopping. But whatever. We can do it.
We fill the waiting time by studying the guide and adding new items to our sightseeing itinerary. Saturday is the most intense. We have already purchased tickets to the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Are 2 hours for the cathedral enough? Especially if we want to climb the tower?
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By Anna Sarzyńska
Translated by S.J.
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