The Adventures of Gatwick

Have you ever read the first page of your Australian passport? The part about ‘passing freely’ …?

Hello again!

Leah, Liss and I tried to leave London (Gatwick), for Madrid shortly after I last wrote. We were so excited to leave London!

After checking in, the plane was delayed, but eventually we got through after a couple of hiccups over not having a Ryanair ´recieved´stamp on our ticket (only after realising we’d checked our luggage through, they realised we must have checked in, and the lady at the desk had just forgotten to stamp it – she was new to the job). We were sitting on the plane with our belts on, when a crew member asked us to please leave the plane, the pilot was refusing to let us fly as we didn’t have the stupid stamp. Ground crew argued persistently with the pilot, that it was the airline´s fault because the check in girl was new. A baggage handler tried to sneak us onto the front of the plane. It all failed, and we were informed WE had to pay for new tickets, despite it being their fault…

So before we knew it, we were back in the terminal, waiting for security to escort us back through customs. The baggage handlers were so mad at the pilot, that they deliberately took their time getting our bags off – so long, it required a change of shift, and the flight was massively delayed!! We were pretty much dumped on the wrong side of the customs, and waited for 2 hours until any security member came to assist us. We were exhausted – it was now midnight. We had tried to get any official looking person´s attention – tried to march our way back through customs, if we had matches we would have lit a fire… Eventually on the other side, we collected our bags – well, all but mine, which was now somewhere in Spain! Ground crew were furious, as this is a breach of airlaw having an unaccompanied bag. But no one was willing to help us out! London city was an hour and a half away, so we had no choice but to spend the night at the airport…. in the airport´s chapel. But, turns out, it´s peak hour in the chapel between 1 and 4am, so we got no sleep. Beaten, we recommenced the day at 4am… Finally we got some help, and were offered a free flight on their next flight out – which wasn´t until 9pm that night, so another full day to kill at Gatwick airport! Then the plane was delayed… Oh, it was adventurous!

We finally arrived in Madrid. We´d missed a whole day of sightseeing. I went to find my lost bag, only to be told that the lost baggage staff had gone home for the day. I promptly burst into tears until I got my own way, and was reunited with my bag. In 8 hours time, we would be back at the airport to fly to Casablanca in Morocco…


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