First you have to actually GET to the airport.
We had a hire car in France and driving to the airport wasn’t really a problem… but the traffic was beginning to build up as we approached he airport…We did go around a couple of times but finally the GPS got us on the right track.
Finding the Hertz depot was indeed a heart stopper…
The same thing happened to my son Jamie and I in September last year… round and round we went, I was driving, the ladies watching for traffic and signs. 4 times round the airport and we finally found a small sign way up in the air….
I said one or two swear words I can tell you.
Our flight was late in the evening… so we sat in a restaurant and waited for a couple of hours.
Then we could book in and get rid of the luggage…. OK, everything is electronic, there are no signs where the luggage has to go, you sort of have to guess. The girl behind the counter was otherwise engaged.
I’m no stranger to airports, but this was way out of my comfort zone… I have never encountered a more passenger unfriendly environment.
Even though I was traveling on BA which is a partner to Qantas, I was unable to go in the lounge….only first class was his reply….!!!
To wait for the 3 hours before the flight…. you had to go to a restaurant and pay exorbitant amounts for food and drink….because it was the only place to sit…. there were no chairs in the waiting area, everyone sat on the floor or any bench they could find.
"I would like a toasted cheese sandwich please" I asked the waiter…No, we don’t have those only baguettes…."No hot food" so I opted for a diet coke which cost $10 AU and turned out to be pepsi.
About 10 minutes later we saw the hot food we requested being bought out to other patrons… an indignant man next to me had had the same treatment… and complained… the waiter just ignored him.
It occurred to me later that the waiter had tried to get us through his restaurant quickly, seeing that my companions were older, he figured that they would stay in there until the plane came… hence his tactics.
We ignored him for an hour, I sipped on luke warm pepsi and he kept coming past and glaring at us… I glared back.
Finally with half an hour to boarding we thought we could go through security…. "Yes, come on in" said a young woman.
"No" said a young man with his feet on the desk…too early, there are no toilets in here….
Well, thanks for being concerned about my bladder honey, but I’m not ancient… I do know if I need to go or not…
So we hung around the end of the security check point watching the guard pick his teeth, adjust his attire and chat with his friends.
Finally we were allowed through. Finally we were in air conditioning and we had a seat.
The flight is short, just 40 minutes… then you have to add on the 40 minutes we added circling Heathrow, and 20 minutes because no one was there to guide us in and then 20 minutes because no one had organized the walk bridge…..add more time because the bridge didn’t fit the plane, they bought the wrong one…
So we had to alight the plane, catch a bus and go up four flights of stairs…
Joan was unable to do that, so she had to wait until the staff had finished on the plane and they put her in a lift.
We were last in line in immigration, We had to wait for about 10 mins with another group of passengers for a security scare….by the time we go through there was no one at the baggage counter and we finally located our lonely luggage going round and round.
A few phone calls to our courier Cyril located him and of course we got charged more because we were so late…
By this time it was almost 2.00 am Paris time before we got to our accommodation…..
I was stressed and that certainly doesn’t happen often…..!!!!