Wednesday, January 6, 2010

So near and yet so far...

I think I've mentioned in a recent post about how lucky we are to have our family and friends living such a short flight away from us....hmmm, I think I need to rethink that comment and apply it to clement weather conditions only.

Yesterday I dropped the outlaws at 1500 at Düsseldorf airport (which is a very handy 20-30 minutes drive up the autobahn from our house) Their flight was due to leave at 1630, but due to heavy snow in the UK it hadn't actually left Birmingham when I abandoned them at the terminal, but what else can you do? You have to check in on time, whether or not your flight is on time...their flight eventually left Germany at 1820, a 2 hour delay - but as I pointed out to them, at least they weren't travelling with children...

They must have been feeling quite optimistic when they finally taxied to the runway and took to the air...shame that Birmingham had closed its runways for the night because of the heavy (or heavey as the official Brimingham Airport website said) snow...

For some time we had no idea at all where the outlaws were, the Birmingham website said merely that the Flybe flight was 'diverted' but not where to. The Flybe website had a list of all the flights they'd cancelled that day (40-50) and the 2 that they'd diverted including the airport to which they'd been diverted. But this didn't include the outlaws' flight. We discovered why. Flybe staff go home at 1800 (or 1830, I don't remember which) and so I guess the website is then not updated and there is no-one answering the phones. Simon cheated (afterall it was his parents we were trying to find) on the website there's a press office number which diverts to a mobile after hours so he got hold of a lady from the press office at home who couldn't actually give him any answers but who was willing to help - and then the outlaws Cardiff. Panic over.

But not the journey. They then had to get to Birmingham, at 2200, in thick snow. Flybe's responsibility, so they were loaded onto a coach for a journey that should be 90 minutes (ish). The roads were deserted (but I guess full of snow) and they finally reached Birmingham Airport at 130 (official eta for their flight was 1710) where they checked into the Holiday Inn because they didn't want to drive home in the dark in such awful weather conditions.

Consequently they're not home yet, a flight of 100 minutes will have taken up the better part of a day by the time they eventually get to their front door.

Somehow I don't think they'll be wanting to visit us here in winter again anytime soon!

No comments: