Our relationship started a short while back and I had to say that when we first met, Friday a week ago, I was very pleasantly surprised. You made everything so easy and comfortable for me, and when it was time for food, you were thoughtful about my preferences. I was met with smiles and good fun, and I thought to myself that this could be the start of a long lasting relationship.
I even missed you when I had to get a ride from your friend American Airlines for the majority of my way back home yesterday. When I got to Heathrow though, I could see that we were scheduled to be reunited once more, if only for the couple of hours it would take me to get from London to Oslo. I was looking forward to it, I really was!
Then you stood me up. I waited and waited. For hours I sat around, just hoping to at least hear from you. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, I had to hear from a third party that you were delayed because of some technical issues. That’s okay, shit happens! So I settled myself with a coffee and my book, and kept on waiting. The rumours started spreading throughout Terminal 5 about you standing us up completely, so after reading a couple of chapters I went looking for someone who could give me more information.
It took a while to even find anyone who could actually answer my questions, but when I found that person, I was told that things were very uncertain. The only thing she could tell me for sure was that our date was definitely cancelled. After seven hours of waiting I got in the line (that hardly moved) to get help from your coworkers. I knew that the chances of getting a ride home that day wasn’t going to happen, but at least they would have to help me find a place to sleep, right?
After standing in line for an hour and a half though, a female friend of yours came up to us and told us that standing in that line wouldn’t do any good. All they could do when one got up to the counter was answering questions about rebooking and reimbursement. We would all have to stand in a new looooong line just to be able to get out of the airport, then we’d have to find a place to sleep and try to get in touch with you the next morning.
I was overwhelmed, jet lagged and utterly exhausted. I ended up calling my mom in tears, telling her that I had no idea how or when I would be able to get home to Norway, and even worse I struggled to just find a place to spend the night. I had a mini-breakdown right there in Terminal 5, because I felt so stood up and left out to dry.
You weren’t there and I felt like event though we’d spent some good times together, I no longer mattered to you.
That being said, the friends of yours that I did get in touch with at the airport they tried the best they could to lift my spirit. They gave me the help they could, even though it wasn’t much. And I feel bad for all of them, as well as all of us travellers.
When all of this is settled, I think I’m going to have to reconsider our future relationship.
The fact of the matter is this:
I’m angry and very disappointed. Not for the fact that some power surge ended up with me being stranded in London for who knows how long. Not for the fact that I’m here, and I have no idea where my luggage is. The reason why this is getting to me is the utter and complete lack of communication. There were children all over the airport crying and asking about when they would be able to go on their long awaited holiday. People who’d been away from their family and friends for months, just trying to get home. Old people who couldn’t stand in line for hours just to get information.
I looked around and saw plenty of speakers throughout the airport. Why on earth were we not given any kind of general information through those? Why did we all have to seek out airport staff to get the minimal amount of information that they had been given? Like I said; Shit happens! I get it! You can’t be prepared for everything, but at least help us out when you screw up. Give some kind of information so that people know what they should be doing.
So, what now?
I honestly don’t know much. I stranded in London. Luckily there was an available private room at St. Christopher’s Inn (the hostel I stayed in last time I was in London), so I have a place to stay. They won’t let me get my luggage, so now I have to go and get some clothes and toiletries for today and tomorrow. I can’t get through to British Airways’ customer service line, and they’ve told us to not show up at the airport. The only thing I know is that I won’t get home until earliest tomorrow, but I might have to stay here until Tuesday.
So I’m pretty much stranded, but at least I’m in one of my favorite citys. The sun is out and life is too short to stay mope around, so I’m going to go and lay down with a book in Hyde Park, keep trying to get a hold of British Airways on the phone, and pretend that I’m just still on holiday.
Life is a journey, not a destination, and sometimes the journey takes us on completely different paths than what you expected.
Hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday!