Friday, 14 February 2014

Gotta Fly

I got stuck in Geneva last night.  Kind of.  Except that Easy Jet found it easier to send me to France for the night. 

One of those times where the only possible behaviour of a non wealthy adult is to stand in line, relax and hand over all responsibility for your own existence to the staff of an economy airline.  From the moment I joined my first queue of the night my destiny wasn't in my hands.  Without money, once you have finally discovered where you're meant to go and how to get there on discovering the flight is cancelled, you queue. 

First you queue for the desk where they are supposed to find you another way to get home.  With a van in Liverpool airport, the place designed to be inaccessible by any form of public transport, and me in Geneva, Easy Jet kindly found me a flight into Birmingham.  Apparently neither Manchester nor Liverpool nor Leeds Bradford being available for me.  Although people behind me in the line I later discovered had those options.  Still, for me, Birmingham it was.

Secondly you queue at the desk where everyone else is queuing for hotels.  After 25 minutes the queue hasn't moved, not one person has managed to leave the front of the line.  So they send a woman round with a list, and she takes down your room requirements. At this point you realise that as a single room requirer you are screwed.  But you wait some more.  After an hour you get to the front of the queue.  A  hotel room has been found for you.  It is in France.  You are sent to wait for a shuttle bus.

Thirdly you queue for a shuttle bus.  You wait there with the dude you have been chatting with in the last queue.  You have become good friends.  The Easy Jet woman comes out and looks at you.  How many of you are there asks the woman who has booked you all into the French hotel.  We may have to get you a taxi she says.  And disappears.  And returns.  The shuttle will be 15 minutes she says.  We queue.

The shuttle arrives, the driver concerned about numbers.  We get in.  We discover it's going to be a 30 minute drive.  I chat to my good friend Michael.  Turns out we have a friend in common.  We are both happy about her new born son.  He offers me use of his phone charger.  I decline.  On arrival at the hotel I have a second sense about queueing and make sure I am first.  I still can't get a shuttle bus at 8am to get me to my flight at the airport.  I missed the queue for that completely.  I'm on a 9am one.  It's going to be interesting.

The following day I arrive once more at Geneva airport.  I look at the queue for check in. I consider crying.  I am hand baggage only, surely it must be easier than this.  I haven't even, for pity's sake had access to pyjamas, toothpaste, clean knickers or deodorant.  I look for any cunning electronic machine to check in.  There are none. In desperation I queue.  I chose the information desk and put to him my "I'm going to miss my flight" dilemma.  He bobs over to the oversize luggage belt and miraculously produces a boarding pass for me.  I take it and head to security.

At security I queue.  20 minutes to get a tray to put my assorted phones in.  I queue once I  have the trays.  Eventually I get through. My gate is already announced, so to make a change from queueing, I walk.  Possibly to France.  I walk, then I sit then the flight opens and I stay sat.  I'm done with queueing now.

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