Wednesday, 10 December 2008
As most of you know, LM and I were supposed to be heading for Malta on the afternoon of Saturday 29th November. We were at the airport bright and early and thought all would be fine and dandy - as you do.
The first problem I encountered was that I had to pay for two of my three boxes of medical supplies. Granted, they’re rather large boxes but they’re vitally important and I can’t travel without them yet even though I told the check-in clerk that I’d been able to take them free of charge last time I’d flown with EasyJet and that when I booked I informed the lady on the phone that there were three of them and she told me they’d be carried free, still I had to pay. Apparently, they’ll only carry one box free. Granted it was only £12 a box but even so, I really don’t think I ought to have been made to pay when I wasn’t informed beforehand. Had I been, then I’d have had my home-care company pack everything into one box.
Anyway, that out of the way, we made our way to the gate and along with a couple of hundred other passengers, we looked forward to sunshine and warmth. Boarding time came and went… no plane. Delayed because of fog, apparently. Strange considering other flights were coming and going but we figured it wouldn’t be long. Wrong! Several hours later we finally got on a plane only to be told by the crew that they’d had to land in Leeds (this was in Manchester) because they hadn’t had enough fuel to circle while they waited for a pocket in the fog. The delay meant they’d be going into overtime and while they’d agreed to follow the flight anyway, for an extra £100 each, EasyJet had declined, offering them a measly £30 each instead. Needless to say, they’d refused.
We were then told that a new crew would be waiting at Gatwick where we’d land for a crew change before finally heading for Malta. Fair enough - we could deal with that. Did it happen, though? Did it heck! Apparently they couldn’t raise a crew that were trained on that particular aircraft so off we got again only to be told that the flight had been cancelled and we’d have to spend the night in an airport hotel.
Now that doesn’t sound too bad on the face of it, but for me it meant not being able to feed and that again means no fluids. I can eat and drink until I’m blue in the face y’see and it doesn’t do a blind bit of good. My nutrition and liquids have to be pumped directly into my veins. And we all know that flying dehydrates us, don’t we? I’d already be dehydrated before I boarded the plane so I can’t say it was a flight I was looking forward to. But I was determined to get to Malta - I needed that sun for a vitamin D top up as well as actually getting away from freezing for a while (I feel the cold something horrendous due to my condition) so we were up before five the next morning and checking in at six for a flight leaving just before eight.
Eight o’clock came and went - still no plane at the gate. Things were looking decidedly dodgy. Then, about half an hour later, as if by some miracle, a plane emerged out of the fog….
Having only had a few hours sleep and feeling decidedly dehydrated, when we finally got the hotel I just zonked out on the bed and didn’t wake up again until it was dark. LM and I jumped in the hire car and off we went, round Valletta and out into the countryside, taking tiny narrow lanes and having no clue where we were or where we were going. We enjoyed it and although poor LM had caught that dreadful bug that’s been going round and had her holiday somewhat ruined by it, she soldiered on and we had a good week.
I shall be contacting EasyJet to complain though. According to a lawyer who was on our flight, we’re entitled to compensation but whether or not we’ll get any is a different matter. It’s worth a try though.
Sharon J xx