Tuesday 5 June 2007


Our fight out to Cyprus was at 0810. “Check in opens at 0610”. Oh really! And how, may I ask, will we get two active little girls to co-operate with that! Best stay overnight at an airport hotel! Two rooms the size of shoeboxes costing £160 “room only”! Parking £3 on the night of stay and £11 a day thereafter. OK, expensive but with two (by this time) SUPERDRIVEN hyperactive little girls it seemed liked a good investment in sanity.

The receptionist lectures me that “There are no parking spaces available. This company’ (pointing at our booking confirmation) should have pre-booked a parking space. It’s their fault”. BIG MISTAKE. As I am MD of “this company” I was fully aware that this pre-requisite had not been made clear at the time of booking. I shared this knowledge with the receptionist and everyone else within earshot. I have a reputation for being quite stern in some situations, this being one such situation. In response to this sternness the receptionist agreed that we could, indeed, use the facilities of the car park for as long as required.

Finally arrived, inspected our accommodation, felt extreme disappointment blah, blah, blah and 7 days later prepared for the journey home. Do package tour operators deliberately organise their transfers and flights to create maximum distress in the hope that the experience will eclipse the horrors of the holiday itself? Yes, I think so.

At the airport the heat was100oF and there were queues like you have never seen before in your life. Confusion reigned. We were assured that our check in desk numbers were 11 and 12. Unfortunately it was impossible to identify which queues went to these desks because there was a ruddy great pillar right in front of them. So we picked a queue, any queue. The queues either side of us went faster, but we stuck to our conviction that our queue was the right queue.

1 hour later we discover the problem. Three queues had been allowed to form and behind the pillar battles were going on between warring passengers for queue supremacy while two silly little holiday reps chatted and giggled. Some very nasty stuff was happening before their very eyes and they didn’t lift a hand to quell the restive crowd. When I pointed this out to one of them she started the “we are sorry that you are being inconvenienced” smiley crap.

That did it. I pointed out that although she was not employed, as she had informed me, for “crowd control”, I held them responsible for allowing three queues to form when there were only two check in desks. It was not necessary to hold a doctorate in physics to realise that this was the road to hell. She scuttled away and I beat a hostile looking lady to the desk and dared her to defy me.

Oh no, I didn’t get to be this age without learning how to deal with uppity little tarts and luggage trolleys wielded by manic death defying fellow passengers..

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