This is an epic saga (and we chose those words wisely). Spoiler Alert – we got to Paris today (in case you don’t want to read this long, involved (epic saga).
Yesterday we arrived at Edinburgh Airport before 11 am for a 1:30 pm flight on EasyJet. We had boarding passes but needed to check our backpacks. After some people were turned away for a later flight we thought we might be too early. The clerk said our flight would open in, pause, looked at watch, ”about now” and sent us to a kiosk. All good. Edinburgh Airport is not large by big city (London, NY, Chicago, etc.) standards but it was quite a hike to the gate. We found a nearby gate with fewer people and sat down to wait. Boarding was to be at 12:55 so just short of that we made our way to the correct gate and got in line. Almost everyone on the flight was already queuing. Boarding time came without any activity. We could not really see the agents or the gate entrance but nothing seemed to be happening at 1:15, 1:20, etc. Finally, about 1:30 (flight time) an announcement was made about several flights being cancelled, including ours. Oops. Got on our phones to get app and see if any EasyJet flights were available (not sure we would have trusted them, however). British Airways and EasyJet had been cancelling flights frequently over the previous week with no notification. Hard to imagine how an airline doesn’t know ahead of time that it does not have crew or other necessities for a flight. Not sure about the safety of their flights after this.
Anyway, we had to pick up our backpacks and return to the main terminal area to talk with a live person. Got in another line and waited a half hour or so and word came down the line that there was nothing for 48 to 72 hours to get to Paris. We had a car and hotels booked for the next week (too late to cancel) so really needed to get there. Marilyn had been online looking for trains, buses, even the ferry from Dover to Calais. We couldn’t get off the island (oh, Gilligan).
Finally, Marilyn found a flight to Paris via Norwegian Air to Stockholm, overnight in the airport and Air France to Paris at 6 am. So, for a measly 800 Euros, we could go (good thing the Euro and the dollar are about equal right now).
Flight didn’t leave Edinburgh until 6 pm so we hiked over to a hotel (supposedly 5 – 10 minutes but for us, with our backpacks, it was more like 20). Had a lovely rest and lunch.
Having a Shandy and chilling out. Really needed it about 12 hours later!
Hiked back to the airport and had to wait nearly an hour to check in. Marilyn tried to tell Bob we couldn’t check in until about 2 hours before but he insisted on 3. Wish the man could learn to sit and relax. Finally, got in line for the desk displayed for our flight and the agent couldn’t find any record of us in the list of passengers. The agent tried to figure out what was wrong since we had a confirmation number. She talked twice with supervisors and finally said we needed to contact the seller and get them to get us on the list. Problem – no phone. The agent was so wonderful. She helped us find a number and then called it on her phone. Bob talked while the agent helped other customers. Bob wasn’t having much luck when the agent came back and said she was trying one more thing. With our passports in hand she went to another nearby desk and they found us. Right flight, wrong desk. Ugh. Anyway, another line, some rush to get through security and get to our gate but we made it.
In Stockholm we had to retrieve our luggage and carry it around all night. So happy we are traveling light. While Marilyn was trying to sleep, Bob was reading on his IPad. Suddenly, he realized that instead of it being almost 3 am, it was almost 4 am and we needed to walk the 20 minutes to our gate to check in. We thought the UK was with the rest of Europe in time zone. Got to the desk to check in and guess what. Another line. Don’t think we have ever queued as much!
By the time we reached Paris, took a train to the nearest station to the car rental, and hiked the last 20 minutes, we felt like we had run a marathon. Got the car and got out of Dodge.