Monday, 11 August 2014

The long journey home

Having said Cyprus was generally OK, I posted before we actually got home...

Sunday was always going to be odd - we had to leave the villa (and its air-con) at 10am but the flight was around 10pm.

So we went to a bar for a bit, then to a "Sunday dinner" we had booked at Haris restaurant in Coral Bay - good food for a very reasonable price.

We then went to the O'Soloman's Irish Pub in Coral Bay. It has fans, not air-con but managed to find enough of a breeze as well and was bearable - they watched football on TV (BT Sport 1 channel). We had some drinks and some foods and eventually decided we may as well head to the airport.

One of the cars did not follow the signs to the airport, and when we lost them we went back and followed them, only to be 5 miles behind them as they had, but some total fluke, found a back route. They then had to go back to fill up the car from the petrol station while were we going the other way, and texts were somewhat confused as to who, where, when and why.

The petrol station was a challenge! It should not be, but on a Sunday they are apparently all unmanned. The instructions on the pump were very clear and in English. 1. Enter required amount, or press a specific button to change to enter a required volume. 2. lift nozzle and dispense fuel. Simple. Did not work, and no clue why. Eventually other cars turn up and someone explains that there is a small blue box by a totally different pump where you put in cash or a card and enter the pump number, then you can full up, ignoring totally the instructions on the pump. We also (for some inexplicable reason) had to get receipts when returning the cars full of fuel, which we still don't understand. As you can imagine, that took a while, especially as neither my Barclays or my Lloyds cards would work. Thankfully one of us has a Santander card that worked.

We ended up at the airport around 6:30pm, knowing we had a long wait. What was worse is we realised (and some of the party knew) the flight was actually scheduled 22:55.

Then I spotted some issues - I checked the Gatwick departures board for the inbound flight and it had not left. In fact, it did not leave until 3 hours and 35 minutes later than scheduled. This meant we finally took off around 1:55!

The airline are supposed to offer food and refreshments at 2 hours of delay, but there are no representatives of the airlines in departures, and the shows were actually closing at midnight!

We landed around 4:16 in the UK, slightly less than 3 hours late arriving. We had to wait for the second taxi we had booked. I was not really home until around 6:30 after about 12 hours "travelling" and bugger all sleep.

To add insult to injury - even though we paid for extra leg room, we did not get it, and did not have any paperwork on us to prove it.

I am a tad tired.

9 comments:

  1. I guess they want the receipt to prove you didn't just pull up at the airport and fill it with water/piss in the tank to fill it back up as I doubt they have time to run each car for 5 mins and find out

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  2. Couldn't you have paid for one more day at the villa to avoid having to be out of there so far before your flight?

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    1. I am sure we could have, if I was organising it all!

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  3. As your flight was over 1500km but under 3000km, I believe that the EU-261 refreshments or delay compensation don't kick in until a 3 hour delay. 2 hours is only for shorter flights.

    Since it was over 3 hours late leaving, if you'd bought some refreshments in the airport, you ought to be able to claim that back from the airline, but depending on who you flew with it might be a fight...

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  4. As your flight was over 1500km but under 3000km, I believe that the EU-261 refreshments or delay compensation don't kick in until a 3 hour delay. 2 hours is only for shorter flights.

    Since it was over 3 hours late leaving, if you'd bought some refreshments in the airport, you ought to be able to claim that back from the airline, but depending on who you flew with it might be a fight...

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  5. My brother and his wife went to Amsterdam for a four day break, flying direct from Edinburgh - if KLM hadn't cancelled the flight! Plan B was a BA flight changing at Heathrow ... except the inbound leg of that flight was late, breaking the connection, so they ended up stuck in Edinburgh overnight in a cheap B&B (KLM lied that "all the hotels were full"). Losing a whole day from a short break is pretty lousy - but because it was weather-related, it seems they are very limited in compensation options.

    Maybe time for A&A to branch out into credit/debit cards that actually work properly, no more faffing around with three different brands in hopes of finding one that works!

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  6. To be fair to the card providers, some of them do say you should inform them before you go abroad. It's all part of their dubious anti fraud measures. I used to get phone calls from one of my card providers: "Someone is using your card in Hong Kong" "Yes that's me." "But we're calling you on your landline, how can you be in Hong Kong as well?" "Have you heard of this thing called the Internet..." I have one card I use for online ordering, it's so well travelled (virtually) that they stopped asking me questions.

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    1. Indeed, and the idea that calling my landline will only get to a fixed phone at a corresponding UK location is also crazy. I had no issue using the cards in Cyprus apart from this petrol pump, so I doubt it was the bank. The pump even checked PIN (on the card that worked).

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    2. Had a surprised building maintenance guy the other day - he rang my home phone, heard my desk phone ringing, heard it stop and was very surprised when I told him I wasn't there. He did, however, go through the neighbour's house, climb through the garden fence and do the job.

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