Have you ever had one of those facepalm moments where you think to yourself, “I’m such an idiot”? Well, I seem to have these moments at least once a week, but today I’m going to tell you about that time when I managed to miss my flight home from Barcelona – yep, you don’t have to tell me, I actually am a massive idiot sometimes. Even telling you guys about this makes me feel traumatized, I can honestly say it was one of the worst days of my life.
This summer, I decided to take advantage of some air miles I had to use, and book myself a last minute flight to Alicante to catch some end of summer sunshine. I couldn’t get a flight back for a reasonable price, so I booked a return flight from Barcelona to Edinburgh because it was an absolute bargain – and it gave me the chance to visit Barcelona as I’d wanted to go for so long!
Anyway, off I went. I had the most AMAZING time visiting Alicante, Valencia and Sitges – but the fun really started once I arrived in Barcelona. Staying for 6 nights, I was planning to see some sights, but spend most of the time relaxing and having a break from drinking alcohol. (anybody that knows me, will know that this is one of the most ridiculous things ever to come out of my mouth). So in true Jonny style, on arrival at the hostel I was given a Malibu and Coke by one of the guys in my dorm room, and I was drinking before I’d even put my bag down. Great. So much for the not drinking and relaxing! Anyway, that night, we ended up absolutely plastered at a Spanish street festival dancing to Danza Kuduro and drinking jugs of Sangria. This was the continuing trend of my trip, the rest of it was a hungover blur of sightseeing in the day, and partying at night. Before I knew it, it was my last day before the early flight back to Edinburgh in the morning.
Sad that my trip was over and I was running low on money, I decided I would buy a bottle of wine and chill in the common room of the hostel with a good book. Guess what? That didn’t happen either. After drinking the bottle of wine, I spent my last 15 euro on a ticket to a nightclub that included free drinks with the guys from my hostel. At least 10 times I said to the guys I was with – “DO NOT let me stay out all night – I have a flight home to catch at 9.30am”. They said “Don’t worry – we’ll make sure you get home early”. The next memory I have, is arriving back to my hostel at 4.30am, and drunkenly throwing all of my possessions into my bag with not a care in the world. The guys went to sleep, and there was still plenty of time before I needed to leave for the airport in 45 minutes – so I sat on my bed with my earphones playing music to keep me awake…..
Awakened by the bright sunlight shining in through the balcony – my first thought is SH*T. My phone is dead, and god only knows what time it is. I am drenched in sweat from the relentless heat, my head is pounding, and I’m still wearing last nights clothes. Quickly plugging my phone into the charger – and lighting a cigarette on the balcony, I wait for the phone to come back on so I know my fate. What time is it? Looking at the traffic from the balcony, I judge it to be around 7am. That’s when the vibrations of my phone coming back to life make me start. Rushing back inside and pushing my shaking finger on the home button, I am greeted by a big fat 10.15 in bright white numbers. My heart starts pounding, really hard. Sh*t. I’ve missed my flight home.
I need to be back home for work in the morning, so there is no option to travel the next day. I have literally no cash on me, the maid has just trundled in and is waving her brush at me screaming profanities in Spanish, trying to kick me out of the hostel (check out was at 8), my phone is nearly dead, and here I am stranded in bloody Barcelona. Great. Just what I need on a Monday morning.
Running out of the hostel in a state of panic and stinking of stale alcohol, I jump into the first taxi waiting, and demanded to be taken the the airport. I ask for the driver to stop at the cash machine, but he says he has a card machine I could pay with – which was perfect. On the way to the airport, I use my phone to look for a new flight – there was a direct one to Manchester I would just about make if the driver put his foot down. After a short but very tense ride, we arrive at the airport, I whip out my card and the driver put it into the machine. “Not working – no signal” he says. I do not need this today, I have a stinking hangover, and a new flight to catch – He then proceeds to drive around the nearby roads, as slow as humanly possible, with my card in the machine trying to take the payment. It takes 20 minutes before it finally works. We arrive back outside the terminal at Barcelona Airport and I run inside whilst effing and jeffing in my head. There is one hour until the flight I want to get on departs. I run to the Vueling.com desk to book onto it.
“Flight is full”, He says. Crap. I ask if there is any flights back to the UK. Again, same response. “All full”. I say thank you and walk away, trying not to have a breakdown in public. What was I gonna do? Why do these things always happen to me?
I go outside and put my head in my hands, my heart is pounding and I was trying not to cry. (How embarrassing.) I contemplate throwing myself off the nearest bridge, but after what must have been three cigarettes, I come to the conclusion that the only way I can get home, is to get back to Amsterdam and try to book onto a connecting flight from there. I go back to the Vueling.com desk praying for a miracle, and manage to get onto a flight to Amsterdam. While waiting for this flight to depart – I manage to book my onward flight with EasyJet via the app on my phone. Fabulous. I am sorted and I’m gonna get home. Finally I can breathe again.
Landing in Amsterdam, I am receiving some funny looks and wrinkled noses from some of the other passengers on the flight – but I couldn’t care less. I am nearly home and I couldn’t be happier. I disembark and head to the departure gates for my onward flight, with a massive sigh of relief and finally a smile on my face for the first time in the day.
I start to download the boarding pass for my next flight to my phone – when it finally shows the Apple symbol which means it has died a death. I’ve actually lost the will to live by this point and have never wanted to see England so badly in my life. Past the point of caring anymore, I proceed to wander into an electronics shop and spend 50euro on a power bank i’ll never use again in my life, to get my boarding pass, and call my best friend at home. I practically beg her to pick me up from the airport and drive me home. I can’t deal with another mode of public transport today.
On the plus side, I manage to get some photos with the I AMsterdam sign outside the airport (All is not lost!)
45 minutes flying and 400 euro later. I touch down in Manchester. P*ssed off, but finally home – swearing to myself never to book an early flight ever again.
Ever had a travel mishap like mine? Share in the comments below