Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Easy Bermuda Triangle

It was my fault.
Stupid. Stupid. STUPID!!

I've been happily shooting up and down the East Coast by train between London and Edinburgh with ease, comfort, food and general well being. No probs no worries.
The east Coast mainline is in rude health after GNER have run it for several years. Who knows what may happen under National Express - the signs aren't good. (don't worry, we'll get to something other than trainspotting in a mo)

So for reasons too stupid and boring to explain I'm at Luton Airport. Waiting on an Easyjet flight. Where I've been sat for several hours. It was supposed to be quicker. It was supposed to be cheaper. It was supposed to be, oh, better.

It's not.

There's nothing wrong with no or low frills airlines really. I've flown on dozens of them. It's just that Easyjet (and Ryanair) have managed to throw the baby out with the bathwater and remove any semblance of enjoyment, or even a sense of efficiency.

OK, so I'm stuck. I'm delayed, but at other airports when you get delayed there can sometimes be, how can I put this, a sense of sympathy, possibly even a degree of help. Not at "London" Luton Airport there isn't (one day I'll get them prosecuted over that name under trades descriptions - it's nowhere NEAR London. It's barely near Luton)

Now Luton's got some nice new shops. And a new caff. And a new long walk - a very long walk - to the gates which is what you get when you install new shops and caffs.

I'm on a flight that is so delayed the earlier one has left after the later one was supposed to so I stupidly thought there might be a chance of getting on said earlier one as I'm travelling alone.
As I watched them give short shrift to a heavily pregnant woman - they even asked her if she had passed the test to allow her to fly - and send her packing back down to the shopping mall they then turned on the two clearly confused Chinese people who didn't understand why they couldn't get on the flight that was leaving at the time they were supposed to leave.

You've seen "Airline" haven't you? You know the show where the Easyjet's wearied staff try to help thick ignorant passengers who don't know their arse from their elbow, who just REFUSE to be helped their such great unwashed scum.

The helpful lady told the Chinese couple IN A VERY LOUD VOICE that the pilot had already personally loaded all his fuel onto the plane and he COULDN'T POSSIBLY let them on - the implication being that they'd run out of fuel somewhere over Carlisle and the Chinese Couple would then be responsible for many, many deaths. The Chinese Couple were even more confused and showed their Boarding cards again and were told IN AN EVEN LOUDER VOICE that the pilot etc etc. They backed off, wondering what they had actually done to get the hair dryer treament from a total stranger.

Then it was my turn. I'm not pregnant. I'm not Chinese. I'm a traveller. I've travelled so much my carbon footprint is the size of Yorkshire and I've spent so much time and money on easyjet and ryanair that I swore never to fly with them again.

Until today.

In the same VERY LOUD voice it was explained to me that it was IMPOSSIBLE to let me on as there was no-one that could POSSIBLY authorise it, no-one AT ALL and that if I ever wanted to try to do this again I should go to the ticket desk on the way in.

This would assume I knew in advance of any delay, something you cannot possibly know as I pointed out that Easyjet refuse to tell people about delays, even when they've been happening all day (like today) because of early morning fog. You see, then I might have known several things, one of which would have been not to come to London Luton Airport as it takes nearly two hours to actually get here from my bit of (Central) London.

She shooed me off to the "Special Assistance" desk which was not manned. I couldn't leave the airport. I was handed an orange phone.

"Who's that?"
"Is this Easyjet?"
I explain what's what and I'm given a lecture, very similar in tone to the one I've just had. Being a passenger, I'm automatically regarded as stupid by Easyjet staff.

I asked what time the delayed late plane might depart, did anyone actually know? - and was told quite simply a pack of lies. It wasn't worth listening to. Utter bollocks. The kind of speech which sounds as if something is being said when nothing is being said at all. Noise.

The kind of stuff that turns normal people into frothing-at-the-mouth passengers who make good telly for "Airline".

Which is where I came in. But unfortunately not out. I'm in the no-frills bermuda Triangle and I may be here for some considerable time. Oh, and London Luton's shops and caff are now shut.

Never again.


Harriet Hamster said...

So when does Tony Robinson tell us you are okay and happy and bought everyone a Toblerone


Nationwide said...

No comprende. But at least I escaped frikkin Luton. Eventually.