Disclaimer: This is a photo of me looking disgruntled at Reading Fest 2011 because I found a spider in my bra. This picture is in no way connected with the disgruntlement I felt at BA, although it was a very similar emotion.Imagine, an actual chunk of writing on my blog. I realised I do actually want to use this blog to write as well as to share my frequent dress-up sessions with you all, so here is a bit of a rant. (In true Brit fashion, I did intend to send an angry letter but I kept forgetting, so perhaps I will just email them this post instead. Up my page-views, two birds one stone. ;) )
So here is my tale, one of anguish, stress, and unnecessary cardio. As all of you will know by now, my boyfriend has been in Miami for 5 months doing a semester at UM. I went to visit, and everything was just dandy. As you can imagine, coming back from sunny Miami and lovely boyfriend to freezing Britain and loud, fat hamster was rather disheartening. Even more so when my flight from Miami was delayed and I had to wait around for a while listening to a father try to convince his son hat he was allowed an iPhone on the plane, and no, they would not confiscate it.
My flight arrived and I realised I had made a rookie-flying-error. I had not booked my seat prior to the flight. I was in a middle seat for a 9 hour flight. Best part is that I was inbetween a couple who purposely booked their seats with a space in the middle because they were too overweight to sit next to each other, resulting in me being squashed between the pair of them for 9 hours of overnight flight involving no sleep for me. (Didn't fancy getting romantic and leaning on them for sleep.)
And so I arrive at Heathrow, where all my problems begin. I am extremely tired by this point. My flight was delayed, leaving me with exactly 20 minutes to get off the plane, and get onto my connecting flight to Edinburgh. I tore off the plane, and started very quickly power-walking around trying to get to the connecting flights. If any of you know Heathrow Airport you will know it is similar to the maze in Harry Potter, only bigger and with more obstacles to overcome.
On my way to the security I see someone from BA, and thinking ahead, ask her about which my gate is. (My ticket has been marked gate:540) for some reason. There are not 540 gates in Heathrow. She tells me it means gate 40, so I tear my way through all of the fast-track lanes and go off in search of gate 40.
I find a sign saying I need to go to Terminal B ( I am in Terminal A). This requires getting a tram, and I am advised it will take 15 minutes. I could make it if I run. So I run, grab the tram, and get off at Terminal B where I look at the gates. Gate 38, Gate 39, Gate 41... Where the France is Gate 40?! I look at the BA desks, but nobody is at any of them. I run to Duty Free where I'm told Terminal B is long haul BA flights only, and I need to find someone at the help desk to sort me out a new flight as I won't make this one. Except all the desks are totally empty. Nobody who works at BA is in the sodding BA terminal.
So I am told to go back to Terminal A to find someone, although the tram only goes one way so I walk, head down, trying not to have a nervous breakdown, back to Terminal A. I arrive at Terminal A and find a BA flight attendant holding a sign for Edinburgh. I explain that is where I am going, on the 8am flight and need help. She tells me I have missed it, and to go back to Terminal B where someone will rebook my flight. So I am going back from where I have just come from. I walk back around to the trams and take the leisurely walk as a moment to call my dad and tell him I am having a nervous break down and am going to kill myself if someone doesn't help me soon. He tells me to stop being dramatic and pull myself together. I will add at this point that I suffer from Panic Disorder, so was doing well to keep it together this long anyway.
I arrive at Terminal B, and surprise surprise, no one at the BA desks. I go back to Duty Free and tell them I need to find someone from BA, now. I have walked from Terminal A to B several times now and am tired, jetlagged, stressed and angry. I am told to try the premium fliers lounge upstairs, so I go up there to find two BA girls at a desk. "I have missed my flight to Edinburgh, and need another one now," I tell them. She gives me a big smile and says "Right! Well go back to Terminal A..." and then I lost my rag and leant in very close, like The Joker when he's being menacing in Batman. "I have been told to go from A to B 4 times by BA staff now, and nobody knows what they are doing. If I don't get put on a flight to Edinburgh very quickly, I am going to have a nervous breakdown" I tell her, very slowly for added effect.
The fact that I was shaking, my eyes were falling out of my skull and I probably smelt of a mens gym seemed to spark something in her because she started typing in my details into the computer. Turns out my Gate 40 was actually supposed to be Gate 5. (Good one, BA.) But wait! My flight was delayed! They are boarding now! I could make it! She takes me like some kind of master sending her student on a mission and explains where I need to go. She tells me I won't get there if I wait for the tram, I have to run down the walkway and try to make it that way. So off I sprint.
Only problem is, I am not fit enough for a 20 minute sprint. Or a 2 minute sprint, for that matter. I am huffing and puffing, carrying my bloody hand luggage and laptop and running like Napoleon Dynamite. At one point I want to stop and cry, but realise that's a waste of time so I keep on half running, half dragging my body across the airport. I look like a zombie from the movies when they run weird to stop their legs dropping off. I was probably dribbling as well for added effect but I can't remember what was going on exactly, I have blanked it out of my memories like when you have been abused and go to therapy to forget. I arrive at the gate sweating more than the guy at the gym I saw once who had a puddle at his feet. I am red, out of breath, puffing, panting, sweating, stinking, and miserable as hell.
I finally get on the plane.
"Are you looking forward to your flight with us today? :) "
No! No I was bloody not!
To conclude, the BA staff scattered around Heathrow airport were totally clueless and I thought I was going to combust from stress, caused by them. If it wasn't for my flight being delayed 50 minutes I would have missed it entirely. So come on, BA. Send me some free stuff to take this post down from my blog, I fancy some flights to Italy, please.