Ticked Off over Travel Annoyances

March 24, 2012

in Odds & Ends Stories

I’ve never enjoyed flying, but traveling the world is a passion of mine too great to give up, so flying is an obvious necessity. I’ve actually had positive experiences flying for the most part as well… until recently coming back from Cape Town, South Africa. 

For those who have never experienced it, flying to and from South Africa is not exactly a quick and easy trip. Flying time altogether is at least 22-25 hours. So the smoother the transition to your final destination the better.

Anyway, my flight left that night from Cape Town at 10:30pm on route to London Heathrow Airport where I would catch my connecting flight that next morning onward home to the US. Virgin Atlantic was the airline I was flying with. The flight to London was okay (besides the seats being incredibly small and tight), but the trouble all started when we were supposed to land. Our flight was diverted to London Gatwick Airport due to fog. So when we landed at Gatwick we were told that the plane would need to be quickly refueled and then we would be off again.

After 2 hours on the tarmac we were told that Heathrow was having trouble finding us a time spot to fly in and that we would all need to disembark the plane and then be shuttled over to Heathrow, which is about an hour bus ride. Meantime I’m hoping and praying that I’ll make it over in time to Heathrow because my connecting flight did not leave for another 3 hours or so. So we all got off the plane and it took another hour or so to finally get our luggage and to find where the bus left from, and then we took the bus over to Heathrow.

Arriving at Heathrow, of course the terminal where they dropped us at was my wrong one, so I had to take the airport metro to the terminal where my connection was at. I get to my connecting flight check in desk – with 45 minutes to spare – and the agents would not let me check in. They had no remorse for my story, and told me I would have to leave the next day. Then to add to the mess I had booked the flights separately, so I was tacked a $250 change fee with no hotel or food vouchers. Needless to say I was pissed.

Luckily I knew someone living in South Hampton, but it was another nightmare getting to him. I had to take the airport metro to the bus station where I had to catch a 1 hour bus ride to the train station. Then it was another hour to get to the station where my buddy picked me up. This was all going on with little or no sleep. Night ended with my buddy taking me out to a pub for dinner where I got food poisoning and was in the restaurant bathroom for about 30 minutes blowing chunks.

Luckily when I got home and called the airline and told them what happened, they reimbursed my $250 change fee.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

K March 30, 2012 at 3:49 am

Food poisoning typically takes 8-12 hours to manifest and food borne illnesses typically take 24-48 to manifest. Are you sure you didn’t over indulge on the pubs alcoholic offerings on an empty stomach with a fatigued body? If you don’t drink, maybe it was something you had eaten earlier in the day? Or stress? Just saying….


@LROD319 November 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

the doctors I worked for said it usually happens within 20-30 minutes. Never had it myself so I have no experience to go by.


Alex March 31, 2012 at 9:38 am

Isn´t British food always a case of food poisoning? 😀


Sputty April 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

An hour buss ride to the train station? Why didn't you take the tube?


Medical Secretary July 25, 2012 at 5:42 am

Food poisoning can occur very quickly in cases as the body tries to quickly expel whatever has caused the problem. I had food poisoning last year and it occurred within 5 hrs of me eating.a dodgy chicken burger. If it really is that badly cooked then yes the body starts reacting quickly to rid the body of the toxins.


Placename Pedant March 7, 2014 at 7:39 am

South Hampton? Do you mean Southampton?


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