top of page
  • Writer's pictureGirlWellTravelled

Honey, I Missed My Flight!

1 - Missed Flight

Ma'am, I'm sorry to say but you won't make it to the gate in time even though there are still 30 minutes to departure.
I can sprint to the gate.

Desperation about me. I'm gathering up my things in preparation of performing the Olympic sprint I have carrying on in my head, when she suddenly says.

Ma’am the gate is thirty five minutes away.
Thirty five minutes away? Where is this gate? Hammersmith?

Angela (lets call her Angela) the British Airways passenger service agent does her best to restrain a smile.

Angela, can I let you in on a little secret? I happen to be Usain Bolt's sister from another island. And today, I just happen to be wearing my most comfortable pair of Geox trainers. Plus, I have no luggage to check, so can easily sprint to the gate in 10 minutes. So can you pleease, check me in.

Palms went together in prayer. I will admit to begging. But it was clear that nothing had a flapping effect on Angela.

Emirates would have held the flight for me!

Well not quite but it felt like they did having previously checked me in twenty minutes to departure. Suddenly, I realised the error of my ways. SCHEISSE!

The frustration about me tempted that statement. Never do that. Always stay polite.

There is no way Angela will be checking me in now. She gave me the look. The one that said ‘I have had a long day and I would really like to get home to that left over lamb jalfrezi and a glass of wine.’ For one.

I fully turned on the Oscar award winning tears. And when those didn't work, the genuine ones came.

I can book you on the midday flight tomorrow for an additional charge should you so wish.

Was Angela’s very next statement. Yep, she's definitely single.

It sunk in. All my best laid plans - The 'Dubai Lovin' cruise and all else - scuppered.

Uncertain of which I was most disheartened with (Angela for not allowing me the chance to prove my sprinting heroics; myself for not making the flight or the phone call I now need to make) I cried into my phone.

Habibi, I missed my flight.

So £100 and sixteen hours later, I finally flew out.

2 -Airport No Show

At least I made it to the airport on that occasion. I've had a few failed attempts and one non-starter to the airport. On one occasion, on a journey to catch a flight to Luxembourg, a fire on the rails stopped that plan. And one time, I was so sick I could not get out of bed to catch a flight to Switzerland for my birthday.

There was another, but I will leave for another day. Haha!

I'm yet to visit Luxembourg but made it to Switzerland later that year.

3 - Denied Boarding

Ma'am please come with me.

Says Halima, Emirates passenger service agent at the check-in desk.

I am not liking this. My stomach churns a discomfort similar to a past experience with Finnish soured milk. Yes in Finland soured milk is an option. I'd already felt something amiss when the online check in failed.

The flight is overbooked (she continued say) and there's a possibility we may need to deny you boarding.
Sorry. Say that again?

Her perfectly good English suddenly incomprehensible to my very English ears. She repeated herself, my ears typing the words across my brain as she spoke.

As in you're bumping me off the flight?

She nodded.

Halima, please upgrade me to the flight deck if you must. I really need to be back at work tomorrow morning. Plus my other half is a pilot.

Halima chuckled, escorted my daughter and me to a seating area. There, I discovered from a family of four that they, too, had been bumped off the said flight with what seemed like another A380 aircraft load of passengers. Our flight, and another, was some ten to twenty per cent overbooked, according to the chatter. (And yes, airlines overbook their seats, especially in peak season.) The said family of four had had a previous experience with another airline on their way to another holiday in the USA. They continued telling us the airline offered them compensation and got them on the next flight out. Only today, they were at the end of their holiday.

Halima returned but only for the family of four and left again. My gut wrenched. Sometime later, I see her walking back to us.

Ma'am. She wavered.

This ain't sounding good. That voice in my head.

Ma'am. She starts again. Would you be willing to travel on the first flight tomorrow morning back to London?
Do I have a choice?
No. Not quite but for the inconvenience we will accommodate you in a hotel for the remainder of your stay here; book you onto the next flight without any further inconvenience to yourself and offer you return complimentary tickets to Dubai. What do you say?

Halima, I really need to get back to work tomorrow. Plus I do not wish to spend another minute in Dubai. Said no one ever.

Well, if you're certain I cannot be upgraded to the flight deck, I'll accept.

Those complimentary tickets had turned the inconvenience around. If anything, making me a little eager to be bumped off more flights. Ok maybe only with Emirates.

4 - Re-routed Flight

Have you ever experienced a flight nightmare? I still remember when my Abu Dhabi to London flight turned into a Middle Eastern odyssey. The supposed non-stop flight became a journey that included stops in Doha and Istanbul. It took us nearly 24 hours to finally arrive in London! Can you imagine what else I could have done in that time? I could have flown one-way from London to Papeete!

5 - Honey I Forgot My Passport

Picture this: I'm standing fifth in the queue at the check-in desk, nervously rifling through my red handbag. My heart's racing as I realise I don't remember picking it up. But my mind tells me that I must have. Because, how could I forget to do that?

Here I was at St Pancras international, in the busiest queue for the first train of the day. And as I start to rummage through my bag, the queue gets longer and longer, and I can feel the eyes of impatient passengers burning into my back.

Seriously, where are all these passengers going so early on a cold January morning?

But I couldn't stop to find out because desperate measures were calling. One by one, I go through every item in the bag, meticulously scrutinizing each one before returning it. Lipstick? Just a lipstick. Scarf? Held out for the third time to ensure it hides nothing. And then suddenly...

Bonjour madame, Welcome to Eurostar. May I have your passport please!
Ahh Oui, un instant s’il vous plaît. I replied without looking up.
Wait, do I need a passport to go on a train?
Not just any train, Madame. Eurostar from London to Paris.
Ah yes!

6 - Right Country, Wrong City

Have you ever had one of those travel mishaps that make you want to bury your head in the sand? Well, I once had a hilarious blunder that left me feeling like a dunce! You see, I bought a plane ticket for the right country, but the wrong city! Can you believe it?

Needless to say, my travel plans took a bit of a detour, and I learned a valuable lesson about triple-checking my bookings before hitting that "buy" button.

What's Your Travel Mishap Story?

I've shared mine. Now your turn. Feel free to share those travel woes in the comments below if you've experienced something similar. Lost passports? Cancelled flights? Let's laugh or commiserate together about our not-so-great past travel experiences.

Recent Posts

See All
Shadow on Concrete Wall
bottom of page