Hurry Up And Wait…

15 06 2014

Day 1 – Travel Day

June 14-15, 2014

Calgary – Amsterdam – Morocco – Spain

The next few entries will be all about our travel experiences for the above named places. The original plan was to leave from Calgary, stop over in Amsterdam for an 8hr layover, then Morocco for 5 days and Southern Spain for 10.

So this day naturally started off with loads of excitement and anticipation for our long-awaited trip. In typical Dash style, we were both up until 430am the night before, packing and getting sorted. I actually don’t even think F slept at all.

Our flight was set for 3:20pm so we aimed to be at the airport by 1:30pm; plenty of time to check-in, have lunch and just take our time.   We get to the front of the KLM counter and the attendant says ‘would you like to volunteer to postpone your flight until tomorrow for a $600 credit?’ I started to lose my my mind before I could even get the words out of my mouth. ‘No I don’t want to volunteer to mess up my vacation and all of our plans for yet another day, but thanks for asking.’  Now I have learned a thing or two since my impulsive teenage years, so I kept my belligerent commentary to myself  in my head and simply said ‘no thank you.’  Three minutes later the KLM manager comes up to us and says  ‘I’m so sorry but this flight has actually been oversold and there are no longer any seats available. We can get you on the next flight out at this time tomorrow. ‘ Now this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but for me it was like the sky was falling. I kept thinking about being in Amsterdam at a cute little cafe having cute little ‘brownies’ and cute little ‘coffee’ (when you’re as mad as I was, everything out of reach becomes cute and even more desirable than they otherwise would have been).  ‘ We can offer you a $600 credit as well as this is completely not your fault.  KLM oversells their tickets by 10 customers for every flight, thinking at least 10 will not show up. Today everyone showed up and you are part of the last 10’, he says.

My response: ‘ How is this our problem? I want a full refund for both tickets and a flight to our destination, that is compensation, not $600 that won’t even cover the cost of the loses we’ll endure for the next day.’  (My inside voice was no longer inside by the way… There is only so much I could learn between my teenage years and today. Maybe I’ll get it right by the time I’m 80.) Anyway, to make what has already been a long story a bit less long, after I walked away from the counter so my calm and more rational half could deal with this situation, KLM managed to re-route us through London and Amsterdam for quick stop overs so we could make our flight to Marrakech. The original plan for the extended stop over in Amsterdam was no longer an option but anything was better than delaying our vacation for an entire 24hrs. I guess our authentic ‘coffee shop’ experience will have to wait for the next trip.

To be honest, the entire journey from Calgary to Marrakech was a bit of a nightmare. For the first leg of the trip there was an ear-piercing screaming child sitting two rows ahead of us . For the second half there was a nuance 4 yr old sitting behind me, kicking my chair as if it just tried to steal his toy. When I would look at his dad to display my irritation, he would look at me with an expression that said ‘aw shuks, kids eh? So adorable. Boys will be boys. Smilie face.’ My expression back said ‘ Your child is the spawn of chucky and I am pretty close to taking him out if you don’t get some control over him. You imbecile.’ I know I should be more sensitive towards parents and their children on planes given that I have 100 nieces and nephews now since all of my friends have babies; but in this moment, I was not an aunt or a lover of children. I was a childless woman in her mid 30’s, wanting to get a little shut-eye before my big adventure starts… everything in me wanted to toss those kids right out the window.  Thank goodness they were just thoughts.

Our stop overs in London and Amsterdam were just as brutal… bad service, abandoned baggage, attendants who didn’t know what they were doing, time wasted rushing around only to wait and wait. I could go on and on but I won’t keep boring you with all that because in the end, we made it and it was definitely worth the ride. First stop Marrakech, Morocco.

 

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