Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why I dislike easyjet

AOG, London

Nightmare journey from hell last night. Left my internship on smart Gran Vía in Madrid to head to the airport around 6 PM. 

Got into Barajas around 7 PM only to be told that the flight was delayed by one hour. Oh well, I thought. Let's do some reading.

A little later I'm told that, in fact, my 20:55 to Gatwick is expected to land around half past midnight. So....more reading, perhaps buy the paper but in fact no, because the newsstands are closing and they are out of papers. What to do? Walk around the terminal like a lost soul until the plane arrives.

After a while, the plane arrives earlier than expected at around 22:10 and we are loaded on like cattle (did I mention I was flying easyjet?). As you board the plane, the stewardess loudly, rudely, and cattily tells you to SIT DOWN! as quickly as possible because we do have a window to make and the flight was delayed. She makes it sound like it is your fault. Funny that. Finally the plane takes off around 23:oo and we land in London just before midnight local time. It does not end there.

First the plane takes forever to taxi to the terminal (about 10 minutes). Then, because this "model does not come with steps", we have to wait for stairs to arrive, never mind that we are parked next to a finger which we are not using probably because it costs easyjet extra to use it. The pilot tells us that a lot of flights are coming in now and that they are all probably short of stairs. What? I'm sorry Mr. Captain of a cheap airline, those flights you mention are more than likely equipped with steps, and/or they are using the airport's finger. Unless what you meant is that a lot of easyjet flights are coming in, and none of them have steps. It does not end there.

We have to go to customs. The lines (queues) are enormous. And it is about 00:20. HM Customs has decided that 3 agents are enough to handle the inmense workload. 

After an eternity I make it to the desk. 

I hand her my passport. 

The agent (BBM with funky hair) in question yells out "smile!" in a not very friendly way.

-I don't think I have to.

-Are you having a bad day? (condescendingly, she obviously was not expecting a foreigner to talk back)


-Are you unhappy because you are talking to me? (self-centered)


-Are you not feeling well? (again, rather rudely and not in any way showing real concern)

-I feel fine

-Then what is the problem?

I turn and point out the, still, long lines waiting to get through customs.

-This is the problem. Do you think this is normal?

-Yes! (with some attitude)

-Yes, this is normal in a third world country.

-Oooh! (she says and gives me back my passport).

She looks at her colleague, Ooohing and ahhing, as if to say "look at him!", thinking, of course, that I am the one in the wrong, not them.

I walk away thinking how amazing it is that the UK can be so third world sometimes and not even realise it. 

If at least people here showed initiative, like in Germany, then, ok, nobody says you have to be perfect (and I am not holding Spain as any sort of example). 

It is just that, sometimes, you wonder why things never change. But it does not end there.

Now we have to wait about 30 minutes for our luggage to come out. Once it does we all rush to the trains. But it does not end there.

It was 00:55 by then. We [the passengers] had been in Gatwick over an hour by then. 

I thought I would take the Gatwick Express to Victoria. No Gatwick Express until 01:35 arriving at 02:20 in Victoria. 

So I take instead the 01:05 Southern train which got in at 10 to 2AM, 3AM in Spain. 

Getting out of Victoria station turns into a nightmare. Not everyone has a ticket (no ticket inspector on board) and there is only ONE agent at the gates selling tickets.

It has been 9 hours since I left the office. Nine hours in transit. 

I was beat by the time I got home around 2:30 AM.

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