HowTo:Miss A Plane
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edit The Know How Everyone Needs To Ruin Their Weekend - In 47 (Ridiculously) Easy Steps!!
1. Choose a crappy cheap airline.
2. Pick a cheap flight out.
This is because the flight out will all go according to plan. If you don't get there no biggie, you'll find another way and you haven't lost much money. A good place to go to ruin your weekend is Southampton aka Chaville.
3. Pick an expensive flight back in.
This is because you want to come back at a reasonable time on Sunday afternoon, and have enough time to get yourself organised for work, and get some kip to be fresh eyed and smelling sweet for that nine o'clock very very very important meeting.
4. Pay for the flight with your hard earned cash that doesn't grow on trees.
Make sure no refunds are available.
5. Have a great weekend, enjoying every minute.
This is an important factor.
6. Happily go to the airport in fair time making jokes to everyone on how funny would it be if you missed your flight.
Make sure not to notice the irony of this later, when the real fun begins.
7. Arrive at the airport.
Delightedly check into the queue-less check in desk. Laugh amiably with your friends.
edit This is where the pain begins...
8. Groan at the security queue which appears to have tripled in length since you arrived.
9. Stand in said queue for a long time.
A very, very long time.
10. Glance at watch you had put in your bag to avoid it beeping when you go through the security sensor.
Gasp, and feel panic rising when you realise that time has swiftly moved by and your flight is now boarding.
11. Realise you are in a queue that isn't going anywhere this century.
12. Ring friend in panic and profess with beginning hysteria that there's a very good chance you're not getting on this plane.
Hear friend advise you to tell security.
13. Realise that if you tell security you would have to get out of said crushingly large queue.
14. Realise also that if you do this, they might tell you where to go, which incidentally might be to the back of the queue.
15. Decide to tell the queue what's going on.
Speed past people in queue, with the insanity of a person whose panic has quadrupled.
16. Get to front of queue.
Panic is at breaking point. Get stuck with slow, very slow, security x-ray machines and customs officers who really don't care if you're in a hurry.
17. Run as fast as you have ever run in your life from the Security area to your gate.
edit Oops... Here's where the real pain is...
18. Feel the muscle go in your leg.
Ignore the pain, as more important matters are at stake. Secondly only do you realise your heart could give in. Remember failed plans to go jogging as a hobby. Ignore annoying memory, focus on Gate 59 and your rattled breathing.
19. Stop briefly at Gate 50, and alert stupid crappy airline personnel in a breathless voice that you're almost there.
Plead with said personnel to call your gate. Said personnel assures you, yes of course he will. You know that no, of course he won't.
20. Arrive at gate, sweating, incapable of breathing with any sort of normal regularity, tomato faced and slighty crying.
21. Manage to ask stewards can you please please please get on the plane.
Hear stewards say no, no you can't get on the plane.
22. Start panic attack and cry.
Not loudly, just pathetic sniffles. True crying would be an impossibility seeing as your respiratory system has nearly given you up as a bad job.
23. Have air hostess escort you the wrong way along the departures corridor.
Feel slightly like you're on the way to the Headmistress' office. People stare, but frankly, you're past the point of caring now. Air Hostess doesn't care about you either. Breathing is still massively impaired.
24. Air Hostess leaves you at Customer Service Desk where incompetent personnel had lied to you not five minutes before.
She directs you on to ticket sales desk, and announces in the same breath that she's pretty sure all the flights left to Cork are booked up. Because those are the kind words that you want to hear right now. Really they are.
25. Ring aforementioned friend.
Sob down phone at one pound sterling a minute that you've missed your flight, and what the hell are you going to do now. Friend sympathises and looks for flights on Internet. Panic has levelled. Breathing is still sounding, and feeling, like you've run the London Marathon. About five or six times. In four minutes.
edit This is the point where you question the purpose of your airplane trip (and your life)
26. Wander to security with red puffed up face and pathetic expression.
Get lost briefly on the way in the shopping departure area. This in itself is a feat considering you managed to run through it at great speed and no apparent difficulties on your way to elusive gate 59.
27. Go back through security, who incidentally are just as insincere and suspicious when you're going back into the public area as when you're going the normal way.
28. Go to airline check in to find how to get your baggage that they didn't want on their stupid plane.
Get bad directions to Validation Point 9, the baggage reclaim place for baggage they throw off the plane in disgust. Go back to check in desk. Get more directions. Eventually ask someone from other more expensive yet obviously more intelligent airline, and get proper directions.
29. Find Validation Point 9. Area for poor sad denied boarding people. Breathing has returned to somewhat normal rhythm, but face hasn't. Please can you have your heavy luggage back you say, sure they say, we'll be ten minutes.
30. Twenty minutes later an air hostess with a face like someone force fed her lemons for ten years comes out to get you.
31. You wheel your luggage out of Baggage Reclaim past sniffer dogs, briefly thinking, why should they care what's in your bag, you're obviously not going anywhere.
32. Go to ticket sales desk with no money as you have no idea how much flights will cost, and don't want to take money out of the bank in case you'll be stuck with sterling.
33. Overmade up girl at ticket sales tells you that yes, all flights to Cork are fully booked.
Then she stares at you. So you say okay, what about flights to Shannon, or maybe Dublin. Tonight. You realise clutching at straws would be an understatement of describing the way you're feeling right now.
34. Ticket sales girl with IQ of rabbit finds flight to Shannon.
At half past ten. Tonight. Phew you think, wow, you could make it home. Probably in the early morning but hey, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
35. Realise you haven't got any money because of earlier worries of leftover sterling.
How much is the flight you ask. 50 pounds she says. Relief spreads, that's not bad you think. Wait, she says, did you check in? Yes you say you did check in, thinking, very mistakenly, that this is a good thing. 'OH', she says, well it'll be a 170 pounds then. This takes a minute to process...
36. Make and receive many calls from friend and boyfriend about flights on way to bank machine.
Don't get anywhere with this. That would be far too easy and convenient.
37. Go back to desk less than five minutes later.
Flight you wanted is gone. Only early morning flight is left. You take it. It's that, or fly Tuesday, or move to Stansted and live like Tom Hanks in the Terminal.
38. Finally have cigarette.
World is bleak and uncaring, and suspiciously shaped like an airport. Mentally begin writing complaint letter to airline.
39. Skip to 9 uncomfortable hours, and possibly 2 hours of sleep, later.
Check in at airline desk. Still the same crappy not so cheap airline. Let's call it Ryanair. Just for fun you know, not because it was or anything.
edit Sleep deprivation sets in
40. Boarding is scheduled at 0540 hours.
Flight is at 0620. Be first in boarding queue.
41.Are still first in boarding queue at 0615.
42. Still in queue.
Not actually going anywhere. This appears to happen a lot at this airport.
43. Fume silently in seat on airplane as plane sits at the gate at 0645, waiting for somebody late for boarding.
44. Yes Waiting. For. Somebody. Late. For. Boarding. Waiting.
45. Any panic of yesterday, is now channelled into a red hot pool of insanely angry lava.
46. Fall asleep on plane.
Wake up with crick in neck. Plane is forty minutes late landing. Somehow arrive at work on time. Brain has been left in departures though, and work send you home for resembling a zombie and having less ability than a table trying to do algebra.
47. Go home and sleep. Rue the day you ever flew with hypocritical bastard airline. Lets call it Ryanair. Not because it was or anything.