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I’m not knocking Paris, but when you’re all set to leave Paris and fly to Nice for your 6-day seaside holiday, it’s a major pain in the arse when, after an interminable and chaotic lineup, first the computers go down so you can’t check in, then a small group ahead of you turns into a group of 50 Canadian students as each newcomer is ushered in, and then when you finally check in and go to the gate, your flight is cancelled. This, I hasten to add, is a flight I booked five months ago!
“We are very sorry, but you must now go to baggage claim and reclaim your bags then go to Room 1 and get further information.” At least that’s what I thought I heard. Surely, I was wrong. No, I wasn’t wrong. Our flight to Nice was cancelled.
“Flight crew problems,” we were told.
So back we went to collect our bags and then pulled them off the carousel just as if we’d actually gone somewhere, only we were still in Paris. Then I went to the wrong Easyjet lineup only to be told to go to check in desk #1, and then waited in line to get a new flight and another one to get a hotel room.
But the worst, the very worst – after 4 hours of line ups at the airport – was when we were told that we couldn’t get on another flight until the next night at 7:25 p.m. Yes, 26 hours after our scheduled departure.
Then we spent the night at the Ibis Hotel with no airconditioning and, in my first room, with windows that didn’t open and a bathroom door handle that was sitting on a bench.
Now I’m not knocking Paris, but when you are set to be in Nice, and have paid for a beautiful Belle Epoque apartment on the lovely rue Verdi you do not want another day in Paris. You do not want to fight the crowds on the Champs Elysees and you don’t care a fig about the Arc de Triomphe. You want to be lying on the beach in the pastel sunlight and enjoying your 6-day seaside holiday that is now a five-day holiday.
Of course I am not knocking Paris, but it’s interesting how one week ago I was dying to get to Paris and go to the Plaza Athenee for champagne and to visit the Louvre to see the Uccello and the Cimabue, but when you are focused on being elsewhere, your point of view changes. Especially when your legs ache from so many lineups and they’re too sore to spend another day walking around in a Paris heatwave. And when Easyjet will not let you have late checkout at the Ibis hotel (“It’s not in the contract,” they said after waiting in another lineup the next morning) and the hotel has no baggage storage.
It’s interesting how when things go wrong it sorely tests your relationship because you are two very unhappy people who would either like a fresh sea breeze in Nice, or at least some airconditioning in Paris. I have never really seen Mark angry before and it was a bit of a shock. After two years, I finally learned that he has a temper. Go figure.
My point of view about Easyjet has changed too. It’s not, um, very positive at the moment.
But eventually we arrived in Nice. My relationship has been saved – Mark’s good nature restored – and the sea breeze (plus two seaweed treatments at the H20 Thermes Marins spa in Cannes) has helped wash the stress away.