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A Sense of Direction

Flying to England

By June Donohue
Posted 9/24/21

Recently my friend Leisha was flying to England to visit her parents who live there. She expected a few bumps but nothing like what she encountered.

She usually flies into the Manchester airport …

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A Sense of Direction

Flying to England

Posted

Recently my friend Leisha was flying to England to visit her parents who live there. She expected a few bumps but nothing like what she encountered.

She usually flies into the Manchester airport but there were no direct flights there. There were however direct flights to London but the flight left very early in the morning and there was a long layover in London before she could hop a plane to Manchester. However there was a direct flight to Portugal from Newark which left at a more convenient time and the layover was 2 1/2 hrs. shorter than the one from London.

Before Leisha left the States she got a test for Covid which she expected. That test was only good for 24 hours however, which was fine because she’d be Home Free at her parents house by then. SO SHE THOUGHT.

As she was about to land in Portugal, right on time, the pilot welcomed them all to Portugal, saying it was a beautiful 85 degree day filled with sunshine. That was before he hit the passengers with some serious dark clouds.

It seems the Passport Control workers were on strike. All disembarking passengers were then herded onto a bus that rode around the airport for 45 minutes with the driver looking for a place for them to get off.

There were many people trying to get flights out of Portugal without success. Leisha has a friend in London who she called and asked her to book her a flight from Portugal to Manchester which she did. However, Leisha missed that flight by 10 minutes. It was 3 p.m. and there was another flight at 4 p.m.. After breathing a sigh of relief, Leisha found that that flight was going not in one hour but at 4 p.m. the next day. There were no seats available on that flight so back to square one.

Leisha was desperate by then and went to the service desk for help. When she told the woman there about her dilemma the woman told her that it wasn’t her problem. Leisha’s phone was about to die so she bought a charger but then couldn’t find a charging station to plug it in.

She sat on the floor behind a vending machine and unplugged it temporarily until her phone was charged. Then she called her daughter back in the states and asked her to book her a flight to Manchester. Taylor got her a flight to Amsterdam with only a one hour layover before the one to Manchester.

A trip to Manchester usually takes seven hours but this one took 48. Besides everything else Leisha had to keep getting additional covid tests and paying a fee for them because the time allotted to them kept running out. The total for those tests was $600 and $350 for flight changes.

Leisha spent three weeks with her parents and had such a good time that she said it was all worth it.

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