This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lanzarote Log Pt 1

Well. the first day started well, and ended well. Eventually! But there was a few frustrating hours in-between as you shall see.

An early flight from Gatwick meant that the taxi would be picking us up soon after 4.00am. Yeah I Know, but to be honest I never mind getting up early to go on holiday. When it’s to go to work it’s more tricky!
Many of you will know that snow was due the night before. A glance out of the window at 0330 hours suggested we’d more or less got away with it. The website for Gatwick Airport reported that everything was ok, sleazyjet’s reported the same.

So far so good.

The taxi was on time and the journey to the airport was ok, if a little slow. The snow was thicker the closer we got to the airport. However we arrived on time, got checked in ok and went through security. The departure boards reported that the flight was still on time.

So far so good.

The flight was called and we went to the departure lounge and shortly after boarded the plane. The runways looked clear.

So far so good. But not for much longer (note the blatant attempt at space-filling!)

The Captain then came on the P.A. and advised us that there may be a little delay as we were waiting for the plane to be de-iced.

The flight was due to leave at 0740. At 0940 we were still waiting. The captain came on again, apologised profusely and said that the powers that be were having trouble locating the de-icing wagons in the airport. We were offered a free (non-alcoholic) cold drink. They didn’t want to risk dishing out hot drinks in case we were suddenly ready to leave. Fair enough.

Further news was communicated at various times throughout the morning. Some of the crew detailed to drive and operate the de-icing wagons had apparently not shown up, due ironically to the snow. Funny how plane loads of passengers could make it to the airport but they couldn’t!

The captain came on again and said the crew would be dishing out all the food on the plane – despite orders from above to the contrary. A gesture which was gratefully received by all. Two easyjet employees, also going on holiday mucked in and helped to dish out the grub – good on ‘em.

It was about 1145 when the captain came back on with some more news. We had a firm departure slot of 1330 and that the de-icer wagon was on it’s way to us. So too were a new crew. Whilst there was no problem with getting us to Lanzarote, both the flight and cabin crew would run out of permitted hours for the return journey back to Gatwick later on that day.

Soon after the de-icer wagon appeared to huge cheers and the young man on the telescopic arm pointed his big er, hose at us and grinned as he let rip.

A short while later the new flight crew appeared, along with the replenished food trolleys and our old crew said goodbye to huge applause. They had looked after us extremely well, in difficult circumstances. A special mention must go to the captain who, rather  than hiding away in the cockpit came through the cabin to talk to people and it was this that helped diffuse any mumblings of discontent. He allowed all the kids to go and look at the flight deck. He even went down to the hold himself to retrieve a couple of wheelchairs for some disabled passengers who needed to get off for a while rather than wait for the ground crew to do it. He truly was a credit to the company.

Eventually, six hours later than scheduled, we were pushed back from the stand, and twenty minutes later we were airborne. The wind was behind us, taking a good thirty minutes off our flight time.  A little after 1730 we touched down at Lanzarote, again to huge cheers. The frustration of the day had been forgotten. We could start our holiday!

We retrieved our luggage and picked up the hire car – a little blue Fiat Panda now christened Penelope. A little over half an hour later we had arrived at the villa.

Wow! (To be continued)
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