Stuck in Salzburg, now back in the UK

Hope you didn't notice, but I was away skiing last week. It's our main holiday, as sun, sand and lying around doing nothing are all very low on the list of my favourite things. But if there was a slight lack of responsiveness to events or comments, and less Tweeting than usual, that is why – our hotel was great in every way except the very dodgy wi-fi.

The reason I don't announce my absence is simply that my wife is convinced that burglars are avid readers of Spend Matters and will immediately pounce the moment I announce our departure. Well, it has happened to a few celebs anyway (see the “Bling Ring” film with Emma Watson).

Anyway, we'll come back to some tenuous procurement observations relating to our stay in Austria, but I can't resist giving a few highlights of our journey back. We'll do it in bullet point form for conciseness.

• 2pm Sunday - check in at Salzburg, painless, go through security.
• Walk into a Dante-like situation in the packed and rowdy departure lounge. Weather problems (fog mainly) means incoming planes are being diverted and people are stuck.
• No-where to sit – get increasingly amazed that the combination of lads from Yorkshire, Belfast, Manchester and 400 tough-looking Russians (and that’s just their woman) haven't ransacked the duty free.
• Russians next to us commandeer baskets and cardboard from duty free, make stools, table and start serious card school. Enterprising.
• Drunk Northern vinyl hip-hop record producer almost gets arrested for trying to get out for a fag but his stropiness gets authorities to open a door to the outside world for some fresh air / smoking opportunity.
• Finally after 4 hours told we are going to Linz to get our plane which has landed there – told to walk back to arrivals to pick up our luggage.
• No, don't walk that way, walk this.
• No, immigration won't let us through that way, try this way.
• No, back to plan A through that door. But we don't need to get baggage. Will go automatically.
• Get to coach. Guess what, here is baggage. Has not gone automatically. Please identify and load.
• 90 minutes to Linz. Actually get processed though Linz airport very quickly, well done to Monarch for that.
• Get flight, get home, midnight, around 5 hours late. Could have been worse, the Leeds people were probably 7 hours late.

And then some of my friends wonder why I'm not a great lover of travel.

One shout out, as they say. Our Inghams reps didn't have clearance to come into departures and help out the over-stretched and cheerful, if somewhat clueless, local airport staff. Something to note there Inghams perhaps? But a rep from Crystal Holidays did get through and was brilliant, helping pass on information, even making tannoy announcements as the local announcer was heavily accented / too quiet! I swear 10% of the people in that lounge would have missed their eventual coaches and flights if she hadn't been there. I should have got her name but thank you, unsung hero lady.

Anyway, we’ll catch up on some of the recent events I missed this week, and get back into a bit more Tweeting etc!

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First Voice

  1. Nick @ Market Dojo:

    What a miserable trip back. Reminds me of my journey back from my honeymoon last September. Our flight was supposed to leave Turkey at 9pm but it was delayed until 3am due to a ‘technical fault’. 6 hours spent in a hot, uncomfortable airport lounge through the dead of night was not fun. Compounding the issue, Bristol Airport, our original destination, could no longer accept us due to the opreating hours of their staff, and so we were to fly to Gatwick instead and be transported by coach to Bristol through dawn. Far from ideal!

    On the plus side, we did raise a complaint against the airline and were awarded €800, so can’t really complain!

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