Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last weekend deserves a mention...

Before I forget about it, which I hope I do (well, the bad airport parts anyway)...

If you follow me on Twitter then you would have seen the rough travel stuff I dealt with last weekend - in true John B style of course, but it still got pretty stressful! 

Despite the fact I'm in and out of Heathrow several times a week and how much could potentially go wrong with delays and missed connections these days, things usually run nicely and I rarely miss a flight because of it, and even then usually find a way of getting to the gig on time... When things start messing up that are out of my hands I just do my best to stay calm and use my supertraveller skills to sort it out - quick thinking & the stuff I learned through PUA to do with communication etc all help. Although this weekend it was mostly about doing stuff very quickly, some brisk walking and some out alpha-ing of a very rude French security LADY. 

I never thought I'd end up having to use social dynamics techniques to get past a troll at an airport checkpoint... Thank you Tyler & Eric... ;-)

So for the first time ever I turned up at the airport at the wrong time on Friday, I'd misread my itinerary, the time in bold was the arrival time in Brussels, not the departure time, so I went to the desk to check in but the plane had long since gone - even though I was nice and early. Ticket was non-refundable/non-changable as is pretty standard these days, so I was left having to pay for a new one for £160. Nice. Luckily there was one pretty soon, so I still made it to Brussels in time, but not in a leisurely fashion...

Gig in Belgium was great - lovely promoters & guys at the night - turned out he's going to help me with some php programming if I need it for the new sites I'm working on... (john-b.com/site)

Next day, got to Brussels arport for my 230pm flight, to cut a long story short it transpired BA had cancelled the 530pm flight back to Heathrow, and delayed ours until then, and combined all the passengers onto one flight. Leaving me with not much time at all to get on my next flight to Basel. As it happened I made the flight with minutes to spare, but my suitcase didn't so I didn't have a lot of my stuff when I got to Switzerland! I always have my main CDs with me, and basic make-up etc, so it didn't really affect the show, just my comfort, and choice of stuff to wear... Oh, and my classy improvised DJ bag - the hotel laundry bag...

Next day, they cancelled my return flight form Basel to Heathrow, but I only found out on the way to the airport. Had to zooom there and get in the ticket line, blag a ticket on Air France, via Paris CDG - zoom to the Air France desk, who couldn't see the new reservation becuase the etickets take a while to get through the system - boarding had already started... Managed to sort it eventually, steamed through security and straight onto the plane as soon as I made it to the gate... THEN - get to Paris, in a different terminal, so have to get a bus to the other terminal, then get through the security which was at an absoulute standstill... (You know French + queueing sytems = pain...). People were actually sitting on the floor and just compressing the whole thing if they were actually moving, nothing moving through really, madness - and my flight was already boarding too - if I hadn't done anything I'd have missed it, on a rebooked ticket so Air France wouldn't have been too helpful should I have missed the flight. Anyway, stress. Found a line for Business class passengers, which was working OK, and there was no one waiting in line - put on my most polite voice and explained simply my situation to the lady who just switched on me soooooooo horrifically, shouted at me GO AWAY and turned her back on me and held her arms out, SOOOO RUDE! I started asking loudly 'GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR - MY FLIGHT  IS BOARDING' and some other woman comes, so then I switched to my special wavering help-me-this-lady-is-evil-and-you-probably-know-it-you-have-to-work-with-her-don't-let-her-take-another-soul voice and the 2nd lady let me through. I can't emphasize enough how pure evil that first lady was. Anyway, zooomed through, got to the gate and walked straight on the plane, last one on again. If she'd got her way I'd probably still be stuck there like Tom Hanks.

Just had to get that off my chest... ;-)

Big up to the promoters from both gigs this weekend though - top guys and excellent gigs! And thanks for the Swiss Chocolate!!!

  


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