No Christmas getaway

Guess where I am.

Thats right, the getaway did not happen 🙁

Long recount so be warned!

On Friday we left here at about 7, and got to the hotel near the airport just before ten. At half 6 the next morning we were up and glad to see there had been no snow overnight, so we got the bus to the airport, dropped off our bags, got our money, went through security (still no snow)- boarded the plane (it just started snowing very lightly at that point), watched the safety video (snow got heavier), the plane got de-iced and we were told that we were going to take off before the “storm”. Then we were told that the runway was closed until 10am (our flight was meant to go at 9.15), but the crew were good until 1.30 that afternoon. Then the runway was shut til 12. and when we were about to get off we were told the runway was shut until 3, which meant the plane would not be going anywhere that day. Then the chaos started. We had to go and collect our bags, but because of the snow they were having trouble, and we ended up waiting in the reclaim area for our bags until about half 1 in the afternoon. Luckily we had some raisin bread with us, and had bought a bottle of water in the airport, as we were given nothing on the plane. After a few hours of waiting a lady came around with a piece of paper that said we would be rebooked on a flight leaving on Sunday, but nothing about hotels or food or anything. The desk for the airline had a massive queue, which turned out to be to use a phone as the desk was only manned until 9am (There was a lady screaming down the phone as she had been told that there was no 11am flight so we did not know what to think). I did try calling the airpine on my mobile, but it told me to go to the website, and when I called back and pressed different options it put me on hold for ages. I won’t go into it, but it was stressful- we were ringing our parents to see if they could book us a hotel, but there were none available nearby and the cheapest was over £200- the airline website said they would pay “reasonable cost” towards a hotel but we had no way of knowing what that meant. Then Andy told me that for my christmas present he had booked us tickets for Discovery cove (the Seaworld park where you can swim with dolphins)- but for Monday. As the new flight was to get to Atlanta on sunday evening, we would have an 8 hour drive to do in order to get there in time, which after spending a night in the airport (only option) we did not think was safe, so then we would have to book another hotel somewhere on the way, and miss the booking we had made on the next hotel too. Complicated I know.  We also found out that if we missed the day of collecting our car for hire there were no guarantees that there would be one for us. Anyway, to cut a long story a little shorter, we eventually made the painful decision to come home and get our money back, and hopefully re book for the summer.

Even getting home was awful as half the trains were cancelled, there were signal failures on the underground, but eventually we got home at about 10 last night. It seems silly because I know it was “just” a holiday, but we were both looking forward to it so much- having some winter sunshine, spending time outside, spending time together, seeing all the christmas decorations, the special shows (candlelight processional at Epcot is amazing), and of course the discovery cove. We spent so long weighing up our options, but the insurance people said that anything we missed if we still travelled would not be covered for anything we missed, and we could not really afford to pay out more for new hotels, tickets and another car. We also thought that after a night in the airport, we would take a few days to recover and it would affect the first few days of our holiday. We are still not sure if we made the right decision- that was all I dreamt about last night. I had to be on hold for over an hour last night to cancel the flight and start the process of getting the refund.

So, this is where I am at!

Snow joke.

I am trying to look forward to all the things that I can do at home that I could not do on holiday at christmas- so any ideas would be welcome!

And I am thankful after seeing the news that we did not get stuck on the roads, on the runway, or spent the night at the airport. We got home safe and sound, which is the most important thing.

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18 thoughts on “No Christmas getaway”

  1. Oh no!! 🙁

    I was worried for you, as I knew Heathrow was closed, but the news said that only short-haul flights were cancelled out of Gatwick. It seems you missed the cutoff literally by minutes. What awful luck 🙁

    It sounds like you’re doing a good job of not letting it get to you though. That would just drag you down further.. What are you going to do over the next couple of days instead? Can you make it into London? Things here are running ok. You could go ice skating at the Natural History museum, por ejemplo? Make some fun lists!

    1. I had a lot of tears yesterday at the airport, at the train station, once we got home……
      But it isnt the end of the world! (yes it was minutes though which makes it more frustrating as if I dwell on it I start thinking if only they were quicker at shutting the doors etc)
      Thanks for the ideas- the trains were ok from us into london (some cancelled but some were working)- so we might do that. Andy is going to see if he can work and swap the dates for later (his boss is great so we are hoping he will). Andys family are all nearby so we are invited to see them which will be lovely, so not all is lost 🙂

  2. Oh no that is so disappointing. I know its “only a holiday” but you can put up with so much knowing that your holiday is round the corner, pants to the snow for you 🙁 I like Alison’s idea of skating up in London though, that would be good.

  3. I agree with Laura- it’s not silly at all to be disappointed! I sure as hell would be!
    When I saw on the news about the airports I immediately wondered how you were doing! But anyway I love your optimism! Do lots of fun things instead like Alison’s suggestion of ice skating, and trips out! I’m sure you’ll have a great Christmas regardless 🙂

  4. Lara, Laura and Emma- thanks so much. I was very upset yesterday and unpacking the suitcases today was a bit depressing. But we will sort it for the summer and might even get longer there, so it will be worth it in the end!

  5. I’m so sorry! That sounds like such an awful experience and you have every right to be upset about it.

    I was really scared for you to be honest when I saw about all the planes struggling to land or take off, and I think your optimism and sense of perspective about the whole thing is fantastic.

    Hope you’re okay today!

    1. Thanks 🙂 Some people were stuck on runways for hours, and one plane had to abandon the take off so we were lucky to be inside really.
      If I dwell on it I get upset, as it was going to be such a great holiday, but we are fine here and getting on with the cancelling and insurance.

  6. oh no you poor things!!!! 🙁 🙁
    What a total and utter disappointment for you, I can’t imagine how peed off you must be right now. I do think you were wise to go for the cancel option though, that’s a holiday of a lifetime and it just wouldn’t be the same with half of it missed and stressing out to try and get to things.

    I hope that you can get to the shops and get a nice feast for Christmas day or maybe treat yourselves to a few nights in a hotel instead?????

    I hadn’t thought to look at your blog before now as I was sure you’d have got away before the airport got shut and then saw you’d commented on mine tonight and thought it was a bit odd.

    I hope you both have a lovely christmas despite it all. You certainly deserve to

    Rosexx
    (a lady from our village has been at Heathrow since Friday afternoon trying to get her flight to the states to spend christmas with her son…the rest of her family live in Germany so she’s pretty darned fed up

    1. Yeah we are lucky I think to have got home ok, and to have the option to cancel really. We watched some news and there are people stuck at the airport for days, and people who dont live in the UK trying to get home. At least we were stuck at home and not stuck in another country.Thanks for the lovely comment
      🙂

  7. Aww no, I’m so sorry, that sucks 🙁 When bad things happen I just try and think that it was meant to be. Its better to be safe than sorry, And hopefully your trip in the summer will be even more amazing than it would of been if you went over Christmas!

    1. Exactly- that is what we are both thinking- we can have a little longer out there so can spend more time in each place, and visit a few other places too 🙂

  8. I’m just now catching up on the blog world and I came to see how your trip was and saw this post! How sad! But it is very cold along the East coast so it’s probably better that you wait until summer to visit when the weather is more cooperative 😛 booo! I hope you had a good Christmas anyway!

    1. Ah thanks- yes I saw that it is been freezing in florida and also the fist snow in south carolina for 100 years- we are probably lucky in the long run that we didnt get stuck there somewhere.
      Thanks 😉

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