Well, once again I am too excited to wait until I get there - we fly out on 7th September and by this time on that day, we'll be off the plane and half of us will be queuing at the ladies new posh bog and the other half will be watching out for our luggage (ever optimistic, we won't be delayed and will have landed 20 minutes ago from Birmingham (flight BY7534 for anybody who wants to watch us on Flightradar24).
I printed off our boarding passes this morning and having heard of somebody losing theirs in a checkin mixup, reprinting on the airport printer and losing their paid for seats, I have printed two copies of them. So there. And I've got two copies of our airport carparking thingy. I've heard it said that the packing is all going to plan.
I had my holiday haircut yesterday so I'm all ready. Only cloud on the horizon is the barber, who I've been using for so many years I started with his dad when the lad was just a knee high thing, has once again changed my parting from one side to the other - and of course, he then immediately chopped bits off the wrong side, so I can't just sweep it back the right way.
Yes, Cariad, I have both our passports on my phone and in the great white cloud in the sky. I am occasionally tempted to try waving my phone at passport control ever since I read somebody managed to get through like that. But I haven’t got the nerve - it’s already bad enough using those stupid passport machines without people, so I don’t want to add more delays. The present delays coming back to Birmingham do just about get us to baggage reclaim a mere 45 minutes before our bags get there. I don’t want to cut it any finer than that (it’s risky enough queuing for the toilets on the way there).
oh those passport machines ! wouldnt work for my husband until someone said take your glasses off, why dont they have a notice up saying that. Ive always stored my passport, luckily my son did the same as someone took their passports out of the room safe, obviously a staff member in las vegas. They had to go to the nearest consulate (los Angeles) by greyhound bus (couldnt fly no passport!) which broke down in the desert. Stay in LA overnight having made an appointment for early morning, equipped with new photos. having all the details of old passports helped alot they even had to supply parents passport numbers to verify identity pay a huge some for a temp passport. Then buy a new flight home as couldnt get back to vegas in time for booked flight. I was looking after their baby glued to computer searching for flights. The hotel didnt want to know until my daughter in laws aunt who is an editor of an american newspaper sent a reporter to the very expensive hotel, they then offered to pay for everything. Which they claimed when they got back. i always make sure passport safe now and its not put in a safe ! never a dull day in this house with three sons roaming the world!
My OH nearly got arrested in Thessaloniki airport on the way home last Friday night! He was looking for a loo & went through passport control (accidentally) without his passport - no one stopped him as he strolled thru the VIP lane. When he came back through he was pursued by a heavily armed policeman, shouting 'Stop! You have broken the law!!' Paul was oblivious - had to bring the policeman over to me to show his passport. To be fair, it was a bit confusing.
Good haircut, Dennis. We'll be flying out on 11th & will look out for you & Vera.
First proper report, I’m trying to improve on previous performances.
The journey out was memorable - and not nice memorable. We left home at 2:30am and reached Birmingham airport at 4:30. The meet and greet people were less than attentive so it took us a few minutes to dump the van and set off for Departures. Where we took advantage of the super new online checking system - that means queue for a machine to show your downloaded boarding pass - it didn’t recognise it. So the man came and said I was doing it upside down. Then when I pressed GO it didn’t. So the man came and hammered it and it did GO. For our second one, I did it the right way up and then hammered the GO thing and we were able to join the queue to put our cases through. I remember the days when you took your cases to a nice young lady at a desk and she did the necessary much quicker.
So on to security. Well, actually the queue to security and eventually to the boxes that go off to the scanner. I forgot to take off my super spy watch and the person scanner never noticed.
When we first went via Birmingham in 2013, it was a dream, never stopped (queued) for anything, straight through checkin, straight through security, not a care in the world. This time was diabolical.
When we eventually saw the message to go to gate 59, we did and it was different from before, we joined another queue for the gate and when it opened they were checking our boarding tickets to get into the gate, not the plane. Once in the gate, there were enough seats for far less than half our plane load, standing room only in the aisle. We expected relief when they called seats 16 to the back please go through, but when we joined them, we were at the back of a huge queue which wended it’s miserable way down a few levels and stairs eventually to outside, to walk to the plane. Where they had only the front door and steps! It was quite cold (7 degrees) so we shivered in the stationary line to the steps.
Disaster struck when we got on. Having paid extra to select our seats, I expected my window seat to have a window. I WANT a window. Once again, like last time, I had chosen the only window seat which didn’t have a bluddy window, so my flight was disappointing to put it diplomatically,
We each had a bacon ciabatta, Vera had a Diet Coke with ice and I had six Baileys with two glasses of ice. Greedy? Well, not really, the ice melts before you get to the sixth Baileys!
At least the flight was pretty much on time. Another first was queuing to get inside the arrivals building at Skiathos, but at least that gave us the opportunity to notice a nice ladies toilet before the passport man - nowhere near the queue in the baggage reclaim hall.
The transfer coach ouch was waiting for another 14 who still hadn’t got their cases, but eventually off we went and ours was the third stop.
There was was a beer waiting for me in the fridge. After we had done our shopping, I went to the other supermarket for my Mavrodaphne wine - she sells it cheaper than elsewhere. It was hot enough to have a beer there.
We ate at Varelli, tsatsiki and we both had kleftiko. I decided not to overdo it with more beer so I asked for wine. He said “a glass or half a kilo?” And I said glass. So he brought a half kilo carafe. Suffice to say that by the time we got back to our room, after six Baileys, two beers and half a kilo of house white, I was asleep as soon as I put my jammies on, before I could be bothered to make the bed.
Sorry to hear about your "memorable bits" Dennis. Isn't it amazing how many "improvements to services" end up inconveniencing us, the customers. I'm sure you've put all that behind you and are having a great time. I remember Varelli's Kleftico. Rosemary and George are great, aren't they? Looking forward to your reports. Have fun.
Sorry dennisn to hear about the trials & tribulations of getting there, driving you to the demon drink 😄 - totally understandable on this occasion! Let it be a distant memory now you’re there & concentrate on the present, enjoying every moment. And of course if it’s hot, keep up the liquids (beer, wine, etc). Looking forward to your updates.
Dennis, I am flying with TUI from Manchester on Friday, never been to Skiathos with them before and never used online check-in either! I'm hoping I can check-in with a real human being at a check-in desk. Fingers crossed! 🤣
Amy if you booked online with TUI, you can do checkin online with them. And you get three zillion emails offering you all the extras that you don't want or need. I was so tempted to block them, but I didn't dare in case something relevant about our holiday came up. My only experience is with Birmingham, so I don't know what Manchester is like. But I'd recommend going to a person desk if at all possible.