Have you ever spent 24 hours travelling, yet only visiting the airports?
Well, it happened to us! Our first trip as newlyweds was to Portugal for a mere four days. We were going for a wedding that was scheduled an exact two weeks after ours. This quick trip was also Gavin's first time travelling to Europe and our first time visiting Portugal. Our excitement levels were also through the roof, as newlyweds, we shared a lot of firsts.
Little did we know that we would lose a day from major delays starting from our country of origin.
Due to my over-planning personality, I'm one of those individuals who likes arriving at the airport 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight. Hey, its recommended! I'm just following guidelines. I also always check flight updates, in case there were delays.
Our flight was supposed to leave Toronto at 6:30pm, with a layover in Dublin to catch a connecting flight to Lisbon. Unfortunately, when we checked-in, only then were we notified that our flight was delayed for 3 hours. Additionally, we were told that we'd miss our connecting flight in Dublin and we would be taken care of upon arrival. Needless to say, we didn't have much choice except to wait it out at the airport. Besides (window) shopping, the other option was to eat/drink, so that's what we did - more on the latter.
Delayed flight? Might as well take shots!
Pearson Airport, October 2019
Anxiously watching ground staff locate our luggage.
Heathrow Airport, October 2019
We were supposed to depart by 9:30pm, according to our ticket - we didn't start boarding until an hour after around 10:30pm. By this point, we were already feeling drained from all the waiting. Albeit, Gavin found a better attitude to all the delays, thanks to the liquor consumed. As soon as we were seated, we knocked right out.
Once we arrived in Dublin, we were escorted to little corner table to speak to a ground attendant regarding our new route to Lisbon. Mind you, this was about 7:30am Ireland time, so being informed that we've missed the one and only connecting flight to Portugal and we would have to fly to London to catch yet another flight to reach our final destination was not the good news you're expecting to hear bright-eyed and bushy tailed.
The layover in London was a long and dreary one, we took turns napping on rigid chairs and tried not to spend so much money on overpriced airport food. If you are at any of the UK airports, we highly recommend eating at Wagamama - a Japanese canteen with a great assortment of dishes.
When the time finally came to catch our last flight, we didn't think we'd have more obstacles to overcome. We just wanted to get to our destination and take a nice, long shower! As our boarding passes were being checked, we were asked to step aside and let other patrons through because there was an issue with our luggage.
THEY COULDN'T FIND IT!
Are you kidding me?!
We were attending a wedding! Our outfits were in our luggage. Do you really think we could attend by wearing day-old sweats?!
Apparently the luggage stickers on our boarding passes didn't match any of the recorded ones showing on their screen. We had to explain to them the 24 hour journey we've had travelling from airport to airport. The delays and change in flights probably changed the luggage tickets and they weren't updated on their end? You'd think they would communicate all of this, given that we literally had to hop from one flight to another. I was frantic - internally speaking, I surely didn't want to cause a scene at the airport. Alas, I cried anyway, as silently as I could manage. Gavin is also more calm and patient than me, so he was appointed to speak to the ground crew and figure out where our luggage might be.
I have never been last to board the plane, miss a flight or have luggage misplaced - so going through every possible mishap for a small 4-day trip across the Atlantic was just too much for me. Being as this was also Gavin's first time traveling to Europe, you'd think a pleasant journey was in the bag, but apparently not.
We couldn't board the plane until they were able to locate our belongings. We watched from the boarding area as they practically unloaded luggage that was already packed. After about 20 or so minutes of (excruciating) uncertainty, our luggage was found! We were allowed to board the plane. The saying, "if looks could kill", came true as fellow passengers glared at us as we tried to find our seats. We have never been the ones to delay a flight, in the many years we've travelled! Thankfully, the 4 hour flight went by swiftly, since we basically KO-ed once we buckled our seatbelts.
It was around 6pm by the time we got to our hotel, so we pretty much lost a day in our short trip.
Silver lining: we were in Portugal, safe and sound.
Lisbon, Portugal October 2019