20 Dec 2008

A little trip

Readers might be wondering where I’ve disappeared to - let me set your minds at ease. I’ve not yet been kidnapped by dunceys.

I’ve had a very stressful trip, surprisingly not the fault of lackadaisical Trinbagonians.

The comedy of errors started with Monarch Airlines, the carrier that took over the Gatwick – Tobago route from the now defunct XL Airlines. I reached the airport at AM, a full 3½ hours before my flight. I was about the 4th person at the check in desk, and discovered to my amazement that Monarch was not accepting the E-ticket that they themselves issued. Nope, we had to trek back a distance off to a travel agency counter and get a woman (who was very pissed off) to handwrite tickets for us. Funny enough, the 30 KG weight allowance on my E-ticket was changed to 20 kg on the handwritten ticket. I still had my E-ticket to back up my claim though so I was able to get my 30 kg allowance. Not everyone was as fortunate.

After a while, the woman at the agency desk stopped writing the handwritten tickets, leaving over 200 disgruntled passengers. Monarch finally had to give in and accept the E-tickets so passengers could get onboard on time.

When everyone was aboard, we had a 2 hour delay - Monarch had mislabelled everyone’s luggage to Grenada instead of Grenada and Tobago. We had to wait until handlers went into the hold and relabelled the luggage appropriately. Even so, the young lady in the seat next to mine, and another person, did not receive their luggage in Tobago upon arrival. I feel for them.

Of course, I reached Tobago late so I did not make my connecting flight to Trinidad. A young man, Clint Blake was extremely helpful and was able to get me on a standby flight in a couple of hours. I mention him by name as I admired his calm and professionalism in the face of irate citizens and tourists alike.

Anyway, I reached my home away from home at 1 AM, a full 30 hours after I left Birmingham.

The best part was that after a few hours napping, when I awake, very early in the morning, my friend Pagli was here to say hello. She is still as lovely as ever, and I have to say, meeting friends like her is the best part of my trip so far.

The cough has gotten worse, and I am now bringing up phlegm, which probably means I am on the way to recovery. It doesn’t feel that way when I am coughing though. Still I expect improvements in this milder weather.