Mink Machine

Welcome to Hotel Barajas

During the weekend, we revisited Madrid to say hello to a friend and have some tapas. That was the good part.

The bad part was the flight home. Me and Emelie got up at 4 AM and caught a cab outside the Atocha station. That trip presented no problem and we arrived at Barajas two hours before the flight departure. To avoid the queue we tried the “auto checkin piece of malfunctioning software” (not its official name), well aware of the fact that I haven’t got a single successful encounter with these things for the last two years. I soon learned why, as my booking code was no good and had to be replaced with another code, thus requiring personal assistance after all.

Barajas airport Staring in disbelief at the airport ceiling.

We got on the plane a few hours later, buckled up and waited half an hour before the captain announced that they couldn’t find the service certificate, so we had to leave the aircraft. Five dozen tired people stayed close to the gate without any further information. A French businessman explained the importance of informing people of what’s going on, and maybe not only in Spanish, but the Iberia crew had no intention of informing anyone.

I felt like I was trapped inside the Eagles song Hotel California. “You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave…”

90 minutes later we were told to proceed to another gate at the opposite end of the building, where we waited for another hour while four people manually compared passenger lists with pencils. The plane took off eventually and I imagined the crew would offer an apologize or even some refreshments, but all we got for the entire trip was a glass of water.

Anyhow, we landed in Brussels during the afternoon. The initially long transit time of three hours had no chance of withstanding this four-hour delay, so naturally we missed our connecting flight but managed to get seats on a plane four hours later. Arriving at the final destination close to midnight, 7 hours late. As a parting gift from Iberia, the luggage was missing.

It’s not Air France standards, but close.

Update: A woman recently left a message at the answering machine. She basically said that “your luggage has arrived, call me”. Unfortunately she forgot to specify her number, and redial didn’t work since it was a protected number. Aaargh.

5 comments

  • avatar
    Lunicrax
    27 Jun, 2006

    Moahaha. Welcome to my world… This means that you’ve entered the club of distinguished travellers. Probability of actually retrieveing luggage = winning lottery, and actually being on time must mean that there’s an anomaly in the local spacetime of the airport. Or that you’re having a dream.

  • avatar
    28 Jun, 2006

    It was a really interesting contrast compared to the German efficiency I experienced the weekend before Madrid, on my way home from Leipzig. Not even a minute late!

  • avatar
    Sofia
    30 Jun, 2006

    Hehe. Ni hade iallafall tur med vädret. :)

  • avatar
    01 Jul, 2006

    Japp! Den enda kvarten med regn inträffade när vi var inne och kollade på klottret Guernica.

  • avatar
    Emelie
    01 Aug, 2006

    You know… technically, that was my bag that went missing… :-)

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Reine

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Reine is a web developer who enjoys caffeine-fueled urban traveling. More...

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