We arrived at the airport in good time, dropped off Pat's bag and went through security. Our plane was delayed because of problems with the de-icing machine at Zurich. No problem. We had an hour and forty minutes for our connection at Zurich.

Half an hour.

An hour.

Finally our plane came and we boarded. We got our snack - an apple strudel and a drink in our Starbucks mugs, but this time the flight was smooth. What awaited us was not quite so smooth though.

"Connecting flights information - here are the gates for various flights - could passengers for Bordeaux please contact the ground staff."

When we arrived at the airport there was just time for a mad dash for our flight, so we looked at the departure board.

Nothing. No departed. No late. No nothing.

Pat went to get her bag while I waited to talk to the ground staff. I received a text message, saying our flight had been cancelled. "Then you need to get a hotel" said the ground staff, ushering me into a long queue.

Some people had missed their flights to Newark, New Jersey. Others to Boston Massachusetts. One lady flying from Barcelona to the USA had a catalog of disasters to recount, involving mad taxi dashes from one terminal to another as well as multiple ticket purchases. I felt that my fate was not so bad.

The European Union has established the rights of passengers held up because of delayed or cancelled flights. You are entitled to meals and to overnight acommodation.

Two hours later I got to the front of the queue and was told where our hotel was to be. Two tram stops from the airport. We were booked on to the 7:15 flight the following morning, which meant getting to the airport for 6am. "The trams run all night." We would get a meal each to the value of 20 Swiss francs. I wondered what 20 Swiss francs would buy us in a hotel, but we had no other options so we took the tram, foudn the place, checked in and put our bags in the pleasant room.

At the dining room we were told that there was a buffet of pasta with meat or tomato sauce, and bread and butter. It was ravioli, so we ate our ravioli and our bread, we drank our water and then went to bed. In the morning we'd have an early start.

The first tram was at 4:55, then there was a gap till 5:23 and a tram every 7 minutes thereafter, so 5am found us eating little croissants, yogurts and drinking lots of coffee and fruit juice before heading off to the airport.

It seems to me that Swissair did the legal minimum.

No further delays, we ate another croissant in flight, arrived at Bordeaux just before 9 and got home thankfully.

We'll remember Florence long after we forget the journey and, who knows, maybe we'll return one day for another look. But not, I think, by Swissair or via Zurich.


Popular posts from this blog

A bit about music exams in UK and France

The Kitchen