I never used to be one of “those” people. As far as travelling was concerned, as long as I had my Passport and a Credit Card life was good, I was prepared for anything. Over the past year things have changed dramatically.
I wouldn’t describe myself as being “high maintenance”, but my needs have evolved. In order to be comfortable in travel crisis, I now also require an abundant supply of medication and a source of de-caffeinated Tea-Bags.
Following the volcano disruption of 2010, when the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull throwing volcanic ash into the atmosphere and the world’s travel plans into disarray, I think most people are more sensitive to the vagaries of international travel. Irrespective of the length of my trip, I now work on the basis that I’ll be away twice as long as I’m expecting, and for a minimum of a week.
As far as clothes and food are concerned the Credit Card solution still applies. However this doesn’t work quite so conveniently for medication, and I’ve found life is better generally if you have an ample supply of Tea.
Last night my emergency plans were put into action as the last flight from London to Aberdeen, my carriage home, was cancelled. Inevitably it resulted in several hours of chaos and frustration as everyone had to be booked onto new flights and dispatched to a near-by hotel for the night.
This was a situation that would have wound me up in the past, particularly given that I am no longer such a valued member of the British Airways Executive Club. The wait was long and tedious but fortunately not life threatening.
This is even more incredible given the airline staff performance was shambolic. You would have thought it was the first time a flight had ever been cancelled. In the past, re-allocation of staff away from dealing with the lengthy and agitated queue may well have been enough to tip me over the edge. As it was I remained calm (although high spirits were a little bit too much to ask for!).
The really good news was that I had a lovely cup of tea waiting for me in my hotel room when I finally got there!