This morning we got up and drove to the airport in Adana hoping to board our flight to Istanbul at 3:40 am. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not fly well. So when they told us there was a 35 minute delay to our flight, that was likely to be longer, this did not sit well.
The airport is very small and you can walk from the terminal to the planes in less than a minute. Quite why they insist on bussing us I don’t know, but it also means that we can see the plane from the window of the terminal. From there we could also see that there was no one on the plane yet, meaning that this was more than just a delay; the passengers weren’t being allowed to get on. Not great. So I made the silly mistake of asking what the delay was for, after seeing M talk to the airport guys and them showing him something out of the window. They told me it was a problem with the nose cone but it was sorted now.
Hmm, sorted? A man was on a ladder and there were still no sign of any passengers. Anyway, a few minutes later we were told the plane was cancelled. Just a minor disaster given that for once the lay over in Istanbul was less than two hours. The next plane to Istanbul wouldn’t arrive in time and the only other plane going to Istanbul were going to its second airport on the Asian side. And besides, they were all fully booked.
Normally our problem is about seating. M insists on trying his luck for a business class upgrade so doesn’t do online check-in to try and get us to sit together. So we end up farting about trying to explain that no, the kids can’t sit in completely different rows and nowhere near us or each other. (I am determined that next year he puts and end to this and just accepts that economy is fine and doesn’t put us through this stress again).
Not getting home today then. Luckily a lady from Turkish airlines came along to assure us she would do everything she could to get us back to the UK but it was highly unlikely that it would be either today or the airport we had booked the flight to. We had to discuss options and what airports we could consider and then she went off to try and find something. Trouble was she also had a plane full of other passengers to sort as well.
Of course the kids didn’t really understand all the waiting around and so we got all the usual stuff of “I’m bored.” What they really meant was they were tired and wanted to either be on a plane or in a bed. It took till about 7am before we heard that they could get us on a flight tomorrow but to Manchester, would we agree to it? Thankfully this year I had not left the car at the airport as the one we flew from is as far from our home as Adana airport is to our flat in Mersin. Paying for airport parking seemed silly when rail fares would work out cheaper and the train is pretty direct. Going to another airport is a different matter altogether. Getting the train back is more expensive than hiring a car (even with the different drop off charge) and takes way longer with more changes. Going home a day late and on a later flight I know that all we will want to do it get home as quickly as we can.
Manchester it is then. With that decided I thought we could drive back to the flat. Nope, we had to wait even longer for it all to be properly sorted. Add to that, M had asked his nephew to come and collect the car so now he was telling me we needed to take him back with us. Our car has 5 seats, not 6, but hey, this is Turkey. We eventually all pile in, with me very unhappy so I decide to drive as M’s driving seems to have got worse. The trouble was that I was also knackered and half way I decided it wasn’t safe because I was zoning. M took over and I sat in the back with a very heavy Lai lai on my lap. How can someone so small and skinny feel like such a dead weight?
We made it home but having cleaned the flat, packed everything, emptied the fridge and cupboards, we had no food left and had to bring all the luggage upstairs because I didn’t want the boys dirtying the only set of clothes they had for going home. One the way here it was shorts and t shirt weather back home but now there is a different of over 12 degrees. They will definitely feel it.
M and I sorted some stuff and collapsed to sleep but the boys refused. Well Smelly has caved in now after coming for a hug. I’ve had quite a few hugs this holiday and feel really lucky that at 14 he still asks for them. I also get the ‘I hate you’ s but at least it’s not all the time yet. The other two I am fighting a losing battle with to get them out of their going home clothes.
After two hours sleep I am now cancelling train tickets, booking a rental car, and trying to find out about flight compensation. The boys are just on screens because of course today is pool filter day so we can’t even have the joy of a final swim. We could go to the beach but I simply cannot cope with cleaning sand. That is a joy that just keeps on giving no matter how much you try to clear it up.
To add to my joy I have just seen the boarding cards for tomorrow’s flight. We are all sat on different rows. M seems to think that we will have to put up or do that awful thing of begging people to move. Like many Turkish men I know he simply doesn’t seem to see kids sitting away from their parents next to total strangers as a problem. Airlines don’t seem to view this as an issue either.
I have seen this happen on planes and people are just awful. They sit there shouting about how they ‘paid extra’ for their seat and have no regard for families who constantly find themselves in this situation if they haven’t also paid extra. The online check-in and paying extra for a seat is a real scam. It means people who are disabled have to pay extra just to make sure that someone doesn’t take the seats that should be reserved for people with disabilities. It means people can pay extra for extra leg room when people well over 6 foot, who may need it more, are forced to pay otherwise they don’t have options. I have known people with disabilities having to fight airline companies to keep their reserved seats and proving their disabilities because the airlines want the extra money that someone is paying for the seat. It’s humiliating for families, who have already paid way more than a single traveller for all of their tickets to have to beg to sit together and hope that there will be some kind people who agree to move. I have just seen it bring out the worst in people.
So that’ll be fun tomorrow. M knows that I struggle with flying. He knows that I freak without the kids very close to me while flying. Yet he let’s this happen year after year.
This extra day might have been a blessing if we all weren’t so tired and the pool was open. But as it is I now have lost the day that I was going to spend getting the kids kitted out for school. I can do some of it online but shoes – they need measuring. The boys always grow like plants in a pot during the summer so I can’t leave it to guesswork. Shoes are the most expensive part of the uniform. Plus Smelly needed a new blazer and I have no idea what size he needs, meaning he’ll have to start the new year in his old one till I can get him a new one. And then my wind down day before going back to work is gone too.
M always likes to take it right to the wire with this trip. I always argue, to no avail, that I need a few days to sort them out before school starts. Despite being really annoyed with him this year I at least thought we had one day, because of inset days. But no. To top it off he’s gone and bought a mountain of food that we don’t need because he’s Turkish and incapable of buying the very minimum. Two enormous packets of cereal, 6 eggs, pasta, bread and veg? Seriously? All the while all I see is that all my efforts to keep the house clean are being undone. Anyone who has a second/holiday home will know what I mean, and yes I am aware that that is a very privileged moan.
So now I have to go and clean the kitchen because M cannot cook cleanly. There is half a tonne of food left over but yet he has not cooked enough for me. We will be giving away cereal, butter, bread and veg in the morning that he should never have bought.
I know that people have their flights cancelled all the time. the trouble is that had we made it to Istanbul and the flight got cancelled from their we would have had a hotel and food paid for. But because we could go back to our flat we (I) have to deal with the repercussions and spend my time sorting out other people’s mess. I also have to gear myself up for flying tomorrow again and feel less confident, especially given that M decided to watch news on the TV in the airport where there was a report of a plane crash.
Just when I had started to relax and was thinking there were things I would actually miss this time round, something came to make sure I wouldn’t.