I’m not writing about a holiday experience, that’s a first for this blog! I’m in Macedonia (full of qwerty keyboards, so I will have to pay attention to typos) and was supposed to leave for home today. Being of the type preferring to be early rather than late, I had already spent two hours at the airport when it was announced my flight was cancelled.
The two hours were not a hardship, Skopje has a small but comfortable airport with all the necessary shops and fast food restaurants and there was a pleasant crowd. I was sitting at the departure gate waiting for the plane (in vain, as it later turned out) and noticed the pleasant atmosphere. It was obvious most passangers were business people used to travelling and everybody was relaxed, keeping busy with a book or smart phone or simply staring off into the distance.
Even when the boarding didn’t start on time nobody panicked or even stressed out and when the verdict of the cancelled flight was announced, people simply got up, gathered their belongings and went in search of the solution. I followed the crowd and after a brief period of looking for the right person to help, we were efficiently directed to a desk in the departures hall.
In the queue waiting to be processed there was a lot of amiable chatting, most people were resigned but remained cheerful. Perhaps they had run into similar situations before? You can either relax and let the airline work out the solution for you or strike out on your own, investigating other (by default more expensive) options. About half the passengers were rescheduled for other flights leaving the same day, the other half had to be content with a flight on Saturday. I heard from other passengers that the plane from Ljubljana (due to take us back there) was unable to land and flew on to Tirana, so perhaps it’s just unlucky timing.. earlier flights made it, later flights as well, did a moment of heavy fog or snow make the landing too dangerous?
Me I’ve opted to relax, I have a flight late tomorrow with a layover in Warsaw, I can just chill in the hotel (paid by the airline), sitting in the bar as I write this and then visit one of the many museums in Skopje tomorrow morning. I still have some decent chocolate with me..