Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Mozambique

Well not so much funny as embarrassing. Really really embarrassing. As in “why the hell am I telling you guys about this?” embarrassing.

I missed my flight from London to Johannesburg, therefor causing me to miss my Johannesburg to Vilanculos, Mozambique flight.

You know those almost primal fears, like getting the wrong date for your final exam? Fear that something lives under your bed and is waiting to rip your heart out?

Well for me, second after forgetting my passport, is the fear of missing my flight.

For most of us, those fears rarely manifest but when they do… it is like the earth shifts a teensy bit and you lose your balance. I couldn’t believe, still can’t believe, that i missed the flight. I mean I realize I only had 5 hours to make my connection but surely to god I could manage that. Right? Apparently not.

I stood there in front of customer service with the blood alternately rushing and draining from my head. Tears leaped to my eyes alarming my rep. She calmed me down and made it as right as she could, which meant I would catch the next evening flight and then she took care of the connecting flight. Easy peasy. All I can say is a huge thank you to BA customer service. I didn’t have to pay for the 1st flight but had to cough up a couple hundred (who knows what currency) for the non-BA portion. It took a lot of key strokes on her part so I had some time to take some deep breathes and start figuring out where I was staying over night. I looked around for a comfy bed..nope none.

While I was musing about my options a gorgeous young woman, who was having her own woes, started to raise her voice at her customer service rep. Seems she had gotten a little distracted by all the pretty things in shop windows that they force you to walk by on the way to your gate and she missed her flight. As evidenced by all the shopping bags around her, she did not miss that shopping opportunity.

” I was only 5 minutes late! Five minutes! It is this company’s fault, with all their silly rules! What is a person to do? The plane was still there, they could have opened the door!”, she exclaimed.

To which the c.s. rep ( a goddess of politeness) replied, ” Well it was a monster of a flight to miss to do some shopping!”

I almost snorted!

Seems not only did she miss “a” flight, she missed BA’s last flight to that country! Damn, my faux pas suddenly seemed a mere misdemeanor. The rep tapped her keyboard a few thousand times and kept shaking her head. Not a good sign. Young woman demanded to see the manager. The rep lets out a sigh of relief, very ready to hand her over to him.  Turns out she will have to book a flight to Moscow and connect from there to her country, Kazakhstan. I wonder if she’ll think of this whenever she wears whatever pretty bauble that caught her eye that made her miss her flight?

Pretty little things in Heathrow Airport. What's a girl to do?

Pretty little things in Heathrow Airport. What’s a girl to do?

Anyway, back to my bit of brain fartery… after my rep finished mopping up my mess I was left trying to figure out what to do with myself for 24 hours. I did wonder if Ms. Thang would like to split a room but thought better of it. She’d likely be a debbie downer and I didn’t need any help in that department.

I know you are dying to know why/how I missed the damn flight and I really wish I could come up with some great Indiana Jones misadventure to share with you but I don’t. Woke up every 2 hours last night trying to make one up for you but I got nothing. My brain just did a misfire. There were 2 flights to Johannesburg 1 hour apart and for some reason I kept looking at the later one, I didn’t even see my actual one on the board. I was having coffee when suddenly I was awash in panic and for some reason knew I had screwed up. Don’t know why I had to wait until then to have that revelation but as I did, my plane was just shutting the door. Don’t judge.

So I spent the night at the Marriott for the price of a small car in Africa but it seemed a better choice than an airport chair.

So why am I sharing this with you? Well I wanted you (and me) to know that these things can and do happen when you’re travelling but it is rarely the end of the world (unless you are supposed to be on the last BA flight to Kazakhstan). There are experts available whose jobs it is to help you fix your mess-ups and get you on your way. And are happy to do so, as long as you don’t blame them for your screwing up. It cost me but not as much as it could have and yes, it means one day less in paradise but it just means I’ll have to jam 2 days worth into 1. I have now missed a ferry and a plane and have lived to write about it. Don’t let the fear of what might happen get between you and travelling. If I can muddle through, anyone can.

Hopefully I have got all that messy stuff out of the way for this trip and it will be smooth sailing from now on. Hope springs eternal. Pray for me and stay tuned.

Oh, have you ever missed a flight for no good reason? Please please share so I don’t feel like there is only 2 of us. LOL

9 thoughts on “Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Mozambique

  1. Oh I know that anxiety well. Cut getting to a flight impossibly close once just because I mis-remembered what time the flight took off. Glad you’re off to Mozambique and hope you’ll post about it!! Happy travels!!


  2. It happens. When I was about 17 I missed my connection from Schipol to Hamburg because I forgot to adjust my watch to local time. Felt so stupid. Since then I’ve always been terrified of missing a flight and double, triple check all the information I can possibly find.


  3. Yes, I can relate, on the first day of a new job I needed to be in another city in NZ, I seemed to enter the twilight zone leaving home far too late to be able to get to the airport, park and walk to the terminal but seemed to be in an altered state, it wasn’t till i was looking at the clock in the car driving there that I ‘woke up’ to the problem, and of course, missed my flight. Duh. Now I’m feeling a bit concerned as i only have an hour in Frankfurt as a transit period, I wonder if this is enough time to get to my connecting flight? should i trust webjet that it is doable??


  4. and, just remembered another one, missed Paris to NZ, it was back in the days when the French only spoke French and wouldn’t assist us, as us ignorant kiwis couldn’t. We got on the wrong train from Paris and were not heading for the airport. Once we realised, we had to get off the train, and wait for a train back to the city, then head off again on the right train,and were just too slow to make it. Gut wrenching & stressful, like a slow motion disaster. Like you say though, the airline took care of it, even put us up for the night, (it was many years ago).


  5. I really understand your anxiety! No missed flights for me but you know how much I fret and sweat when I leave home. (When I am at home too but that is another story) Hope the rest of your trip is smooth.


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