Most of my previous blog posts have been all about travel, and some of the amazing destinations I’ve visited.
However, almost every time I go anywhere I’ve observed the strange phenomena of airport psychopaths. Anyone else who has travelled will know what I mean – people shouting at staff members, pushing in front of queues, causing a scene, getting paralytic drunk. Most people wouldn’t behave like that in normal life, so why is it that they think it’s ok in an airport?
Most people will have encountered the airport psycho. Some of you may even have turned into the airport psycho!
There’s one reason for this – stress.
Over the years, I’ve developed some techniques to try and reduce airport stress, and most of the time it works. However, you can’t always plan for everything – sometimes things do go wrong when you’re travelling. Especially if you fly Ryanair!
On a recent trip to Poland, I had a very stressful situation (on a Ryanair flight, funnily enough) and met several of the airport psychos!
Anyone who has read any of my previous blog posts will know that I’m a huge fan of the airport lounge. You pay a small entry fee (approx £18 / €25) and get unlimited food and drinks. Trust me, you save a fortune.
Anyway, we had arrived at the airport early, hoping to maximise our time in the lounge and get the full benefit of what we paid for. But there was one major problem – we hadn’t accounted for Ryanair being so cheapskate that they only open the check-in desk for the shortest possible window before the flight.
We thought we wouldn’t have too long to wait, so went for a coffee first. We returned to the desk and it was still closed. People were starting to arrive, and gather around the desk area.
Next we went to the bar and had a drink. (Also got talking to an elderly gentleman who was on his way to Greece with a suitcase full of bacon, coffee and a leaf blower! But that’s another story.) Every so often one of us would pop back to the desk to find that it was still closed.
By this point we’d been in the airport around two hours, so we went and joined the group of people waiting at the desk. A member of staff told us to move away from the desk as it wasn’t open yet. We only had just over an hour until our flight when someone appeared behind the desk. We all leapt up and raced towards the front of the queue. Again the girl told us to go and sit down as there was no queue.
When the desk finally opened we tried to get in first, however, a group of 60-year-olds stuck their suitcases in front and started mumbling about how rude we were. Clearly they thought they deserved to be at the front of the non-queue. If we hadn’t paid for the lounge in advance then perhaps we wouldn’t have minded so much.
By the time, we eventually got through the desk and security we only had about 15 minutes in the lounge – hardly worth the money we’d paid for it. Both Andy and I were in a bad mood after that, which wasn’t really the best start to our holiday.
Things I learned from this incident:
OK, I already knew this – almost every flight I’ve had with Ryanair has resulted in something going wrong. Every time I vow never to fly with them again. Unfortunately they are one of the cheapest airlines in Europe, which makes them difficult to avoid if you’re on a budget.
Old people can be mean too.
Up until this point I always thought it was younger people that were rude. I guess Ryanair brings out the worst in people though, and even the sweetest old lady can turn into an airport psycho!
When we were on the return flight home, we encountered the same group of old people who started pulling faces at us as they went through the X-ray machines in front of us. Like we cared.
Ailie’s top tips for avoiding airport stress.
OK, I know you can’t avoid every stressful situation. Sometimes things happen outwith your control. But the situation above could have been avoided if we had flown with a different airline.
So, with that in mind…
No.1 – Book flights well in advance
If you do, it’s possible to avoid Ryanair and their terrible customer service. This summer I’m travelling to Nice in the south of France, and found a BA flight which was cheaper than Ryanair or Easyjet. Plus complimentary drinks on board – woo hoo!
No.2 – Book the airport lounge.
Except if you’re flying Ryanair. There’s no point if you won’t get through on time to use it. Check if your airline has its own lounge though – some of the larger airlines such as BA have their own lounge for use by anyone on their flight.
No.3 – Don’t check in baggage.
This isn’t always possible – for example if you were going on a two-week summer holiday with all the family. For anyone travelling with children then I appreciate how difficult this is. However if you’re a single adult going on a shorter trip then there’s no reason you can’t fit everything into a backpack or roll-on case. If you’re not checking in a bag you can just go straight through security into the duty free area. No long queues and no airport stress!
Finally – Relax.
Remember you’re on holiday!
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the photos of me misbehaving in airports over the years (but not turning into an airport psycho!)
Please leave your comments below
The Ryanair incident happened on our trip to Krakow
Need some Summer sun to de-stress? Try Albufeira in Portugal