When a bad flight is a series of bad choices by you

Saturday November 4 2017

I was in trouble when my mobile check-in for

I was in trouble when my mobile check-in for the flight failed after several attempts. PHOTO | FILE 

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As every frequent flyer will tell you, a bad flight starts with a series of events. Mine started when I delayed my departure for the airport by an hour to finish watching an interesting series. Anyone can tell you this is a stupid move. But I thought I had everything figured out.

But things did stop being interesting a few hours later when I nearly missed my flight.

I assumed, through airlines traditionally require you to be at the airport at least two hours before take-off time for an international flight, you can arrive much later if you have already checked in online. I planned on the latter.

I left my house for the airport at around 2:40am, but it only hit me that I was in trouble when my mobile check-in for the flight failed after several attempts.

What followed were moments of  fear and confusion as I begged the taxi driver to pull a “fast and furious” move to cut the travel time to the airport — ideally a 50-minute trip — to 20 minutes.

Of course I was late, and had to beg airport and airline officials to allow me into the departure lounge. I finally boarded the flight a few minutes to the scheduled flight time 4:25am with barely minutes to spare for take-off.

Once on board, I realised that my phone and laptop were both out of charge and the chargers were in my check-in bag which I would only be able to get access to once I landed in Budapest.

As if to punish me even further, fate would have me get a window seat next to the noisy engine of the old MS 850, meaning sleeping was out of the question. And being almost six feet tall, I could not stretch my giraffe-long legs and my knees were pressing on to the seat in front of me.

The first half of the journey to Cairo was long and tiring, as the passenger on my right was snoring loudly, making a bad situation worse.

I was connecting in Cairo, so once in the transfer lounge, I approached an airport official to see if I could have a charger for my phone and laptop.  

“I don't have one” she curtly told me and moved on. With no charge on both my devices, no chance of sleep and already furious at the horrible first part of my journey, I consoled myself that the rest of the journey was only three hours long and my ordeal would be over.

I was mistaken. My airport pick up transport was a crowded minibus moving in a snail’s pace. They say when it rains, it pours.