I missed my damn flight from Heathrow Airport in London to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. I arrived at the airport a few hours ahead of my 5pm flight. Once I made it passed security checks, I was made aware that my flight was leaving out of a terminal that didn’t have standard gate assignments. Rather, you had to stay near the array of screens to see which gate you’d be assigned to.
This is different from what I’m used to as I like to camp out near the assigned gate. Once I do that, I can stop checking my watch every 10 minutes and pausing my music everytime I hear a muffled announcement. I can just monitor the behavior of other folks loitering by the gate and then know when it’s time to go. In the meantime I can just zone out to my iPod and chill.
I had arrived thru security by 2pm or so. I studied the screens and saw certain flights had gate assignments, but my flight was so far off that there wasn’t one. So, I cracked open my laptop to pass the time. After about 2 hours, some reading, and a couple of skype convos, I walk over to check the screens.
Flight Delayed. 6pm is new departure time.
So, now I had kill an additional hour. It’s 4pm and I’m hungry by this point. I walk over to a restaurant to get a plate of fish and chips and a couple of beers. I take my time.
Eat. People watch. Beer. People watch. Repeat.
At about 5:20pm, I leave the restaurant and walk over to the screens once again to see what’s up. I’m ready leave and am bored with this place. I look and look and now my flight isn’t even on the screen anymore.
I try to find a KLM counter, but I can’t. Turns out all of the flight-specific desks are on the outside of security. So I walk to the nearest gate and ask a random dude who worked for another airline.
“What’s up with flight KL1022?”
He gets on his radio and asks someone.
We both wait forever for a reply. At least that’s what 3 minutes seemed like at the time.
“Your shit’s on the runway bro”
Ok, that’s not what he said verbatim, but his facial expression definitely said exactly that.
He went on to say that they bumped the flight up from 6:00pm to 5:30pm.
That sucked. Mainly because it meant that I was going to miss the connecting flight in Amsterdam and in Bangkok to get to Phuket.
I ended up flying out of London on a later flight to Amsterdam and spending the night there at what might just have been the coolest hotel I’ve ever experienced.
Regardless, I still feel like Heathrow owes me a credit because of this, but I got nowhere in my debate with the desk clerk. Or perhaps, I just didn’t know exactly what to say. Or perhaps, I should’ve NEVER left those screens and that’s the moral to the story.