Wednesday 8th December

We are off to snorkel with Manta rays today, which means an early start. By early I mean we have to meet at 9:15. Its currently 8:37 and we are supposed to have breakfast first, the husband is of course still getting showered. He will only have himself to blame when my hangry self sets in.

I realised that I went steaming straight into my holiday before telling you about the stressful journey we had to get here.

I know that literally the entire world has had a stressful year or so to say the least and I am by no means belittling anyone else’s experiences but I needed this break. Work has been a nightmare, my mental health has been affected and the week before our holiday, I lost my beautiful friend, which I am not quite ready to write about yet.

Our flight was due to depart Heathrow at 14:55. I generally like to get the airport early anyway, I feel happier once I’ve dropped my bags off and the only thing I need to worry about then is getting to the gate in time. Me being me and hating to be late for anything insisted we got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We were supposed to arrive 2 hours before our flight, but I insisted on booking our taxi at 10:30, I couldn’t be in the house for too long without my Toby.
The journey to Heathrow is usually just over an hour, of course there was traffic on the M25 and we arrived at the airport at 12, I felt pleased that my need to be on time had finally paid off.
The airport wasn’t particularly busy, fabulous we should have time to grab some lunch as I hadnt yet eaten anything. We headed to the Qatar airways in section A, which turned out to be its own little section of Chaos.
We had checked in online and usually there are machines to print bag labels off for this but we couldn’t see any designated to Qatar. The husband asked a member of staff and he told us to join a specific queue, so we did. The queue got even bigger after we joined and there were people arguing as there were two seperate queues to join our one queue, I was grateful to not be in one of those. We barely moved in 15 minutes when I spotted a queue that said online check in. FFS! The husband went and asked another member of staff who said we should in fact be in this queue. It was a lot shorter than the one we were in, but now we were at the back of the queue and this one was even slower, which I didn’t think possible. They had only 2 desks open with another 2 members of staff going along the queue checking everyone had the right documents.
That’s great but the passengers seemed to also want to chat with the staff so they were
not really saving any time. We were in this queue for at least 90 minutes. It was so frustrating as there were plenty of staff walking around but no one was opening desks to alleviate the queues. When we eventually get to the desk, we ask the girl if something has happened and she smiled and told us that it’s always like this as there are two flights within the hour. Umm surely this could be managed better?
I am now frantic, we have to now go through security which thankfully is almost empty, I go straight through but my bag goes down the little side but. It needs searching.i am now stuck behind a family having their bags searched. I told the husband to go on without me and wait for me at the gate.
The man in front of me, oblivious to the fact that there is someone behind him is repacking his bags at a snails pace. I politely ask him to excuse me as my bag now needs searching. They scan some items, nothing, they don’t know what stopped it. Great.
I run ti catch up with the husband, it’s now 14:10 and we still have to get a train to the gate, the gate in closes at 14:35. I have not come this far only to miss my flight.

When we finally get to the gate and sit, they announce that all passengers should now board so we jump straight back up and get boarding. I’m now thirsty and hungry. We get to our seats and finally sit down, the plane is ridiculously warm so we put all the fans on and buckle up ready to go. We sit for some time, before we are told we are waiting for more passengers and that for those of us with connecting flights, Doha are aware of the situation. Good for them, if only we had been aware of the delay, then perhaps we could have stopped to get some food or drink, neither of which had been offered to us in the whole hour we had been sitting there. Eventually, the husband prewar the call button to ask for some water and a member of staff kindly provided some.

We took off 1 hour 20 minutes later than planned, our connecting flight was 1 hour and 15 minutes after our original arrival time. Let’s just say the next 7 hours was not enjoyable. No one gave any guidance as to what we should do if we missed our connecting flight, so when we landed at 1:43, we had exactly 17 minutes to get off the plane and to whatever gate we were supposed to depart from, the family of four sat in front of us were also headed to Male so we followed them. Sadly, our gate was across the other side of the airport so we all sprinted towards it managing to get to the gate about before the departure time, but it was closed and there was no one there to speak to.

So it’s now almost midnight and I am a sweaty mess, fortunately I have a change of clothes in my hand luggage. We make our way to the customer services desk, another bloody queue. I am so stressed now I just want a shower.
There is room for us on the the next flight but it does not depart until 7:45, over 5 hours away. The husband asks for access to a lounge so that we can freshen up but we are told no and given some vouchers for the food court, we just eaten on the plane and it’s now 2am, they are no use to us!

We go to the toilets to freshen up and get changed and then sit down with a drink. We realise that we should inform the resort as we have a seaplane to catch if there any issues with this next flight, we may miss the last seaplane to our resort, resulting in us losing an entire night of our holiday. That’s just too much for me and I start crying. Ive been so looking forward to a nice relaxing break and this is not it.

Thankfully, the next flight is all on time. We get on board and recognise other passengers from our flight sat in the row behind us and they were given access to the lounge. I’m furious, I put my sleep mask on and shut my eyes, I need to sleep.

Fortunately, the seaplane staff waited for us and whisked us straight to the plane and we made it to the resort in time for dinner.

I did write an email to Qatar airways on friday but have not received any response, which is really disappointing.

2021-12-08 17:29:00

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