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The Murphy’s Laws!

I am writing this ‘on-board’ the Easy Jet flight 976 and I have been here since the past 3 hours while the flight stands still at the London Gatwick Airport. And if there is one word which I would use to describe the beginning of my Europe tour – it is ‘pathetic’!

The trouble started when I got late to get back home and hence had to take a cab to the Gatwick costing me a good 40 pounds. But when I reached the airport at 7, I realized that I was not only well in time but I could have been safe even if I would have come there 2 hours later. Easy Jet (which I am sure has outsourced its IT operations to a non-Indian firm) had some problem with its computers – resultantly the check in system was not running. They tried to fix the problem for hours while the queues at the check in counter first elongated and then shortened – people started leaving the queues. Finally, some intelligent soul realized that they were not going to be able to resolve their software problem for some time and so Easy Jet starts a manual check in system.
So about one hour after the scheduled departure of the flight, the queues come to an end owing to and extremely slow rate of processing – the counter reps were so slow as if they weren’t even used to peeing without computers. 9 PM we get into the aircraft (can’t even call it a flight) and start waiting for it to take off. But there seems to be no sign of take off till 9.30 when we are told of the reason for delay. Because of the manual check-in, it turned out that some error had happened and they had checked in about 150 passengers (as per their records) on the flight which was scheduled to fly only 141 – so there was a mystery of 9 missing passengers who did not turn up in the past half hour. It was concluded that there were no such passengers … whoo ….

The story would have ended there but here comes the twist! As per international aviation laws and airline cannot carry luggage of passengers not present on the flight in its curb. So now they had to figure out which baggage was allotted to the ‘missing’ passengers – either leave it behind or have it identified by one of the ‘on-board’ passengers as theirs. This trace took them longer than 2 hours. Meanwhile we were enlightened that Geneva airport closes at 12.30 PM (that was a revelation – even airports close!) and so the flight, even if it took off, could not land into Geneva – so Easy Jet will divert the flight to Leon and ride us on a coach to Geneva.

One would imagine the story ends there – but no! Easy Jet is not going to let you go so easily! After the baggage trace completes at around 10:40 PM, they announce that passengers who do not have any checked-in baggage (like me!) can disembark and catch tomorrow morning’s flight to Geneva directly. And so I got my baggage out, and started moving to the flight’s door when the bugger announced something in French at which the whole public sadly cooed. A co-passenger recognized the pitifully lost look on my face and told me that ‘no seats on the morning’s flights are vacant and people who disembark will not be able to fly out at all’. There you go … back to my seat.

So now they have gracefully offered to serve drinks and snacks for free (Wow!) of which orange juice I have gulped and am waiting for some grub – hoping that they will have some vegetarian stuff on board. And to my utter disinterest they are announcing that they were unable to arrange a coach so they will be taking us in Taxis to Geneva. At 23:51 I am not sure why they are planning to fly the plane at all – rather delay it for another few hours so as to land when the Geneva airport reopens! Anyway – hoping to reach Geneva before tomorrow evening now :-P I am sure I need not explain the title of the post.

00:03 The captain announces departure.

Postscript: India ko kitni bhi gaali do .. India rocks – at least we can survive without computers! More so even the worst airports in India (say Bangalore?) are better than the state of the Gatwick airport that I saw today.


  1. so u finally seem to have found the european equivalent of "Air Deccan" :D


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