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2:20pm on Thursday, 15th September, 2011:



I'm in Oslo today, visiting a friend and his family. However, I was almost marooned in Stockholm.

I got up at 5:30am and was outside the hotel for my 6:00am taxi. This is the 6am taxi that was sent to the wrong address. Fortunately, it got stuck in Visby's narrow streets behind someone else's taxi, so I was able to catch it to the airport.

At the airport, I checked in for my flight to Stockholm, but they couldn't check me in for my flight from Stockholm to Oslo. They didn't know why they couldn't, they just couldn't. I'd have to check in at Stockholm.

I landed at Stockholm with 65 minutes before my flight to Oslo took off. I walked the 15-minute walk from terminal 3 to the far end of terminal 5 where the SAS check-in desks were. SAS has a self check-in system, so I joined a line with two people in front of me. The first person took 10 minutes to check in, and then turned into another person who was part of his family who also needed to check in. The person in front of me checked in in under 30 seconds, then it was my turn.

It wouldn't check me in. It told me to go to the check-in desk.

I queued at the check-in desk behind two people who turned into four people when one person pushed in as he was in a hurry (like I wasn't) and another one pushed in by pretending to be with him when she wasn't. When I finally got served, they said my ticked was invalid and I had to go to the ticket desk.

I got to the ticket desk with 30 minutes to go before my flight was due to be in the air. It took a while to get served, of course, and when someone did see me she asked if my flights had been changed. I said they had been for the flight to Stockholm from London. She disappeared behind a door and reappared 10 minutes later with the news that the London to Stockholm flight on Sunday had not been cancelled, it was the Stockholm to Oslo flight that had been cancelled. SAS London had screwed up. She gave me a ticket, 15 minutes befre take-off.

I got through security in 5 minutes then had to go to the furthest gate from there for my plane. I arrived with 5 minutes to spare, but the plane was still loading. Inefficient companies tend to be inefficient across the board, I guess.

On the plane, I arrived at my seat, 12C, to find someone sitting in it. I asked her is she was sure it was her seat and she was, but just for me she opened her bag, took out a purse, opened the purse, took out her passport, opened her passport and took out her boarding pass for seat 12A. She asked the guy sitting in 12A where he was supposed to be sitting and he said 12A, sbut she asked him to check so he got out his boarding pass for seat 11A. I said I'd sit in 11A, as I was holidng up boarding behind me.

Seat 11A was next to the emergency exit, so I got a lot of leg room, and although the flight took off late it arrived on time.

In the end, no harm done, then. Still, I've had less stressful journeys before...

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).