Our trip back to Cyprus after Dad's funeral was interesting to say the least. TBH was booked on Wed 09th November, departing Manchester 09.15 arrival Larnaca 16.00. So knowing that I was going to be in a rather emotional state I went on line and booked myself on the same flight, Wed 09 Nov, dep Man 09.15 arr Lca 16.00, sorted..... not. But naturally my CC had already been debited and my E ticket issued, when I realised that the flight number showing on my ticket was different than that showing on TBH'S.
MMMMMMMM so I called the airline in question who's agent informed me that ' yes, there were two flights of their airline departing at the same time on the same date from Manchester to Larnaca ZB 640 and ZB 552! But she said ZB 640 is full.' TBH was booked on ZB 640..............................
Problem........ it didn't tell me that on the internet, oh no it just gave me the one option, ZB 552 so basically TBH and I were booked and had tickets to fly Wed 09th November from Manchester to Larnaca departing 09.15 arriving 16.00, BUT would have been on different aircraft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So I had to cancel TBH's booking and re-book him onto my flight because that had room and that cost us 60 Pounds. Then as TBH is 6 foot 5 inches in height, we paid for the extra leg room. Great, we were now both booked on ZB 552. Hurray.
However,we also wanted to take with us a violin of my Grandfather's ( he died 13 years ago) that is sentimentally very very precious to me. We figured that we would take it as hand baggage, but then suddenly thought that it was not ' THE RIGHT DIMENSIONS' so I called the airline and sure enough they informed me that no I could not take it as hand luggage, but I could put it in the hold for 25 ponds. No! screamed TBH it is too precious to go in the hold and it will get badly dammaged, so I asked the agent what other option I had....... ' You will have to pay for a seat'.... what I said a seat a whole seat.... for the violin???? are you serious? ' YES' replies the agent, right I said so how much will that cost me, ' 124 pounds, oh and the extra for the leg room cause you are in extra leg room seats'................................................................................
And so Carlo Storioni was booked on ZB 552 Wed 09th November Departing Manchester 09.15 Arriving Larnaca 16.00 with extra leg room seat, BUT he wasn't allowed to take handbaggage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, we paid a whole seat for the violin and were not allocated a handbaggage allowance, but it doesn't end there, oh no.....
Of to Manchester we go and check in on Wed 09th Nov on ZB 552 and the check in guy says, ' oh you are lucky your flight is pretty empty , only 32 pasengers on board'
Really I reply behind a gritted smile, well there would have been plenty of room for my friend Carlo here then wouldn't there, as I hand him the violins ticket and he drops his head in shame as he issues a boarding card for the violin.
I was also carrying some of my fathers ashes, thankfully we didn't need a seat for them , however it had to be declared at the security gate so as not to have been arrested for drug smuggling. So...... with Dad boxed up in the wheely bin, and grandpa ( AKA CARLO STORIONI) wrapped neatly in bubble wrap and cradled under TBH's arm we made our way through to the final depature gate.
As we waited we could hear the ground staff preping the flight and saying ' yeah don't know why they have put two flights on, I mean ZB 552 has only got 31 Passengers on board.'
Yes I want to scream, 31 passengers and the 32nd seat is for the violin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can rest assured that Carlo Storioni remaind seated in his extra leg room seat through out the duration of the flight with his seatbelt tightly fastened................................................
Oh the joys of travel in the 21st century!
ZB 640 flew parallel to us, but I think we touched down before her.