My sister reminded me this morning that exactly 8 years ago today we shared a memorable travel mishap. Donna has a knack for remembering dates and random things (usually embarrassing things that you’d rather forget) but I have to be honest even for me and my terrible memory, this one was unforgettable!
The three of us were heading off on a 4 day sisters trip to the Big Apple. Cheryl and I had been before but it was Donna’s first visit. Excited was an understatement.
Being the oldest, Cheryl took charge as official trip organiser much to Donna’s dismay (Donna was at Uni studying tourism at the time, so, obviously that deemed her a professional traveller). I was just glad I didn’t have to take responsibility for anything, just turn up and have a great time!
August 25th 2008
Mum was driving us to the airport when Cheryl put a pause on our shrieks of excitement and demanded we surrender our passports. Stating that ALL documents should be in her possesion, she had organised and labelled several plastic folders, FLIGHT, HOTEL, PASSPORTS, EXCURSIONS & MAPS… OCD much? Donna and I giggled in the back of the car as she checked through them all for the billionth time…
“Flight tickets …check
We hadn’t left the country yet and Cheryl had already gained her nickname for the trip, ‘Drill Sergeant’
At the drop of point of Glasgow Airport we grabbed our cases, got hugs from Mum and waved her on her way, before trundling through the airport doors. That’s when your trip officially begins, right? Once you are through those doors. That’s when I get (even more) excited anyway. I studied the screens to find our check in desk, American Airlines to JFK
‘Cheryl? Are you sure it’s JFK and not Newark were flying to? I can’t see anything for JFK there!’
‘It’s definitely JFK!’she says proceeding to pull the plastic folders from handbag.
‘Haha, are you sure it’s leaving from here’ Donna joked.
‘Oh c’mon, I’m not that stupid!’ Cheryl was getting annoyed with us, still pulling the many plastic folders from her bag!
‘LOOK! JFK! She says pointing at the tickets now that they had been retrieved from the folder.
‘LOOK! EDI’ I pointed back at her! ….Those three letters practically jumped out the page at me as soon as I looked. Donna was right, we were at the wrong airport, we should have been in Edinburgh.
Cheryl froze shouted some profanity, dropped her bags, the many plastic folders and ran straight out the airport doors and right into a taxi that was dropping people off.
As Donna and I juggled pulling three suitcases, three handbags and the many plastic folders we could hear her pleading with the taxi driver to take us to Edinburgh as quickly as possible.
‘Oh, you know it’s rush hour now dear and…’
‘Just go!! Just Go please, please just go!!!’
Donna and I jumped into the taxi and burst into hysterics laughing, Cheryl turned white ‘Stop laughing it’s not funny, this is a disaster!!’ Obviously this made us laugh even more.
Glasgow Airport to Edinburgh airport is roughly 50miles but with rush hour traffic surrounding both cities we were looking at 1hr30 to 2hr drive. International flights require you to check in 3 hours before departure time (which we had arrived on time for in Glasgow) so Cheryl frantically called the airport from the taxi to make sure our desk would still be open, to be told ‘Unfortunately, dear it really is the airlines discretion when they close the desk’ which only added to Cheryl’s panic and our laughter. Poor Cheryl, ha!
We passed Mum on the motorway she was stuck in traffic heading out of Glasgow, Donna and I were waving like mad women trying to get her attention as we passed (we didn’t manage) and Cheryl was slumping down in her seat to hide ‘oh no,Please don’t tell Mum!’
Almost in Edinburgh, Cheryl realised she had also ordered her US dollars to be collected at Travelex in Glasgow Airport, Donna and I enjoyed yet another hilarious frantic phone call to rearrange it for Edinburgh. Everytime she said ‘wrong airport’ when explaining the situation we laughed even more.
Apart from the embarrassing phone calls Cheryl never spoke the whole taxi ride, she just sat staring out the front screen as if she was urging all the traffic out the way with some invisible force. Ha!
Kudos to the taxi driver though, who literally had the pedal to the metal the whole way. Finally we arrived at Edinburgh, Donna and I still giggling and laughing, Cheryl pouncing out the taxi before it even came fully to a stop and leaving me to foot the £130.00 taxi bill.
One final sprint as the desk was closing and we made it!
Donna and I had sore abs from laughing so much, Cheryl could now see the funny side of it and managed a smile…
I just read this back and realised it was one of those..you had to be there moments. HaHa
•The sisters bought me dinner and cocktails when we arrived in NYC to cover the taxi bill. Winning!
•Cheryl got a mosquito bite and her leg ended up swelling up really bad on the flight home. So we changed her name from Drill Sergeant to Cankle. Poor Cheryl!
•We had the best freaking time. I lost ALL my photos of the trip when my laptop died. Gutted! I just realised I’ve been saying for 8 whole years that I must go back to NYC!! I must!
Have you ever gone to the wrong airport, or had any travel mishaps?
Thanks for reading 😊
Have a great day ❤️