A travellers caution. Beware all forms of transport not involving your legs! A brief list of our travel woes:
- No train service on Sundays to Stansted for…umm…the forseeable future (track ‘maintenance’, hmmpf)
- The 7:45 National Express/Airbus A6 to Stansted, which helpfully left at 7:30 without bothering to announce this to the 15 or so passengers waiting in the boarding area. Apparently, this was due to an earlier coach being cancelled as the driver called in sick. Very helpful. The next coach therefore had to leave ‘early’ (by about 5 minutes – brilliant). Thankfully we’d given ourselves quite a bit of leeway.
- Also on the NatExpress/Airbus A6 service, don’t plan on using the toilet on board. A very suspicious “Out of Order” sign was present on both coaches we travelled on. We suspected a reluctance to clean the toilet after each trip – niiiice when the journey is 90mins+
- Ryanair’s ground staff at Stansted (pt1) – yeah, ok, it was pretty windy, but the grounding of all Ryanair flights came from them (as we understand it), not the pilots! Difficulties driving the little luggage carts? Eh? Anyway, add a 90minute delay here…
- Highly stupid people onboard aircraft, who, despite every instruction, insist on standing up, wandering about, chatting to their friends etc even after strict instructions to sit down & belt up. Always nice to end your flight with a message from the captain saying “If you don’t like the rules, don’t fly with Ryanair. If you want to stand up, you can remain aboard until the police arrive to escort you from the plane”.
- Ryanair’s ground staff at Stansted (pt2): once you’re on a plane, they’re not too keen for you to get off. So, we hung around for 20 minutes whilst they found some stairs for the plane – only one set mind, so I pity those who were stuck at the rear of the aircraft…although…
- …it doesn’t make much difference – you still have to wait a further half an hour before they get round to removing the baggage and loading it on the conveyor belt thingy. Yawn, and very frustrating when you’ve got about 5 minutes to get to the coach station after picking your bags up
- NatExpress/Airbus A6 again! Yet again they’d cancelled an earlier service – this time due to ‘traffic’ (how can you cancel a bus service due to ‘traffic’?? What? You weren’t expecting anyone else to be using the road at the time? Eh?). This meant a huge queue of people with ‘boarding cards’ who hadn’t been able to get their earlier coach.
NatExp Bloke: “You’ll have to wait for the people with boarding cards to get on first.”
Lou: Bollocks to that. *stomp stomp*
What’s more, even though there were at least 6 empty seats that I could see, the driver declared the coach ‘full’ and drove off, leaving people who’d missed the earlier coach still waiting…poor buggers.