Stranded and Thrown Out on to The Streets

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Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Fuerteventura
August 1st 2015
Published: August 9th 2015
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We have been to worse airports than Luton, but it is not somewhere that we would want to spend too much time in. It's a very functional airport, which you arrive at, have a quick browse round the shops and then fly out of. So when we found out we were going to be spending over four hours there, we were not impressed.

I am always one to arrive at airports excessively early and two hours seems about right, to allow for any contingencies, although it is very close to where we live and it is unusual to get delayed by traffic. It was also supposed to be a 4.05pm flight, so it is not like I had to drag us all out of bed at some ridiculously early hour.

When we got there, the screens immediately informed us that the flight was an hour late, but it wasn't long before that increased to two hours. Apparently the plane had been delayed two hours out of Palma at the start of the day and had not been able to catch-up, so why there was the pretence of just the one hour is anybody's guess.

We had something to eat, then a browse around the shops and then another browse around the shops. At least the shops at Luton are shops that 'normal' people shop at, unlike Heathrow, where it's all Harrods, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and the like, along with oyster bars, Champaign bars and other such pretentious crap.

Once we got on the plane, there was a further delay as the baggage count did not tally so, rather worryingly, they needed to check all the bags to find the extra one that should not have been there.

The disadvantage of a sociable departure time for the flight is that the arrival time can be very late. Combined with the two hour delay, it meant that we did not arrive in Fuerteventura until 11.00pm and the airport was just waiting for us and then it could close.

The problem for us was that the car hire desk (at least for the one that we had booked with) had long since closed and there was no chance of picking-up the car that we needed to get us to our resort.

We tried to contact the car hire people, but with no luck. We managed to get through to the holiday company with which we had booked both the car and the villa, but they didn't have any luck either. There were some taxis parked outside, but with the airport closing (and people hassling us to leave the building) it was unlikely that they would be around for much longer, so we jumped in one large enough for the five of us and all our luggage and decided to worry about the car in the morning.

The taxi driver found the villa without any problems, in a town called Corralejo at the top of the island, about 40km north of the airport. There was an anxious few minutes whilst we retrieved the key to the villa from a lock-box, but the combination worked and we weren't left out on the street in the middle of the night, which seemed likely given our luck so far.


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