Tuesday 21 December 2010


Traveling at Christmas sucks. There is just no other eloquent way to say it that encapsulates how bad it really is. (For those of you living in Hawaii, or any sunny climate, I’m sure a trip to the airport is a sheer pleasure…B*stards). In fact, sucks is a kind word. It is a torturous exercise in utter futility in every possible way, especially if you live in a country where the climate rivals that of the frozen tundra. But it is made all the worse when the country one lives in pretends it does NOT have such a climate. Yes, I'm talking to you ENGLAND. In fact, each year the weather worsens, and the winter descends upon the innocent traveler just trying to get home for the holidays, the authorities (governments, airport bosses, airline heads etc) pretend to be utterly shocked when the heavens open and snow grinds the country to an absolute halt.

For the last three years in fact, I have spent the majority of my run up to Christmas sitting in the airport. You would think I would learn, wouldn’t you? I have had flights canceled repeatedly, undergone delays that lasted days on end, had to take trains into other countries to then catch other planes in hopes that they would actually get me to where I needed to go; trudged through snow drifts with battered luggage (cue music please) when buses have gotten stuck to reach terminals (are you feeling sorry for me yet??), been mistreated by airport staff, ignored, and shoved around like cattle, and all to reach my family at Christmas time. I am like a freakin movie on Lifetime. 

This year, as most of you have heard, England has been utterly battered by freezing temperatures. Fine, it’s come early this year, and it’s not exactly typical for us to have this much snow. But as it’s been a growing trend that our winters are getting fiercer, you would think that those in charge would be prepared for such a thing. But no, of course not, that would be far too forward thinking and progressive. Cause, we can figure out how to put a million pound plane in the air, but we can not seem to melt ice. Instead we have headlines like, “England running out heating fuel…fears of no more salt for roads…repeated airport closures forces airport boss to make humiliated apology!” the list is a long one.

I went to school in Michigan. It was a state that knew snow from every single angle. It expected it, knew what to do with it, and there was a never a time in my four years at university where the Detroit airport closed. In fact, I think the city residents would’ve risen up and beat the appropriate person into a coma if they had closed the airport. Detroit denizens would consider closing the airport cause of snow a very sissy move.

Don’t get me wrong, there were delays, and cancellations from time to time, but never did I sleep in an airport or watch on the news as families set up tents in various terminals over the Christmas period. This is when England starts to resemble a third world country and you can’t help but wonder who the heck is truly in charge. Not to mention, you would think if they have had this problem year after year, the airports would stock up on the essential machinery, like I don’t know, something to move the gosh darn snow out of the way!!

This year I am now forced to travel on Christmas Day, and I’m not even going to my destination of choice. We literally said to the airline rep get us anywhere remotely near Los Angeles, we’re not picky (see how agreeable your passengers are! You don’t deserve us). The rep mind you that we waited four hours on the phone to speak to on our dime – I kid you not, 4 hours on the phone listening to bad syrupy ballads on constant rotation, is guaranteed to make you nuttier than a fruitcake.

So the King’s first Christmas will be spent in economy class staring down at some petrified meal as I try to entertain him amongst a plane full of pissed off passengers. But knowing him, he will make the most of it and be pleased as punch simply to try and put the airplane pillow in his mouth (which will send my OCD into overdrive). As for you Mr. Transport Minister, I’m not as agreeable. I hope your stocking is filled with coal!

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed