Oct 13, 2010

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Chloe’s Holiday DisASHter!

Chloe Halsted

Laying my beach towel on a sun-bed and settling down for a day of lapping up the sun with friends is my idea of heaven. So, you’d think I’d have welcomed a few extra nights in Tenerife …

15 of us girlies packed up our bags (lots of bags!) and flew out to Tenerife on a hen doo. Our 3 day, 3 night jaunt was planned with differing daily themes – one night we hit the town as Hawaiian girls, then cow girls and our final night in our party gear. After countless vodka ‘slushes’ and the girly fun we had, it was certainly a hen party to remember, however, the most memorable bit (without the vodka) was just around the corner, or a few hundred miles north in Iceland to be precise!

Chloe's band of hen party Cow Girls before disASHter struck!

Chloe's band of hen party Cow Girls before disASHter struck!

Tinged with sadness to be making the journey home, we all boarded the transfer to the airport and queued up at the check-in desk, only to see all the TV screens in the terminal displaying ‘CANCELLED’ next to all the flights home that day! The ASH CLOUD was causing havoc across the airspace of Europe and preventing us from getting back to the UK. EasyJet then loaded all passengers onto a bus and took us to a hotel for the night until the next available flight home! We arrived at the ‘Airport Hotel’ and due to being in a state of excitement at the prospect of staying another day in sunny Tenerife, we had failed to notice the horrible smell that filled the reception. The stench turned out to be coming from the source of our set menu we’d be subject to that night. With squid as the main course, a dingy side street as the location and metal shutter windows as the view..… need I go on!?

This was not quite in the same league as the 4 star hotel in Las Americas where we’d spent our fun-filled weekend, no this was the roughest area in Tenerife! To hammer the message home the check-in came with an advisory not to leave the hotel as the area was ‘quite rough’. On exploration of the hotel we found there were no sun loungers, no pools, no bar – just a rooftop swimming pool in desperate need of a ‘Kim and Aggie’ clean and a gorgeous view of a building yard from the rooftop. So we all retired to our ‘prison cells’ and planned to meet up at 7pm for dinner.

The aroma of not so fresh squid filled the cafe. Despite the fact that some of us were vegetarians we all agreed there was no way we could eat decaying squid so we had to brave the streets as hunger was taking over! Linked arm in arm due to the advisory we’d received earlier, 15 of us ran down the poorly lit street and managed to stumble across a bus stop that took us to Las Americas … at last, non-threatening civilisation!

Back in our cells, most of us slept above the sheets as we were scared what we might find under them … and as for having a shower the next morning…well not having one was more appealing than getting into a shower thick with scummy residue and goodness knows what the splodge on the side of the sink was!?

We made it back to the airport with no casualties, all of us now very much looking forward to getting back home. So with the mums amongst us needing to get back to their children and husbands, we were devastated to see the same sorry sight as the previous day – ‘CANCELLED’! There was absolutely NO WAY we could go back to the ‘prison’, we were innocent, innocent victims of the Icelandic ash cloud … however, explaining this to the check-in staff got us nowhere! We decided we’d find somewhere to go ourselves – to our delight the luxurious 4 star hotel decided to take us back – much to the dismay of the residents. I don’t think they’d been our biggest fans … daytime drinking by the poolside, karaoke, fancy dress outfits and our early morning staggering into our rooms after some rather boozy nights out!

All flight routes well and truly CANCELLED

All flight routes well and truly CANCELLED

Emotions were running high … this just wasn’t fun anymore but there was nothing we could do! We stocked up on all the daily essentials as we’d ditched the last lot of showel gel, shampoo etc when we thought we were going home. However … there was one big problem, the clothes we’d brought with us – hawaiian and cowgirl themes?? Would we have to do the hen doo all over again?

We contacted the airport everyday in the hope to get on a flight, but each time we were told EasyJet was boarding it’s passengers in order of the dates they flew out … there was a backlog of a week until we could get on one. We’d already been there for 4 days longer than we expected and many of us couldn’t afford the time off work, let alone babies not seeing their mums for another week longer, and the cost of forking out for our own accommodation each night until we could put in a refund claim to EasyJet.

Where hen party's should be spent - at the bar!

Where hen party's should be spent - at the bar!

We all decided our only option was to pay for another flight with a different airline – we’d be sure to add this onto the claim we’d be making with EasyJet! I can’t explain the sheer relief we felt when the plane lifted off the ground!! Unfortunately the only flight we could get was going to Bristol Airport and we’d all parked in Manchester. Quite frankly, we didn’t care; we just wanted to get back to the UK. After a couple of hours in a mini-bus from Bristol airport we finally arrived at the Manchester Airport parking lot and started the journey home on the familiar UK roads we never thought we would miss so much!!!!

We heard later on, that the flight we were meant to get on was cancelled AGAIN … thank goodness we’d made the decision to pay for one with a different airline otherwise who knows – 15 cowgirls could have still been wandering the streets of Tenerife!

I’m writing this blog post 6 months later and we’ve only just received our money back! I think you could safely call this trip a DisASHter!!!!

  1. Chloe

    I know you had a rough time due to the Ash Cloud but I understand you also fell foul to the collpase of Goldtrail and then Kiss Flights this year?

    Are you the unluckiest holidaymaker of 2010?

    Bob

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