Friday, 4 April 2008

Budapest - Epilogue

When you check into EasyJet online you get a printed boarding pass that puts you in Group A. What this means is you get to board the plane after the Speedy Boarders, who pay extra to get one of those precious seats at the front of the plane, and before the lowly Group C passengers.

What you don't get, in either case, is to avoid the ridiculous crush at the boarding gate when everyone tries to pretend they belong to a different group and sneak onto the plane. This was made even worse at Budapest because, after the gate, they just put you on a mixed bus anyway, completely destroying any benefit of superior boarding group.

Anyway we somehow managed to get the last pair of seats together on the plane and watched the time to see if we would make it back to Geneva for the last train home. I SMS'd the SBB to check their timetable and it said the last train was at 12:20pm so I was reasonably confident still.

We landed and everyone leapt up to grab their overhead baggage and then stood around waiting in the awkward space for the doors to actually open. We bolted along the corridors, past passport control, and jogged towards the station, only to find my SMS timetable had lied and we had indeed missed the last train out by only a few minutes.

We spent some time walking around the airport disbelieving that there was no alternative way to get home before finally biting the bullet and jumping in a taxi. The taxi driver thought it was his lucky night.

Taxis in Switzerland are notoriously expensive, and we watched anxiously as the meter climbed ever higher as we drove slowly home through the heavy snow. By the time we reached Vevey we had hit 350 CHF, which I painfully withdrew from the ATM.

To top it all off I somehow strained my neck (possibly from watching the meter ticking over), and had a terrible night's sleep. I stayed home from work the next day, feeling tired, sore, and sorry for myself.

The moral of the story, I think, is don't fly the last flight into Geneva, particularly with EasyJet. Next time we will certainly have some contingency plans in place.

3 comments:

Smartphone said...
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Sean_grove@hotmail.com said...

Mark, I can totally sympathise with the Easyjet departure from Budapest! Sal and I had the same problem - did u get ripped off by the dodgy taxi driver to the airport too? Ours said we owed him more due to traffic congestion - likely story. Our Easyjet flight from Budapest to London Luton was delayed 2 hours so we didnt arrive in Luton till 12am - but we had planned to stay @ a 24 hour YHA Hostel in Oxford St so luckily buses ran from Luton to Oxford St, London all night. Sorry to hear about the massive Taxi fare - thats like around AU$350 too! Ouch!

Mark said...

Hi Sean,
We read all the warnings about taxis and money etc, but when didn't have any trouble at all. I think they have really cleaned up their act. Everyone even speaks English so Linda only rarely got to use her few Hungarian words she had diligently learned.