Monday, December 19, 2016

Trapped in Paris. A true story.

My daughter, Iris, is a very independent, passionate young woman.

There are lots of things she enjoys in life, but her absolute favorite is travelling. Last month, she went to Edinburgh to visit a friend and this past Thursday, she flew to Paris with her boyfriend.

She started working at sixteen to earn money to pay for her trips, despite the fact that she has fibromyalgia and there are many days when she’s in pain. She teaches English to small children in the neighborhood and also has some adult students.

Last summer, she also worked at a McDonald’s and she enjoyed the experience although it was tough. In September her boss asked her to continue (they were very happy with her), but she said no because she’s too busy, what with university and her classes.

Yesterday, she was supposed to be returning from her trip. That’s why I thought it was weird when I got a call from her at around six.

‘Mum, we are going to miss the plane,’ she said, sounding panicked.

She told me they were traveling to the airport by train and somebody had jumped on the tracks.

Eventually, they got a taxi with another Spanish girl and arrived at the airport with a few minutes to spare. Unfortunately, they had been unable to check in beforehand due to technical problems on the airline webpage and the check-in desk was unmanned.

They did everything in their power, called information… the works, but in the end they had to resign themselves to the inevitable.

Their plane had left without them…

‘This is like The Terminal,’ Adri, my daughter’s boyfriend told me.

At first, it seemed all the flights back to Madrid were sold till Tuesday, but eventually they found one for tonight. My daughter is upset because she has had to spend more than two hundred euros of her hard-earned cash to pay for the new tickets and she was planning to got to London for her boyfriend’s birthday.

They have also missed class today and Adri has missed a university exam.

The airline, in the meantime, doesn’t seem to want to offer compensation. At the beginning they offered to pay them ninety euros each, but now they say there’s no record of that conversation.

I guess traveling is like that. Risky business. Iris had a great time in Paris. It’s a shame the last day had to end like this.

‘Look on the bright side,’ I told her yesterday. But I think I’d be as upset as she is.

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