How A Missed London Flight Became the Best Day Ever

We had a flight from London-Gatwick to Oslo scheduled to depart at 6am. Following the guidelines of international flights, we decided to be there about 90 minutes early: 4:30. We were staying at Masslink Guesthouse so across the street from the airport. The alarm is set for 4am.

It doesn’t go off. Something wakes me up around 4am, but it’s not the alarm. I go back to sleep.

I wake up about an hour later, suspicious of how rested I feel. Light is peeking through the curtains. I know it’s not 4am. My eyes glaze over to the clock and in big red letters it proudly displays…

5:15 AM.

I pat-pat-pat-pat Mark on the shoulder. He wakes up groggily, “What?”

WE GOTTA GO, I say.

Listen, we are fast packers, but I have never seen us clean up a room and pack in less than five minutes. It’s 5:20. We call an Uber. The Uber driver sits at the airport. We can see him on the app, you know, where he is. He’s not coming.

5:30, We decide to walk. Recall how I said London-Gatwick is across the street. Well, it’s across and down a little. Then you have to walk up through the garage into the terminal. This is not like crossing your town intersection. The walk is about 30 minutes leisurely paced…

But we were speed-walking with stuffed packs on our backs and managed it in under 20. We get to the garage and go up through the elevator, into the terminal and try to check into the flight on the computer kiosk due to the huge line snaking in front of the Norwegian counter.

No dice. Can’t print tickets less than an hour before the flight. We’re forced to wait in line. By the time we get to the ticket counter, it’s 6:02. I proudly walk up to the woman at the counter and say

There’s a flight that went out at 6am and we are not on it.

She deadpans me. Doesn’t get my joke, so I reiterate:

I believe we missed our flight.

She sends us to this clearing house desk for screwed people like us to get us on another flight. The only other flight to Oslo hat day twas going to cost us nearly $1,000 USD according to the Gatwick agent. We are trying not to panic. We finally find a flight on the Norwegian app for half of that and would get us to Bergen, Norway, so at least that’s the right country. We book the Bergen flight on Norwegian, trying not to ruminate on that huge financial dent, and approach this tall Norwegian representative at the counter to check in.

We would like to check in for this flight to Bergen.

And I thought I would pass out when he gave me this look like he didn’t understand. He says to us:

Why are you trying to check in to Bergen? You have a flight to Oslo at 11:50.

What are you talking about, crazy man? We missed that; it went out at 6am.

No, it was delayed.

OH MY GOD/THANK CHRIST/ BEST DAY EVER/ OH THIS IS GREAT.

Five hour delay? No problem!
Complimentary food vouchers? No problem!
Sitting on the tarmac for 90 minutes waiting to take off? No problem!
Arriving at the hostel 8 hours later than planned? No problem!

No new flight. No financial dent. No mo’ money spent.

Best. Day. Ever.

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