anyway, i left JFK a little delayed because we needed some plane de-icing (wings, wheels, tail even runway needed de-icing). the snow mixed with rain we had that day was one in a million. if i didnt know better i would have thot the prayers of people who wanted me to take them along but refused was being heard. moving on, we finally took off safely, a few minutes into the flight turbulence kicked in. no like the one i tried creating for yessie on our way back from maryland on one of our numberous road trips. this one was ebeano, if i learned anything from my flight that nite, it was to always heed to the fasten seatbelt calls we hear too often during flights. the turbulence kicked into overdrive and out of nowhere we were all jerked out of our seats violently enough for me to feel my butt lift way off the seat. u know the way it is on some rollercoasters (the ride NITRO at sixflagpoles in NJ comes to mind). anyway, we got thrown out of our seats and a little after that it was smoothflying all thru.
i arrived at heathrow and it was all cool beans and sauce. my aunt saw me for the first time in about 8yrs. long story short, i enjoyed my stay in the UK and soon it was time to pack my bags (which i never really unpacked) next stop naija.
then the wahala started, i got to the airport at about 7.45am, gatwick was a total mess that day by the way. got to the Virgin nigeria counter and then the bomb got dropped. somehow like this
VN staff: sir the flight was overbooked by the ticketing office in lagos.
VN staff: you wont be able to fly today, you've been bumped to tomorrow.
it sounded like april fools in december, cos first they had made me stay longer than i had planned. i had missed my highschool reunion because of that and now they were dashing me an extra day at my own expense. ok they paid for the hotel and all but that wasnt wat i paid for when i booked my flight damnit!
at this point i was fumming, ready to curse anyone from VN out. then it dawned on me, i wasnt the only one. checking in had started at 6am, they did a first come first serve thingie (so if u had checked in online, most likely u might still not have made that flight) and by 8am or thereabout the flight had been filled. my buddy L was lucky, he got to the airport just early enough to be able to check in. but they had overbooked damn flight by not 1 seat but by close to 30 seats. some lady also flew in from NY that same day, paid some 100 pounds for cab, even tipped the cab only to be told. YOU CANNOT TRAVEL TODAY, YOUR FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED. YOU FLY TOMORROW.
they said we would be checked in at about 10.30am after the flight we missed had left. they took our names, gave us vouchers to go get somn to eat and instructed us to come back. trust naija people, nobody left to use no voucher till after checking in.
anywho, part two of the whole thing happened when i tried to check in at 10.30am. they said they couldnt find my ticket to lagos on their system, WHAT! my aunt broke the guy a piece of her mind at this point. i called my agent and they had said they ot a call from the airline stating that i had been bumped to the next day so how come they couldnt see my trip tto lagos in their system(by the way they saw my return trip starting from lagos back to NY) i was on their fone on hold tryong to get them to talk to my agent for over 3hours(it had to be their fone cos i wasnt even going to use my money to call and stay on hold forever. Waste my money ke. IMPOSSICANT!) anyway, i had to pass the night at premier hotel,(london people fit know am well, it round the block from the airport). then found out from my amebo(very informed) hotel shuttle bus driver, that VN had been bumping people for a while, problem carried foreward if you ask me. and they had been checking them into the hotel for the nite. anyway, all nite i was on the fone with the agent, thank God for free internet calls. by morning i was the first person they saw at the checking counter, the guy whom had been giving me a hard time the day before was the one who eventually fixed the crap they caused.
they offered most of us free ticket valid for a year but i refused to even collect mine. you wonder why? its because i had the gutt feeling and based on some reliable info that they might not fly that route for much longer. THEY STOPPED FLIGHTS ON THAT ROUTE AS OF JAN 27TH WHICH HELPED ME CONFIRM. so i finally got to naija, caught a little fun as i could. it ended up being a serious trip instead of a relax myself trip. then part 3 got served, i tried checking in and the VN staff told me he couldnt locate my ticket again, i had to go to ticket desk for them to resync my ticket, whatever that means. i was about to start my very deserved tantrum when i looked at my mums face and she had noticed somn was wrong from far and had given me the calm-ur-nerves-and-dont-start-trouble-here look. anyway i did, they "resynced" my ticket and soon enough i was on my way, went thru security, customs, (they tried to make money off of me as usual) searched for souvenirs to buy for my co-workers. got them the I LOVE NIGERIA fridge magnet from duty free. then i got my GOOD BYE NAIJA gift. but unlike the welcome naija gift thats given to everyone on arrival (NO AIR CONDITIONING) my good bye gift was unique to our flight alone. guess what it is, u cant guess, no u cant try again, impossicant, u get a 2012 range rover before vera if u do.
oh you still want to know my gift, THERE WAS NO POWER/LIGHT/ELECTRICITY at the gate my flight was meant to leave from for quite a while thus we couldnt board. and with that i left naija with the hope of returning before the end of the year. if you think u have been given a better goodbye naija gift let us know.
see below for the pics i took of my gift, some nonsense lady thot i ws taking pics of her daughters while i tried taking pics of my gift by the way. SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL HER I DONT DO JAIL BAIT.
PS: i'll add the pics later tonight, i ned to get myself to upload it from the memory card first.