Airport rush

by Dana Maton

This story is part of our 'Funniest hotel experiences' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition. Photo by Toufeeq.

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Last week, I stopped over in a Hong Kong hotel. I decided to do the recommended tour in the morning, which was supposed to finish at 1pm. Late checkout was 2pm, arrived back 3pm. Airport Shuttle left 3.30, but instead of arriving at 4pm, arrived at 5pm. Flight left at 6pm. I had left my luggage in ‘left luggage’ to save the hassle of hauling it through the airport. Wrong, the left luggage was downstairs, at the other end of the massive airport.

So, that morning I'd thrown my shoes out, as they were worn through, and found myself some good quality leather sandals. By the time I got to the airport, my feet were blistered. I grabbed a trolley, threw on my carry-on, and painfully, walked as fast as I could to the check-in, just to let them know I was there. But, of course I needed my bags, so before rushing off with my trolley down the miles of airport, they explained to me that the flight was very full and I would probably not get my requested upgrade. Yep, it just gets better and better. So, by now, I have 25 minutes to get down to the other end of the airport, pay for and collect my bags and get back to check in, so I can board the flight. Panicking, I look down, and yes my toes are bleeding from the new sandals, which do not go well aesthetically with the bright pink dress I am wearing. I think stuff decorum, take off my sandals and run full tit through the airport, up the lift and back down the other end, repeating the experience on my return.

I come flying round the corner, complete with trolley laden with suitcases, ignoring frightened expressions of those brave enough to risk getting anywhere in the vicinity of the pink blur. I arrive, tachycardic (elevated heart rate), hypertensive (high blood pressure), and with a bad case of dyspnoea (difficulty breathing). The checkout ladies are very sweet, and I think, sympathetic, as they hand me my upgraded boarding pass. I blow them kisses, as I race off with two carry-on bags to the elevator, to get to the lounge.

Running barefoot again, I have to take escalators (shoes on, shoes off) then a train, then another escalator and arrive at the lounge just in time for boarding. I leave my bags at the front desk, desperate to pee, and rush to the bathroom, grab a sandwich on my way through, as I haven't eaten for 12 hours and run to the gate. As I'm one of the last people on I make a huge kafuffle, dislodging other travellers, as I try to find room for my bags. A flight steward comes past with a tray and asks, "Would you like a drink?" Would I like a drink?!! I say, "God, yes", and it doesn't touch the sides! I collapse into my seat, exhausted, thinking maybe I shouldn’t have taken the tour!

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