Friday, January 8, 2010

They have landed (not on the moon but close enough)

They're here!! My mum and dad have arrived for the week end. Well, nearly..They just landed.

And what a journey! The South of France was under heavy snow. Considering that they live 2 hours away from the airport, they decided to set off early and so did I. I was up at 6 this morning, just to be able to check the french news on the french channel. Heavy snow all night.. Right. No major announcement of airports being closed. Sigh of relief. First phone call at 6h41 to check with them, motorway seems OK, airport not open yet. Fine. They set off at about 8h00 to make sure they didn't get caught in traffic.

8h00: Checked Dublin airport website. Checked Ryan Air website. Checked french airport's website. Checked East Midlands airport website.. Yes East Midlands. the first flight that was due to land in Carcassonne left from there. Another sigh of relief, it had departed.

8h15: More Internet checks. Oh no, due to the weather conditions, Carcassonne airport will be closed this morning. All flights to and from will be cancelled this morning. Glimmer of hope, their flight doesn't leave until 1pm. Technically, it's the afternoon. Frantically, check the Dublin airport website for the flight due to leave for Carcassonne at 9h30. If that one is cancelled, they will not make it here today or this weekend even.

8h30: Check Ryan Air website. Due to weather conditions, we are sorry to announce that Carcassonne airport is closed (amongst others). Oh no....Please find below the list of flights that we regret to have to cancel.. Scroll down frantically... Wait, flights to and from Carcassonne do not show up as cancelled. Sigh of something (relief or hope, I don't really know).

9h00: Phone call. They are at the airport but it's closed. I update them from my end. Flight out does not show up as cancelled on either Ryan Air or Dublin Airport's websites.

9h15: Dublin airport's website will not load up for me.. I curse everybody under the sun, Dublin airport, Ryan Air, the weather... I get a phone call from Mr Foodie with his own weather update, it's snowing in Bray and working its way up. Please, please, please let Dublin airport be OK.

9h20: Update from their end, the flight from East Midlands has been rerouted to Perpignan airport, some 200 kms away from Carcassonne. Update from my end, flight out still doesn't show up as cancelled on either website.

9h30: Plane from Dublin due to take off now, website not updated.. Arrrgghhhh......

9h40: Update from their end, they are putting passengers due out of Carcassonne and travelling to East Midlands on buses so they can get the plane in Perpignan rather than Carcassonne. The airport will be closed until 2pm.

I couldn't move away from the computer for more than 5 minutes at a time, refreshing website after website, wishing that plane to take off. If it leaves, they will be over. If it's cancelled, they won't.

10h30: Update from their end. They're having lunch (great, I still haven't had breakfast and they're eating!!!!). They will keep me updated.

10h40: Update from their end: they are still having lunch but announcement was made that the airport will not open. The airport people are saying that they don't know if the flight from Dublin will be cancelled or not, Ryan Air is checking to see if they can get all their flights to land in Perpignan for the day.

10h45: Tried to explain to Marie what was going on. That Papi et Mamie were at the airport but that it is closed. That another plane landed in another airport instead of theirs and that maybe they will be able to get a plane from that airport instead. She replied in a very pragmatic way: 'Why don't they do that then!'. Tried to explain that it was not their choice but the airplane people's. Not sure if she got it.

11h00: No updates on websites. I thought they were supposed to be LIVE updates! Really need to get in the shower while Noelie is having her nap. But keep getting in and out of the bathroom, my head is up in the clouds (unlike that stupid plane!). Finally managed to get in the shower.

11h15: Website is updated!! It has departed. Frantic phone call to them, it's gone. They still haven't heard anything from their end. Frantic phone call to Mr Foodie. It doesn't matter that I am only wearing one sock, that my hair is soaking wet and that my jeans are not buttonned yet.

11h30: Finally get to have something to eat. Have a massive headache from all that trying to stay positive and wishing I was Superwoman and I could get that plane to take off just by thinking about it.

12h00: Update from their end: they are being shipped over to Perpignan by bus and will get their plane from there, it's official.

13h00: Feed Noelie (not for the first time today, I was worried but not completely unable to function), give her a bath, get her ready for her hospital appointment.

14h15: Nearly at the hospital. Phone call to check with my mum to see if they're at the other airport yet. Just getting there. Need to turn off my phone when in the hospital. Told her to give me a text when they board the plane. It's not over till the fat lady sings as they say!

15h30: Out of the hospital. Noelie's kidneys have not been affected by the infection.. Another sigh of relief (much bigger one than all the other ones today). Another call, they're in the plane about to take off.

18h00: They landed. Received a text: We're here (in french obviously). To which, Mr Foodie replies: 'Which airport?'.. 'Cork'...Only a joke...

18h45: They are now on the M50, on their way over.

Despite what a lot of people say, I have to take my hat off to Ryan Air this time. They found an alternative for their passengers and got them to their destination, even if 4 hours later than planned.

More bad weather is announced for the rest of the weekend, schools are closed until Thursday. Will they be able to leave on Monday morning? I don't care!!! They're here and it's all that matters!!! I just hope they don't brake a leg on the icy driveway!!


  1. So happy your folks arrived safe and sound. Sounds like it was quite the journey!! I just found your awesome blog on mummy mania. You are super!!! Plans to stalk your blog immediately. Come visit me sometime too, if you wish!

  2. I'm exhausted reading this - god knows how you feel! have a wonderful visit.


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