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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Sleepless in Transit

The worst nightmare is when you have to waste time in between the flights. What does one do? You can read a book or work on your computer but when you are very tired all you want to do is to stretch, but where?

Whenever I visit Canary Islands, I am required to change flights and am forced to spend many hours in the transit. There are different routes to reach Canary Islands but go by any route I have to change three flights. This time I chose the route from Mumbai to Zurich to Barcelona by Swiss airlines and from Barcelona to Tenerife by domestic Vuelling airlines.

My flight from Zurich to Barcelona was delayed by over two hours, as the result I missed my connecting flight to Tenerife. For no fault of mine I had to buy a new ticket and catch the next flight that was after six hours.

But what should I do for six hours? Should I call my family in Barcelona to come to fetch me and take me out for lunch and sightseeing? What if they are busy? I looked around, many people were at the airport, some at the coffee shop, some at duty free shops and the most tired ones, sitting uncomfortably on the chairs or sitting on the floor.

There have been times when I have visited a family or whiled away my hours just walking around the airport, visiting duty free stores. I was not aware that anybody could use the VIP lounge for a fee. I was under the impression that such facility was available only for VIP personals, who travelled by business or First class. It was the first time I was to discover that VIP lounge is accessible regardless of class of ticket or airline we are travelling with.

For a fee of just twenty-five euro, I checked in VIP lounge.

It was a different experience all together. I helped myself with handful of assorted candies at the reception and entered a large salon. “All the refreshments and drinks are on the house” said the lady in charge. All that I wanted to do was to stretch on a sofa. My back was hurting bad from sitting at airports and flights for more than seventeen hours. 

 I looked around the lounge. Some people sat comfortable on large sofas, watching TV. There was a magazine rack that had newspapers and books of different publications. Next to the magazine rack was the snack station that contained assorted chips, pickled olives, croissants, biscuits and wine bottles immersed in ice bucket. I helped myself with chips, Olives and glass of wine, entered a rest area that had six cubicles, each with large beds. On the bed I lay, sipping wine and popping olives, flipping through the pages of a magazine till I doused off to sleep.

I slept for three hours.

Completely refreshed, I had shower and helped myself with Coffee and croissants.  It was self service, people picked whatever they wanted from cabinets of drinks, refreshments, packed salads. I walked around to do people watching and view watching till I saw cyber cafe.


The next hour was fruitfully spent checking the email and logging on to Facebook and Twitter account.

Oh, by the way, that six hours wait in the transit was too short, I think……

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