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Florida Guide > Travelling

We should have been in Orlando, but instead we have had to overnight in the Le Meridien Hotel in Gatwick Airport, as our ‘plane has experienced technical difficulties and has been severely delayed. We still don’t know when we will be leaving but we are philosophical about it all. Nothing we can do after, all.

The next morning breakfast is laid out in the same banqueting room. There is a huge self-service buffet with bacon, sausages, eggs, friend potatoes, tomatoes, baked beans, fresh rolls, tea and coffee. It is really very good but there are still moans. Of course we are all anxious to know what our fate is to be, but to give the airline credit, they have accommodated us and fed us so it could be a lit worse – we could be sleeping on the floor in the terminal!

Another rep is due to talk to us at 9. 30, but she doesn’t turn up until much later. Meanwhile, more than 300 passengers mill around outside the conference centre, and at the slightest rumour of the arrival of the rep. Everyone scurries up the escalator in anticipation, only to find it is a false alarm. Aimless groups stand around, babies cry, children argue, families sit on the floor until, at last, she arrives – upstairs! There is another mad rush for the escalator, and irate passengers crowd around her questioning, complaining and jostling for a view of this brave lady. We stand and watch their behaviour in amazement.

The news is that they have had to fly a third ‘plane from America, with crew, and our flight should now be at 5. 15 pm. We can stay in our rooms as long as we like, and lunch will be served at 1. 00 pm. Then we can take our luggage back to the terminal, although we will not have to go through the check-in procedure again, just hand them in. The ‘know it alls’ decide that they are not going to hang about, they will take their suitcases now, and demand another flight – they are asking the impossible! We never find out if they are successful, but instead of relaxing and enjoying the comforts of the hotel they prefer to drag their luggage about and complain in the hope that another aeroplane will magically appear, and they will be able to fly out before the rest of us.

We are still enjoying ourselves, despite the delay, and I take the children for a swim before lunch. After all, it’s not every day you get to stay in a 5* hotel for free, with all food laid on and two comfortable rooms. Why not enjoy it?

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Page added on: 15 July 2011
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