Sarah Standing

Diary – 30 August 2008

Sarah Standing battles to board a plane bound for Ibiza

Sarah Standing battles to board a plane bound for Ibiza

Needs must and I’ve become extremely skilled at booking cheap, credit-crunching flights on easyJet. The volume of hours, energy, blood, sweat and tears I’ve devoted to acquiring dream e-tickets for my family ought to qualify me for some sort of tenacious travel operator award. This summer I’ve truly gone for gold: four returns to Ibiza, singles to Nice, Corfu and Toulouse and a brace of cancellations to Gibraltar. I’ve come to the conclusion that making holiday arrangements in cyberspace requires real chutzpah. Getting the flights you want is a gamble and not dissimilar to playing the Las Vegas slot machines. The odds of getting the right ticket at the right price and at the right time of day is a veritable crapshoot, yet just occasionally all the components gel and one hits the jackpot. I have to confess I’ve become quite the player. A return flight to Ibiza for £114, arriving at the respectable hour of 18.25 and departing at 10.10. A non-clubbers, cheap, civilised booking with the added bonus of a confirmed Speedy Boarding pass. Result.

I presumed that by forking out an extra ten quid for speedy boarding meant I would be effortlessly rewarded with a pauper’s upgrade. I was wrong. So wrong. The (ingeniously named) Speedy Boarding pass is actually an entry form; a cunning way of alerting 20 passengers that they have voluntarily paid top-dollar to take part in an exhausting airport triathlon. You sit poker-faced, waiting for your flight to board without ever letting on you’re holding one of the prized Willy Wonka SB tickets. This is because it’s imperative to conserve all your energy for the Herculean race ahead. Remain focused. No reading magazines. No eating.

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