Reading about all the travel chaos, I began to regret my summer holiday plans. Wouldn’t it have been more sensible just to stay in Acton? But Caroline and I had arranged to go to Ibiza fora friend’s birthday party the weekend before last; then, after returning to London, we were due back in the Balearic Islands, this time with the kids. There was no turning back.
The first thing to go wrong was that our British Airways flight to Ibiza from Heathrow was cancelled. Not that BA notified us. The first inkling I had that something had gone awry was when I tried to check in using the BA app the night before and it said that wouldn’t be possible. Not a definitive sign – the app barely works at the best of times – but it prompted me to go to the BA website, where I discovered the bad news. We’d booked the flights via Iberia Air (don’t ask), so perhaps that was why BA hadn’t let us know.
Anyway, the upshot was that I had to embark on a mad scramble to find an alternative flight – competing with all the other disappointed passengers – while sitting in a pub at 8 p.m. on a Friday surrounded by people I hadn’t seen for 40 years. My friend Sean Macaulay had arranged an impromptu school reunion for our year group at William Ellis, but for the first hour or so I wasn’t able to talk to anyone because I was using my phone’s patchy wifi connection to look for one-way tickets to Ibiza. Eventually, I hit paydirt, but it meant getting to East Midlands airport by noon, which was no picnic given the railway strikes.