I recently made a 3-days business trip to Ireland for a 2-day Conference. Due to a relatively recent operation I had, I decided to travel light, carrying only my backpack and a cabin-sized suitcase with only the basics. But this is a trip where things went wrong…
- During the flight to Dublin, I managed to stain my shirt (one of the three I had with me) with olive olive during the in-flight lunch. I tried to remove it with wet towels, hand refreshers and lots of soap and rinsing with water but didn’t succeed.
- I reached the hotel after about a long trip of 12 hours from Athens. As a result, I missed the interesting guided tour to the Kilkenny Castle, the Welcome Reception (drinks included) as well as a couple of interesting speeches.
- When I reached the hotel and started unpacking, I realized that the small dispenser with my dry-skin lotion was broken in the suitcase and left some stains on my second shirt – two shirts off before even the start of the Conference!
- My third shirt, which I had picked up from the dry cleaners just before the trip had some small coffee stains which had not been properly (and entirely) removed) – I only wish I had noticed that when I picked it up…
- The hotel had a maze-like arrangement (rather complex for newcomers) and some irregularities (e.g. Reception was on top of the 1st and 2nd floor!) so I got lost while heading to the reception. This resulted in me getting out of the building through an one-way security door (not opening from the outside) and I found myself in chilling cold, wearing only a shirt and having just left the steaming shower. That was a shock for me, but fortunately I didn’t catch a cold. No doors opened from outside, so I had to walk in the woods surrounding the hotel until I reached its main entrance.
- I left my smartphone to charge overnight using an EU to UK adapter but forgot that the UK power outlets have a small on-off switch. When I woke up in the morning, the smartphone’s battery was almost drained. It was a good thing I had my second device almost fully charged.
- On the way back to Athens, my flight from Dublin to London was delayed by more than 1 hour, so I was not sure if I will be able to catch my connecting flight to Athens. I tried to reach both Aer Lingus and British Airways through their social media (FB pages and Twitter) but I got no response. On top of that, power outlets in Dublin airport were out of order and I was running out of battery. Thank God for the free WiFi.
- When we landed in London, nobody knew if we had sufficient time to catch our flight to Athens. I was rushing so much that I missed the signs leading to the bus connecting Heathrow Terminal 2 with Terminal 5 and I had to walk much longer to catch the train. I was in a real shock.
- Fortunately our flight from London to Athens was also delayed, so I found myself boarding later on. Unfortunately It was delayed so much (more than 2 hours, if I recall well), that we reached Athens early morning (about 05.30) instead of 02.30.
- British Airways has turned into a low-cost airline and I was not aware of that. Instead of free beverages during the flight, we were handed a Marks & Spencer menu list and we had to pay for virtually anything that we needed – even for coffee and water. I feel sorry that I had opted for the BA flight instead of e.g. an Aegean one.
- The delayed flights along with the lack of proper sleep during the previous days, resulted in me sleeping abnormal times during the weekend, as I was really exhausted.
That’s the kind of stuff that you hate when traveling – especially for business purposes. No matter how well you prepare, things can easily go wrong. It’s a good thing that they’re not typical to most of my business trips, but some times, shot happens!