Friday, April 07, 2006

Lost In Iceland

'Lost In Iceland' was the slogan on a T-shirt one of my fellow passengers bought in Keflavík last Sunday. I should have posted that T-shirt to Max Jet instead of my complaint letter.

Half way across the Atlantic, the pilot announced that the cockpit window had 'shattered'. We didn't kick up a fuss when he said he'd better land somewhere rather soonish. I was not going to make my meeting in New York and no amount of complimentary blueberry muffins would improve my mood. (actually, another two would have done it - they were very good)

Four hours later I would be bathing in hot sulphuric springs in a barren, volcanic wasteland. I would also be deciding that covering my face with 'nutritious' white clay while hot water gurgled through my toes was possibly better than the 6 o'clock meeting I was supposed to be attending in Manhatten. I would even be considering that all flights to New York might be improved with a quick Scandanavian sauna and 'fisk' lunch.

However, after returning my rather small blue swimming shorts (hotpants more like) supplied by the kind staff at The Blue Lagoon, I discovered, along with the other passengers that the plane which we were previously told "had left" New York to come and get us hadn't left New York at all! I have since scoured the Max Jet website to see if they have a special policy concerning the words "has left", but it appears they had taken them from the very same dictionary you and I have reached for during particularly heated games of scrabble.

The ensuing 15 hours or so involved swearing uncharacteristically at rattled Max Jet staff, grabbing three hours' sleep in a hotel in Reykjavík, wondering why they didn't have larger swimming shorts at The Blue Lagoon, sitting on the runway (on a plane - it wasn't a protest) for a further two hours and finally arriving at my hotel in NYC at 7.30am - 18 hours late.

Max Jet gave us free lunch, a swim in geo-thermal springs and even awarded everyone two tickets for return flights between London and New York for the inconvenience. The one thing they never gave us was an apology.

And the moral of the story? Always, always pack a pair of decent size swimming shorts in your hand luggage.

NB: I have since received an apology from Max Jet's CEO.


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