June 02, 2015

If you follow the news, you will have heard about the electricity default in Belgium which led to a whole bunch of flights being delayed and cancelled. On this particular day, I was supposed to leave Stockholm and go back home (flying into Charleroi). I was travelling by myself to visit a friend and I basically spent all of my money in Stockholm.

Back to this particular day. I arrived in the airport in Stockholm, not even knowing about any problems. Eventually, we were still at the gate when the plane was supposed to have left already. One of the staff members told us that the flight was cancelled, no further information. I didn't worry too much about it. I've been on more than 10 flights in the last year and I'm kind of used to weird announcements and airports by now.

A lot of the people were freaking out though, especially because there was a school on a fieldtrip with 40 children supposed to get on that plane. We were told to visit the servicedesk. Ofcourse, every single person on the plane had to go there and there were only 4 people that could help us. By the time it was my turn, it was pretty clear that nobody would be going to Belgium that day. The next flight to Belgium was two days later but it was already fully booked. People needed to get home so Ryanair decided to make other arrangements as well. I got a plane to Bremen, Germany and there would be a bus to take me from there to Brussels. This flight left the following day so in the mean time I (and a lot of other people) got a free night in a luxurious hotel with a spa, dinner and breakfast.

I made my way back to the airport the next day and walked over to the service desk. They had some bad news. They overbooked the flight to Bremen. They told us they would do everything they could to get us on that flight but we had to prepare for the worst case scenario. If this flight wouldn't go through, we had to get on a plane to Italy, then take another plane from Italy to Germany and then take another bus again. We hoped for the best and went to the gate anyway. They kept us waiting untill literally one minute before take-off and finally everyone could get on the plane, except me. Why? Because I was standby number 6 and there were only 5 seats left.. I have to admit, I was starting to get a little worried. My booked flight was on Wednesday and I wouldn't be able to get home untill Saturday. Also, I didn't have any money left and I would have to spend a night and a whole day in Italy.

When I called my mother, I had to cry maybe a little bit. The people from the servicedesk were apologizing the whole time but I knew they couldn't do anything about it. I told them I wasn't mad at them, I was just crying because I felt a little helpless. They left me alone for a bit and I could hear them making arrangements. One of the women came to tell me that they might be able to get me on the flight to Brussels the following day. It wasn't completely certain though, so they couldn't promise anything. I thanked them for helping me and told them again that I knew they were just doing their jobs the best they could. I mentioned before that I didn't really have any money for the Italy route and they arranged another free night in the hotel and even a taxiride to the hotel and back to the airport again in the morning. I left the airport feeling kind of uncertain because I didn't have an actual ticket, only a "we'll do our best" but at least I was glad I wouldn't be spending any money.

And now to the karma part of this story. I got picked up by the airport by a really friendly taxidriver who told me all about his passion for World of Warcraft. He even suggested to buy me a new subscription to the game (yes, I played it before) so I could play sometime with him and his wife. This conversation cheered me up quite a bit. I decided to spend the last of my money on a bikini so I could at least make use of the spa facilities in the hotel. Right before I was going to go to the pool, I got a call from the reception that I had two visitors. I went downstairs and the two women from the airport were there! They told me that I had been so friendly even though I had such bad luck and got left behind. And they brought me a kind of carepackage, full of candy, cookies, fruit and drinks. They both gave me a hug, wished me luck for next day (they told me they were pretty sure I could go on the flight) and basically they made my day. I don't think I've ever experienced strangers doing something so nice.

So, to the two incredible ladies from the airport: thank you so much. You made my day. I'll do my best to make someone else smile in return. And to Ryanair: you are not as bad as everyone thinks. Thank you for paying everything and basically give me a spaday.


  1. Oh wow :) Wat geweldig leuk om lezen ook al was het een heel nare situatie, wat goed dat het toch nog posi is uitgedraaid! Echt superlief van die mevrouwen!

  2. Yooooo this is such a neat story!!! As someone who went to Europe hearing nothing but horror stories about RyanAir, this is a great contrast. I'm glad that you finally got out of there and kudos to those two women for being super nice!!!


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