This is a true account of my awful journey on National Express and the wonderful Virgin Atlantic staff.
Sorry it is a bit wordy…
This is the first in a series of posts I am planning for every Thursday. From now until the end of the year, I will be sharing my thoughts on our holiday to Orlando.
Orlando was my daughter (16) and myself’s first holiday on our own, our first long haul flight and our first 21 day holiday.
To The Airport (My Rant)
Our journey to Gatwick was a complete disaster. If it had all gone to plan we would have arrived at Gatwick with about 2.5 hours to spare, having a little time to relax before catching our flight. National Express however had over plans.
Dark clouds hung low in the sky, as we awaited the arrival of National Express. It was 4 am and the sun wasn’t even thinking of raising its head. When the bus finally ar
rived, already late, it was already busy. Myself and my daughter could not find seats together but that didn’t matter, we were about to spend 21 days with each other.
The driver of the bus had a bad attitude to start with. At the next stop he decided he wanted a coffee and fag break, he had only just taken over and the stop was literally 15 minutes from where we began. All of us on the bus watched him bleary eyed, silently willing him to get back on the bus and start carry on the journey.
Unfortunately our driver was not the only delay on our journey. We got stuck in a traffic jam for a over 90 mins, due to an RTA, where someone sadly lost their life. Our driver though insisted that he was going to sit in the lane that was closed for what seemed to be a life time instead of trying to move over into another lane that was actually moving. It was so frustrating.
When we got to Heathrow (the stop before ours), they decided that we were going to change buses. Not just once, but twice. That required moving not just a bus full of people but also their luggage, TWICE. Due to this we missed our flight. We arrived just in time at Gatwick to see our plane take off. I can not even begin to describe how devastated we both were.
Our flights were booked with Virgin Atlantic and the lady on the desk was wonderful. I cannot remember her name but she was fantastic. I owe so much to her – hats off to the that lady. She got us seats on the next flight, a fast pass through security and she also wavered the cost for my daughter.
We were on our way to Orlando. The flight was smooth. We had a whole row of seats to ourselves, the cabin crew were lovely and so were the other passengers. I watched Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Zootropolis and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. It was all good. Until we landed in Orlando. First we had to wait 30 minutes on the plane before we could depart due to amount of planes that had arrived and then we had to queue for two hours in immigration.
By the time we arrived at our hotel in Walt Disney World to check in, I had been awake for over 24 hours and I was making no sense to anyone. Thank fully my daughter was there and she was a little more awake. Looking back I feel really sorry for the guy who was at the desk. I never saw him again else I would have thanked him. Then we found our room and crashed…
I am sorry this is a bit of a rant but I wanted to share the experience of our journey with you. If you are planning on going to Orlando in peak season, apparently two hours in the Immigration Queue is quite good. I have had people tell me that they waited 6 or 8 hours in the queue. One person told me, that while she was waiting, the people around her began to throw up. Nice!
I’m also sorry for the lack of photo’s but i forgot to take any.. I was stressed and tired
National Express – In this post I have given you the edited highlights of the journey there were a few other things that happened too. I didn’t want to witter on too long… After sending them a couple of letters complaining about the journey and their decision to take the bus off, they refunded me half of my ticket money. All I wanted was an apology so that was nice of them. However, I am in no hurry to catch a National Express coach again.
NEXT WEEK – WALT DISNEY WORLD (more of a fun post… with photos!!!)