Thin air

Hi Marieke!

Best wishes to you too. Nope, no Shangri-La postcard for me (I don’t know if they have my date of birth…). How did you get to Vietnam, by boat I hope? Because my last flight experience was ‘special’.

On the way back from our holiday, we had a stop over in Madrid. Because of a delay in Gran Canaria, we missed our connecting flight. So far, nothing special. The airline arranged for a suitable solution: 1 night stay in a hotel, including dinner and breakfast and a flight the following morning.


During the flight, the captain announced where our connecting gate was. We were surprised, because with 2, 5 hours delay, we expected to miss the connection. We only found out at the gate, that the plane had left 30 minutes earlier.

So we had to go to the counter, outside border control, to find out how to proceed. This counter was on another floor. After 20 minutes of searching, we found it, only to be transferred to another desk on yet another floor. There they told us that we had arrived on the right floor, but that we should go to another desk. At this desk, we had to join the line of 20 other travellers, who where waiting for the 2 employees to be helped.

frustration at airport


After 1 1/2 hours (with our 2 daughters in the age of 6), we finally made it to the front of the desk, while another 40 people where standing behind us. The lady (no eye-contact, no welcome, no apologies), offered us the hotel and next-day flight. BUT she could only propose this offer, we needed to go back to the previous counter to have it confirmed. Those people then redirected us to the first counter to get our tickets. 

All in all, 3 hours and 7 desks later, we were allowed to stand in line to wait for our shuttle to the hotel. As the kids were already demolishing the airport, we took a cab.

So the alternative (hotel and other flight) were good, but nobody from Air Europa ever looked at the process from a customer point of view, creating this stressful and frustrating experience. People will forget what you say, they will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you make them feel…

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