Summer of Travel Hell: Part 2

Gentle readers, I am sorry to tell you that the shoes just kept on dropping. But we kept on rolling, rolling, rolling on the river…

Artist Jaume Plensa didn’t have our trip in mind but…

Where we left off in the previous post, we had rebooked our flight home from London to California a day later because of British Airways’ cancelled flght from Nice to London. Lots of logistics to replan, but we handled it with aplomb.

Sunday, we made sure to get to Nice Airport nice and early to ensure smooth flying. While we were waiting in line for an agent, folks started murmuring they’d heard our flight was cancelled. How could this be? We’d received no texts or emails as happened last time. When we reached the counter agent, she was completely hopeless or helpless to assist any of us, except to confirm the rumor. Her advice— call BA.

When we finally reached BA phone customer service, they told us there was no flight availability until Wednesday night! Once again, we would miss our London flight home that had just been rebooked.

So, we re-rescheduled the flight to Thursday. And BA charged us a huge penalty for another change even though their BA flights from Nice were at fault. So be it. We rebooked.

But then we started freaking out. We completely lost trust that any BA flight out of Nice would actually happen. If they killed the Weds. night flight, there was no chance to make the Thursday flight!

We started considering our options. We could take a train for 9-18 hours to get to either Paris or London except they were fully booked for days. We could rent a car and drive 13 hours to Paris and then take a train to London which would be beyond exhausting and beyond expensive. We could try another air carrier to get out but none were available.

Totally stressed, I suggested we take our near deadly phones out of the airport and cross the street to plug in and log into the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel.

And thanks to a remarkable Sheraton reception person, we began to hatch a plan. Christina knew of an app called Skyscanner that puts together creative itineraries. We decided to spend the night at this brand new Sheraton hoping we could build a new itinerary.

It was already 8 pm and we really needed a drink! We went up to their rooftop bar for a lovely drink at sunset while I spent another hour on the phone with BA.

A little calmer, we went to our room and started trying to book new flights, Andy on one iPad, me on the other. We actually found a flight out the next day with Brussels Air with a layover in Belgium. A six hour trip for what should have been a 90 minute non-stop. We took it! There were only 3 seats left…and only in Business class! No problem. Sign us up!

Andy found us another London hotel for 3 nights at a hotel at Heathrow. We were working on this project from 3pm- 1 am. But we got it done and we slept great in our large, comfy bed.

On Monday , before heading to Nice Airport for our new flights to London, we treated ourselves to a nice bonus morning in Nice. We even dipped our toes in the shimmering azure waters and enjoyed an early lunch of fresh, fresh sushi. Our hopes were high.

Our first flight from Nice left an hour late. Our second flight from Brussels left 90 minutes late. But by 11:45 pm, we finally arrived at London Heathrow. By 12:45 pm we were in bed. Exhausted but happy to be minutes from the Airport that would finally (we desperately hope) take us home!

We woke up this morning with two days to kill. Should we go to the Cotswolds? Or Cambridge? We’d been to London before and shouldn’t we avoid this crowded, COVID-hopping city?

Nah. We got on the London underground train and headed to town. We debarked at my favorite area: Kensington/Chelsea. We walked around, checked out familiar and unfamiliar areas. And we had really good Indian food for lunch. Later, over a gelato dessert at a cafe, I suggested we try to catch a matinee for our second day. After an online search, we found that the acclaimed Tina Turner Musical was available Weds. night. We snagged two tix.

If you’ve followed this journey, you know we always try to find the positive in all situations, to be grateful we are mentally, physically and financially functional, and to always have dessert! I think seeing the Tina Turner Musical in London counts as a delicious dessert.

And, just like Tina, we’ll just keep rolling, rolling, rolling on the river.

Our first delay kept us in town to see a bit of the Ironman race,

As it turned out, not our last supper in Nice!
Gorgeous Kensington Museum of Natural History
The final act, to our amazing travel adventure.


  1. Hope you’re still hanging in there! That is quite the tale of woe…but you made lemonade out of some very frustrating lemons! Honestly sounds so nerve-wracking, glad you persevered and were able to make things happen. These airlines are really becoming outrageous.

    Stay strong… can’t wait to hear more!!

    Love you two!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG! What a story. And you’re not home yet!
    But first, a comment on ‘oh my goodness’, above – I adopted that phrase from my brother when my granddaughter was in preschool, and she corrected me, ‘No, Granny, you’re supposed to say, “Oh my Gosh!”
    Before Covid [‘BC’???] my flight from Kodiak Island in Alaska was cancelled. I happily told the woman at the airline desk that I had purchased ‘flight insurance!’ But she told me it was so hard to collect on that and, indeed, my particular cancelled flight disqualified me for the flight insurance.


  3. You are among all of my friends who are traveling this summer and having similar experiences. I am nervous about my own flights home on July 8. Keep your fingers crossed for me

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shit I left a wonderful response but because I couldn’t log into WordPress it was lost! Anyway let’s talk when you have settled down. Xoxo


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my goodness. Can’t believe all that you have been thru but at least it makes a wonderful hair raising story! Hope you get home safely tomorrow.


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