OK. Cutting a long story short here as my tales of travel woe are boring me now, I lost my boarding pass at Gatwick on Sunday afternoon. A boarding pass the size of a house and bright orange. I unpacked my bag, retraced my steps but nothing. It was gone.
It was 40 minutes till take off and I was only flying to Aberdeen so I went to the information desk to ask if I could get a replacement. Info woman worked for BA so wouldn’t engage with me. She pointed to a phone that had a grubby post-it note with a number stuck to it.
After a few minutes, a bored woman answered the phone (probably some homeworker based in Crawley fed up with having to turn down the sound on the Strictly result show).
“You’ve missed the flight,” she said. “I’ll send someone to get you.”
“WHAAAAAAA? WHAT.DO.YOU.MEAN? My flight doesn’t leave till 6.30pm”
“You’ve missed the flight. You’d need to get a replacement boarding pass which means you need to have your photo taken again and there isn’t enough time.”
[For some reason I couldn’t understand, internal flight passengers have to be photographed because they are going to mingle with international passengers once they are in the departure lounge. The barcode of the photo is stuck on the back of the boarding pass.]
“I don’t understand? How can you say I’ve missed the flight? Surely we can sort it out in time?”
“No Madam, there isn’t enough time. It is a long walk back through the airport to get the photo taken again.”
“The photo bit is about 30 metres away. I can see it from where I’m standing. It will take a few minutes.”
“No, Madam, you can’t go back through security you have to go round the long way. And it will take too long.”
“Why? Why can’t I just go back passed the scanning machine?”
“Because of security, Madam.”
“What do you mean, because of security?”
“You are not allowed because of security.”
“SECURITY? What do you actually mean? It’s just a word. What could I possibly do walking back, having a photo taken and then coming back through the scanning bit again?”
“Sorry Madam, you are not allowed. It is the security rules.”
“Are you being serious?”
“Yes Madam, I will send someone to come and meet you. He will escort you back to check-in where you can re-book your flight for the morning. Please stay by the information desk. It will take him at least 10 minutes to reach you. It’s a long way.” She hung up.
BA woman studiously stared into space.