Return Journey from Egypt - the Latter and The All-last Day of Holiday
The Way Lauda Air Treats its Passengers - According to Their Slogan:
"Service is our success"
Today we´ll travel back to Bratislava. The suitcases we already packed yesterday evening and for eleven o'clock a pick up service for us and our suitcases is ordered. That is also punctual and the checkout was made within seconds. Now only the bus to the airport is missing.
We are in time, the bus not. Around five minutes to eleven I call again the travel agency. This time its Ibrahim. The bus is already on the way, he stated. In five to ten minutes it will be here. And further fifteen minutes later, someone appears in the hotel lobby and asks for Taurus. Thats us. Inside the bus already a pair sits, which lived in the Moevenpick and already was on the desert route also thereby. They should have been picked up at about twenty past ten.
On the airport in Hurghada first with our luggage by the first security check and then into the long queue in front of the Lauda Air counter. There are idiots somehow, again and again they push to the front. A particularly impudent woman I ask whether she is not able to behave like a civilised human being. The answer shows that one cannot talk reasonably with some humans. I gave up and shake only the head.
The check-in was fast and we got rid of our large luggage. Only with the Boardcases we continued to go to the passport check and repeated security check.
We have still plenty of time, our time of departure is in more than 2 hours . We visited the Duty Free Souk again and got rid of our last Egyptian Pounds. The remaining seven LE are for a Coke Light for Tanja. I have still the half-full bottle of water.
When we go into the departure building, our flight NG8802 straight is called to boarding. Just in time, even five minutes earlier as planned.
In the aeroplane then again a discussion with a granny, who has the opinion, that she has to reserve the stowage boxes over the seats for her children not yet present on board. She "reserved" the seats already with bags. Typical OEBB (Austrian Federal Railway) customer.
It is time for the start. There, what kind of a strange noise is this? I look out of the window and see some hose parts flying by. More is not to be recognized. It seems itself to be however nevertheless more, there, curious onlookers stand around our airplane. Also the captain of our plane goes to outside.
After a while we are getting informed that an airpressure hose from the Compressor-car, necessary to start the engines, is broken and damaged the nose of the plane.
All together again out of the airplane and back by bus to the airport. One brings us into the transit area. A "glass cage" that even does not have an own toilet. After the number of those, who needed the restroom, becomes larger, the officials agreed on a procedure for the course for the restroom, passport deposited at the policemen and then the door opens to the external world.
Our machine was according to plan intended for 14:50 o'clock Departure time. Meanwhile it is nearly 16:30 o'clock. I am explaining to the local representative of Lauda Air, this smirking figure is called Islam, that after 2 hours we are entitled to receive refreshment beverages. He promises to worry about it but everything depends on the permission of Lauda Air. I refer our rights to him and that nearly everybody ate nothing since the breakfast.
Sometime after five, after our time of departure was again and again shifted to the rear on the takeoff board, some clerks come with "refreshment beverages". For everyone a whole bottle Coke in the family size of 0.2 litres. A scorn! In addition the Cokes have the air temperature of refreshing 35 ° Celsius. There is no information, what is going on.
Meanwhile we are feeling like starved to death. Particularly when we see that some travelers strike themselves with Pizza and other stomach-filling things. What shall we do? We have no more egyptian Pound or Dollars, only Slovak crowns. And the ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) is unattainable for us behind the passport check.
The attempt to send an employee of the local Lauda Air agency with a 1,000 Slovak Crowns note to the bank counter, unattainable for us, for changing ends unsuccessfully. Here are changed only Euro, Dollar and English Pound. To send him with my MasterCard and the secret number to the automate I do not do. That would make him only unhappy thereby and me the idiot.
At five thirty I draw the attention of Islam, who is flirting with the girls and obviously managed nothing, and explained to him that we will reach the 3 hours of delay in 30 minutes and we want something to eat NOW. He babbles again something about Instructions of Lauda Air and that we already received the refreshment beverages on the own responsibility of the station manager Tarik. I insist on the meal and the further beverages and finally he to tells me that he wants to take care about it.
At seven o'clock, we have meanwhile more than four hours delay and our machine stand still on its old place, Islam tells me that it would take at least another 30 minutes, until we would get something to eat . On 600 Sandwiches here nobody is prepared and it takes a while and everyone will get 4 Sandwiches and beverages.
That is too uncertain to me. I give my passport off and look in the Duty Free Shop whether there is something edible there. In order not to make me ridiculous with 3 bags of Toblerone and 1 bag Daim at the cash, I buy still another box of cigarettes, a bottle single-malt and 4 cans Becks beer. Everything paid with VISA.
One does not believe how well chocolate does in an empty stomach. In the emergency it is also easy to divide the treasures with co-travelers. We experienced out of telephone calls with relatives in Austria that in Vienna Schwechat someone announced, we are already all in the hotel accommodated. Only shaking of the head and surprise produces this with us.
Briefly after 7:30 then the first "charge" of the food supply arrives. Is not really to be described, the picture tells more than thousand words. In 10 minutes each traveler will get 2 more Sandwiches. However the designation sandwich is a scorn and again this "giant bottle" with 200 ml Coke.
Really, at about eight the announcement comes that each traveler gets 2 more "Sandwiches". Thus fast, before the first two are digested. This time Thuna and cheese, an equilateral triangle of 3 cm edge length, I would like to know, from where those have the template.
There, cca. ten minutes past eight, meanwhile the delay increased already on 5 hours and 20 minutes and the tendency becomes slowly agressiv, the announcement that all passengers of Lauda Air for the flight NG8802 to Vienna have to go to the exit 6, the flight will start soon.
Disbelievingly however hopeful all hurry to the exit. Off into the bus and to the plane, that stands still at the same place.
The flier confessed and is accordingly heated the whole afternoon in the sun. Thaw for thickness. As reconciliation we receive a refreshment (approx. 100 ml O-juice or mineral water). Since the engines do not work, the air conditioning system of the flier is not working too. Accordingly "freshly" is the air on board. At about nine someone pities ours and attaches a mobile air conditioning system.
Only fifteen minutes later we get the information that one found a technician now, so that the tear, which was caused by the bursted air hose and which is not in the pressurized cabin, can be sealed with tape and we have to wait only for the permission from Boing, Lauda Air and the Airport that the work can be done. Additionally there is the problem that the crew may not exceed the maximum service of 18 hours and that one considers, whether to fly us to Antaliya or Thesaloniki and from there with another plane and a new crew to Vienna.
At a quarter to ten we are then driven again from the plane to the airport. Everyone waits for further information, but there is nothing. From Vienna some travelers hear by mobile that in Schwechat our arrival time is indicated as five o'clock. Hope for a redirected flier arises.
If everything would have been done properly and professionally, then one could already have sent a spare flier toward Hurghada at the latest four o'clock, to that would have been ready for takeoff at about nine and then and we would have arrived before midnight at Vienna.
The aggressive tendency of board continues to increase in the transit cage. None does give any information, nobody knows what happens now. Only the information, that the maximum service of the crew was exceeded, was given. That already everyone expected. I try to reach something by means of the Krone newspaper, but with no success.
At midnight we receive the information that we all are accommodated in hotels and the flight continues tomorrow. An approximate time of departure is not given to us.
Amusingly, in Vienna for hours they know that we are in the hotel and that we get this information now. Nobody can really speak about professional handling on the part of Lauda Air and the local agency.
After endless discussions whether we are to deliver our passports or not, we also decide for it and together with the majority of the travelers we pass by the passport check, this time in reverse direction, led and find in airport-resounds our luggage. Everyone has itself to care for his luggage. No trace of the local agency of Lauda Air.
Sometime, after approximately 30 minutes, the rumour arises, we would have to wait in front of the airport for the transport. Thus the suitcases, I am glad that our suitcases have roles, taken and like the porters the luggage from the airport carried. Meanwhile it is one o´clock and in Egypt the time was changed to wintertime, thus again Midnight so one can shorten also the waiting periods!
At one o´clock the bus, which shall bring us to the hotel, comes. Typically, one bus for 150 travelers, whereby the bus can take up only the luggage of 30 travelers. The remainder comes then on the seats.
We are with the third "cart-load" thereby and now we are on the way to the Grand Hotel in Hurgada. From the outside an impressive building. We are led into a large area, where we receive then vouchers, depending on necessary room size. Unpleasantly thereby the representative of Neckermann is noticeable, who takes care only about the "Neckermaenner". Here he missed clearly the chance to win future customers. The information, which is given, is also terribly consistent. Some receive the information that the departure is at eight o'clock others hear that it will be at nine.
In the diningroom each traveler gets a soft drink for free. One of our Austrian co-travelers, who had already so much bad luck that his suitcase in the beginning arrived late at Aswan, is nearly exploding, when he had to pay for his beer. Tanja and I drink a Coke and move then into our room. We are so tired, that we are not disturbed by the fact that the bedlinen is notvery clean and the very loud air conditioning system. Main item is to sleep.
In the morning I become awake from a special feeling in the intestine area. Finally the Immodium Acut (pills against the revenge of the Pharaohs), which we carry forward in wise foresight however did not needed during our past journey. The annoyance of the last hours demands its tribute.
After the shower in the "Eklig bath tub" we go to the breakfast. The 5 cups, which are present, do not make a clean impression. The alternative is the thin O-juice. There are also new cups sometime. I fish 2 clean out and make for us 2 tea. Tanja finds a staple from a stapler in her breakfast, enjoy your meal.
The chaos continues. We are asked to place our luggage in front of that bus with which we want to drive. There are four busses. Unfortunately that does not work, because the hotel has only place for one bus. Professional management.
After we found a place in a bus we moved again direction Airport Hurgada. Again the same procedure. Passing by the preliminary safety control as a porter. The Egyptian at the transillumination equipment can be protected straight still by the representative of Lauda Air not to be killed by Tanja. He would have liked to confiscate my diving knife for its own purpose.
To all controls it goes again into the departure building. A technician was flown with a Lear jet, "repairs" the tear . We can see it from the departure building. Apparently he has also Prestolit too, because it looks in such a way, as if he lays on also still screeding compound.
Short after ten o´clock we are driven again to the aeroplane and at about 10:30 the plane begins to roll. Obviously a new crew was flown in together with the technician.
The return flight was calm and pleasant. At 14:25 o'clock we land in Vienna Schwechat. At the exit we received a letter from Lauda Air and Austrian Airlines, in which we were asked to apologise for the incommodities. Those had the insolence to offer to us as compensation 2 Pralinees and in the letter of apology even a wrong cause, ramming of the flier by a Cateringcar, instead of describing the bursted compressed air hose, which was named to us by 2 different crews as a cause.
Our recommendation of the day, the week, year: stay away from flights operated by Lauda Air.
With 21 hours of delay we reached our goal airport Vienna Schwechat.
To be honest, until now, April 2003, neither Lauda Air nor Austrian Airlines even answered on our complaint. This is real customer orientation.
September 12, 2002 - Flying to Luxor, our Boat and und Trip by Curricle Through Luxor
September 13, 2002 - Stones, Sand and Grafitti
September 14, 2002 - Karnak und Luxor
September 15, 2002 - Edfu, Kom Ombo, Scenery at Nile and Galabeiaparty
September 16, 2002 - Our fifth day - Philae, Assuan, Obelisk, Souk and Nubian Village
September 17, 2002 - Tanjas Birthday, Abu Simbel, Kitchener´s Island
September 18, 2002 - Our seventh day - Traveling back to Luxor
September 19, 2002 - From Luxor to El Gouna
September 20, 2002 - Relaxing in the Hotel
September 21, 2002 - Snorkeling in the Red Sea
September 22, 2002 - Deserttour
September 23, 2002 - The Yellow Submarine
September 24 and 25, 2002 - Our last two days in Egypt