What a booking disaster!

When it comes to travel plans I am meticulous with details. I check, recheck and then check details again. Each year I travel back and forth between The Netherlands and England. Whether it be by plane, ferry or the Channel Tunnel the tickets are always booked months in advance.

It wasn’t that long ago that my partner and I were in England for a wedding. We drove from our apartment in The Netherlands and headed down to the ferry at Rotterdam. The overnight crossing was nothing special; only a ferry full of truckers and poor singers claiming to be the ‘entertainment’ was enough to drive anyone insane.

The wedding in England was beautiful and in a couple of days we had managed to see lots of friends and family. Soon it was time to head back home. Instead of taking the ferry back from Hull we were booked to go via the Eurotunnel. We’d been visiting family near London and so it seemed logical to take the car on the train.

I love the Eurotunnel. Hassle-free travel at its best. There were no queues when we drove up to the check in area. It was strange to be in one of the only cars around. We stopped at the automated check-in machine where I needed to fill in the details. Being organised and ready for travel I tapped in my 8-digit booking number and waited.

‘Error. No booking found’.

I didn’t think anything of it. Perhaps I’d tapped it in wrong? I re-entered the 8-digit number checking each number carefully.

‘Error. No booking found’.

Not to worry, I thought to myself. I could also use the credit card that I’d booked the journey with. I popped the card into the machine and waited.

‘Error. No booking found’.

I wasn’t too impressed with the failure of the machine. Technical issues clearly. I pressed the HELP button and waited for someone to respond.

“Hello. What seems to be the problem?”

“Hi…I’ve tried putting in my booking number but it didn’t work. I tried my credit card too, but it also didn’t work”

“Yes. You’re booking is for one way travel. You’ve booked Calais to Folkestone. You’re in Folkestone!”

“Oh my god!”

Feeling an idiot would be an understatement at this moment. I had a ticket to travel and I was at the wrong side of the Channel. Whoops.

“Take the slip that comes out of the machine and take it to the customer service desk inside the terminal”.

What would it say? ‘Idiot coming: Booked a ticket in the wrong direction’…

Feeling rather frustrated with myself, we drove to the terminal and I went to sort out a new ticket. What could I do but smile and say…

“I bet I’m not the first and I won’t be the last, but…..”

After explaining, the woman laughed (she probably has heard it a hundred times before) and then she sold me a new ticket.

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One thought on “What a booking disaster!

  1. Pingback: Great Guidebooks: Don’t travel without one. « One Life

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