We all start any trip with that dreaded security check at the airport after you’ve finally dumped your bag (which luckily this time I’ve avoided)!
Personally I absolutely hate security, I can’t explain why but every time I go through I get super stressed and just pray myself or my bag doesn’t get pulled over. This trip started off well with me avoiding any issues however, my friend Donna did not. Her bag was flagged and as we stood around waiting for her bag to be searched we heard the nic test (a machine that conducts nicotine test to see if you have drugs on your person) begin to go off. Unbeknown to us that this was Donna’s bag, we both turned to look at each other not having a clue what was going off. After around ten minutes and a bunch of people stood around her bag, she was finally told the issue whilst I’m still stood waiting clueless. Whilst she’s being questioned and searched I’m stood with some Irish lads I’ve just met having a laugh at one of their mates about to miss his flight. Next thing Donna comes over to tell me “my bag’s come back positive for explosives”. Yep, that’s right, her new bag was found to have “an explosive substance” on it. Well, being the nervy security kid I am I begin to panic (because I am not missing this trip!!!) and Donna and me continue to exchange looks.
By this point “Free Donna!” had begun (thanks to the Irish lads, cheers for giving me a laugh) and she had to wait for people to verify she wasn’t carrying explosives. After half an hour we were free to go and in a swift movement to the bar to spend £11 on two drinks (it was worth the money).
Pro Tip: if you have a new bag/suitcase that you plan to travel with, or have stayed somewhere a little dodgy, give it a quick wash with water and water only! – the lady at security informed us of how some medications and some anti-flammable coatings can trigger the nic test!
Fast forward a couple of hours and we receive a text off Ellie telling us she’s arrived only to be followed by a message a few moments later saying: “Shit, I’ve not checked in”.
Well, good old Zoe over here was back to stressing and doesn’t have a drink to hand, again! My response to this, to a fellow traveller, was “go to check in desk!” because what normal person doesn’t know to do that?! Luckily for Ellie, she ignored me and after forking out a reasonable £55 to check in and make the flight (even though the flight itself only cost about £30 return) she arrived safely to our table at the bar needing a strong shot of tequila. Sadly for us, the gate had just opened so after a quick dash to the loos we tootled down to Gate 55.
Upon arriving at Gate 55 we sat down and prepped our bags ready for tagging (the others did, I just sat waiting for my nap). Around 20 minutes before our flight was due to depart there was a mass exodus; they’d changed our gate to Gate 49, just a nice 5 minute walk back through the terminal. I’ve never seen such a rush from people to jump a queue.
By this point it’s now 8pm, our flight is due to depart at 8.10pm and we’re finally being let through to board the flight! Yippee! Not.
Standing outside in a queue to board a flight when it’s -2c outside is certainly not a pleasant experience. Eventually we get on the plane, find our seats only to begin questioning if the seats on the plane had been shrunk because my god none of us could get in our seats or breathe!
Once we finally got settled, bags dropped under the seats and belted in we finally got our flight under way, only half an hour late.
After a pretty cramped flight, we finally got to Budapest at midnight and this trip just had to leave us one final treat for our first day…our taxi transfer not showing up, or at least not for a good hour and a half. To be fair to the bloke, he was very apologetic and got us to our hostel in pretty good time.
You’d think after all this our issues would be over by then wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. Upon arrival at our hostel we discovered that the “renovations” the hostel had undertaken were actually still taking place. Not all bad, until you discover you’re in a make shift room, in the common room and basically sleeping on the floor.
Safe to say that this has been the most eventual airport and getting to a hostel experience I’ve ever endured and it was only the first 10 hours of our trip. I need another drink just thinking about it.
P.S. Thank you to Ellie and Donna helping provide such an eventful story.