"This must be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done" No2

Remember that post about me missing a flight even though I was at the airport 7 hours before take off? I had entitled that post “This must be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done“. Now, what title do you use when you repeat the same mistake? :-(

This time it came very close to being amongst the stupidest AND most expensive things I’ve ever done. Here’s what happened…

I came to London for the Dev8D conference to present Famulus. My flight out of London (Heathrow Terminal 5) was scheduled for Sunday afternoon… 2.20pm (NOT 2.50pm as, somehow, was in my head).

I arrived at the airport around 3 1/2 hours before the flight. There were no queues so I went straight into the waiting lounge area. I had some breakfast and then headed to the BA lounge to do some work.

I immersed myself into cleaning up my mailbox, replying to messages, and catching up with work. Suddenly, I hear a request for “Mr. Parastitis” (close enough I guess) to go say “hi” to the front desk (well, not exactly like that but you get the idea). There, I am told that I really needed to run to the gate because my flight was about to close. I obliged and run as fast as I could but when I got there, the British Airways ground stewardess told me this…

– “Oh sir, I am afraid you can’t board the plane. The gates close at 2 and it’s now…”, stops and looks at the time on the computer, “… 2!”.

– Me: “Erm… can’t you get the bus to come back or get a small car to drive me there?”. (I know, stupid request but it was desperate times).

Unfortunately, that was it. There was nothing that could be done. Totally my fault of course. When they asked me what happened, I told them that I was at the BA executive lounge and waiting for the announcement. It was then that I found out that Terminal 5, which I was visiting for the first time, applied a new policy of not calling out the boarding times at the executive lounges. Apparently they are now “quiet lounges” :-( This was different to what I’ve been used to but still no excuse for being so absentminded.

British Airways wouldn’t book me on another flight so I’d have had to buy a new return flight to Seattle. Given that this was totally my mistake, I wasn’t expecting for Microsoft to pay of course. If it wasn’t for a lovely lady from American Express Travel, that’s what I would have had to do. Fortunately, I am only paying for the hotel 10mins from Terminal 5, in the middle of nowhere.

Jim offered to host me but his place is too far from Heathrow, involving a number of trains. He also called me for what I really am for missing my flight in this way (and he’s totally right), but the word is not blogable :-)

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