At the end of June, I’ll give a paper at the “Feminism & Popular Culture” conference of the Feminist & Women’s Studies Association (UK & Ireland) in Newcastle. It took me almost two hours to book the hotel and the “§§$%)=!”!=?$`& flight to Newcastle. Hotel wasn’t too bad; I was just in full panic mode (I always worry about the accomodation when going to a conference — just think about it: you arrive at the hotel, give them your name, and they, in turn, give you a blank look. “Schwab? No, there’s no reservation under this name.” Aaaaargh!) (I don’t envy Schrumpfkopf for going to the ICFA this year: because the hotel changed owners, they seem to have enormous problems with reservations.). Anyway, as I said, booking the hotel wasn’t too bad; I only drove the poor people at the Conference Centre mad.
… the flight.
Ooooh, the flight.
I tell ya, getting a flight from Frankfurt to Newcastle is tricky: you either have to spend the night in Amsterdam, several hours in Paris or Copenhagen, or you can switch airports (yes, airports!) in London. Can you imagine Sandy dashing from London City Airport to London Heathrow? With my luck, there’d be either a major traffic jam, or the tubes wouldn’t be running. Or both. Probably both.
So, I decided to take a direct flight from Düsseldorf (my Dad offered to drive me to the airport 🙂 ). Right. Found the perfect flight: 12:20 p.m. from Düsseldorf. Went through the whole booking process. Checked all necessary info twice. Checked the dates … uhm … at least four times.
And then …
No more seats available on this flight. (Waaaaaaaaaaaah!) (Can you see me panicking?)
Okay, okay, no panic. (Ha! You sure can see me panicking!) NO panic.
Uhm. (paaaaaanic!!!!) (I’ll never get to Newcastle! I’ll have to take the 7:25 a.m. flight from Frankfurt and have to dash across London and there’ll be a traffic jam and no tube running and I’ll be stranded in London and miss my flight AND WHAT THE HECK SHALL I DO THEN????) (Sh*t, there isn’t even a production with Adam Cooper in it running right now.) (Booohooo! *headdesk*)
Okay, okay. Let’s just try another site for booking flights online. (breathe-breathe-breathe-PANIC!)
Type in name of airports.
Type in dates. (Sh*it, wrong date.) (panic!)
Check dates again.
Click on “Search for Flights”.
(Whaaaaa! Why does this take so long??? PANIC!!!! *squeeze eyes shut* They won’t have a seat available. No, no, they won’t. You’ll have to dash across London, traffic jam, tubes down, miss flight, PANIC! PANIC! PANIC!)
Results are in. Oh, look there’s the flight. Click on it. (Ha! They’re tricking you! Just like that other site! You’ll have to dash across London, traffic jam, tubes down … breathe-breathe-breathe)
Flights there. Check dates. Check dates again. Check airports. Check dates. Print out page. Check dates.
Click on “Put into shopping basket”. (Ha! They’re tricking you! I tell ya, they’re tricking you! You’ll see!)
Register with the site. Check everything twice. (You’ll have to dash across London, traffic jam …)
Click on “Buy now”. (Ha! In just a moment they’ll tell you that there’s no seat available. Just wait and see! You’ll have to dash … panicpanicpanic! *squeeze eyes shut again*)
“Thank you for booking …” page appears.
You stare at it.
Surely, this must be a mistake. Right? I mean … this flight is booked out, right? What do they mean, they’re going to send you your tickets???
Does this mean …
I’ve got a seat on the plane to Newcastle! 🙂