Today was the say that we had to leave "Planet Imagine Cup" and return to real life. Many thanks to Microsoft for setting up and running this amazing competition.
We got to the airport at just the right time. Found the just the right queue for just the right flight. And were told that the plane was just full. Apparently Air France use this novel technique where they sell more tickets than there are seats on the plane, on the rather strange theory that there are people out there who would spend one and a half thousand pounds on a journey and then not turn up to take it.
The charming lady at the desk told us that this would mean that either:
- We would have to travel on a different plane and arrive later (bad)
- We would travel on the same plane, but in business class (very good)
At the time of telling, the story sounded like a good deal. All we had to do was not make a fuss and return in forty minutes to find out which of the two options were ours. So we went off in search of breakfast and returned all hopeful to find out if it was smoked salmon and posh seats all the way back.
It was not. It was a different flight and later arrivals. By now of course it was impossible to change things, but we were offered some cash compensation and a chance to use the business lounge while we waited for our later plane.
I had the feeling that we had just been "handled" and that the mythical business class upgrade was exactly that. Never mind though, there was still the comfy chairs and free WIFI at the airport to look forward to, to say nothing of the wodge of euros that would soon be ours. Except they wouldn't let us into the lounge...
After a bit of a fight, we got in, connected to the WIFI, had a free drink and a bun and waited for our flight. We were considerably cheered when one of the VIP judges turned out to be on our flight too. If it's OK for him, it's fine for us.
We ended up using Air Korea, who provided excellent customer service and the best range of on-flight entertainment I've ever seen on a plane (even though I watched "Wild Hoggs", which I now know is a move best avoided). And I had leg room.
We got in precisely ten minutes later than our original flight and two of us managed to get our compensation euros as well (although because of another piece of daftness from "La Premiere Airline Francais" one of our party missed out on the cash).
Then it was a mad dash across town to miss the next train back. I finally got into the house at 11:15 after 25 hours traveling. I think I'll sleep tonight..