October 2002 Trip
Day 17

Egypt Tour Day 12
Monday, October 28th, 2002

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Today started early with a departure from the hotel at 6:00 a.m. heading for Cairo Airport Terminal 2. A half  hour later we arrive for the flight scheduled to leave at 8:55 a.m. and cannot find the flight listed on the departures board. We do notice a very long line at the British Airways office. They are handing out a letter with a first paragraph that tells all:

"Please accept our sincere apologies for the cancellation of your flight today. Which was caused by adverse weather conditions over London area, resulting in the cancellation of the inbound and out bound flight as well ( BA154/28Oct )."  Note that the punctuation and wording is theirs and not mine.

After waiting for a while in the line it became painfully obvious that nobody was going anywhere this day. The facts of air travel out of Cairo are this. There are only 4 airlines that fly to northern Europe. They are B.A., KLM, Air France and Egypt Air. B.A. and KLM couldn't get their planes out of London or Amsterdam due to a severe wind and rain storm that occured in the south of England and the northern part of Europe. (I knew about this because I'd seen it on BBC World TV the night before, when these flights would have been scheduled to depart for Cairo). Air France got their plane in but it was fully booked out bound. Egypt Air's London flight was also fully booked and had been so for a week.

B.A. offered to find ,but not pay for, a hotel for the night. This is the policy of most airlines now if weather is the cause of the problem. They did find and book a room at the Movenpick Hotel & Casino near the airport. It had an airport bus and was only about 5 minutes away. The tour company claimed no more responsibiliy for me once they got me to the airport as the tour was now over. In their view it was now B.A.'s problem. They were kind enough to deliver me to this hotel and that was the last I saw of them. The representative did give me his phone number but I didn't need to use it.

After arriving at the hotel I was checked in with what I was told was a no extra charge upgrade to an Executive Club room. I was checked in by 8:00 a.m.. With the confusion going on at the airport it turned out to be simplier to call B.A. from the hotel and sort out the flight problems. I did this shortly after arriving. So now I'm booked on Egypt Air flight 777 Tuesday morning at 9:30 am. and I needed to come back to the airport to change the tickets. I'd heard from some other people that came from the airport that things got pretty hostile as time went on so I waited until 10:00 to go back. The Hotels airport van took me over, waited for me and took me back to the hotel. By then there was no line and the whole process took between 5 and 10 minutes.

I just relaxed the rest of the day.                                

The Movenpick Hotel & Casino
          Cairo-Heliopolis

Around 4:15 P.M. (9:15 A.M. E.S.T.) I called Colleen at the CAA Travel Agency to have her make the changes for the airport pickup and to let my parents know that I would be back tomorrow and not today.

This extra day ended up costing me just over $270 Cdn.  


Well, I'll try again tomorrow to return home.


On to Day 18.

Created December 9th, 2002.
Final Edit December 20th, 2002.