Wednesday, October 23, 2013

UK 2013 - day 16: airport issues on REp. of Ireland again!!!!

Sunday,  August  4, 2013

I'm writing this post from 11279 meters above sea level, seat 12 E of an aer lingus flight to Boston.
Everything looks fine now and lunch is about to be served. But, ladies and gentlemen, nothing was calm about this day except from the time we woke up to the time we were dropped off at the airport.

Well, Travelodge never told us that their shuttle cost £2.00 per person. Well, for that price we could have walked for 5 minutes in that pleasant sunny Scottish morning. But that wasn't the problem. The problem is that Dean and I left the shuttle too enter the airport and Dean was kind enough to go say thank you to the shuttle driver. His reply?
"£2.00 each."
Dean reaches for his pocket while I reply, "I wish someone had told us. We have no I cash."
His reply?
"Then why is he reaching for his pocket?"
I felt like telling him to go do that thing you're thinking about, but I was a nice girl and kept it to myself while my husband showed Mr.Good Manners all the British money we had left - 19p.
"I can give you $10.00." Dean said, showing his wallet wide open with nothing but a ten-dollar bill in it.
He just turned around and left.
Later that day my father-in-law told us that driver was doing that without the knowledge of the hotel. H'm, maybe I should send Travelodge an email.

We had a good hour wait before they opened the check-in counter, so we decided to look for our VAT receipts to get a refund.
If you are a tourist in the UK (not sure about Republic of Ireland), you can get your VAT money back.
The thing is - you have to require from each vendor a VAT claim form.
We didn't know that, so we just collected receipts and took to the Customs office. When we got there we found a note on the door explaining that we should just drop in the claim forms provided by each vendor.
Well, I guess we are not getting our money back.
Can you imagine what a pain to be at a crowded McDonald's and ask for a VAT claim form?
However, it might be worth asking it from your lodging place, from your car rental agency, and from attractions you attend. Those will be quite a lot of money and you already have to spend some time at the counter with them anyway.
Next time we will know it.
So our flight was delayed. That was a problem because, if you remember well, I purchased this flight separately, and not as a connection home. This was due to a number of factors, that upon the time of scheduling this flight, could no longer be changed.
The problem is that, once you land in this lovely Republic of Ireland, you are made to go through customs, unless you have a EU passport.
Funny, I went back and forth from one Ireland to the other, and we don't even know we are entering different countries. We flew from Dublin to London and there was no going through customs. But when we come from Scotland (which is part of the same UK than N. Ireland and England are), we had to go through customs because we don't have a EU passport.
I don't have a problem with the Irish people. I don't really know them much - the R.of Ireland ones. But entry port sucks.
First, their car rentals don't take your credit card insurance. And now this - you have to go through customs. Oh, I wouldn't mind going through customs if they had a working immigration crew and we could get through it at a reasonable hour. We landed at 9:35 and our next flight was supposed to leave at 11:30. With the volume of people and the speed of the immigration officers, we would be out of immigration by 2 in the afternoon.
I ran to the Are Lingus connection flight we passed on our way to the customs line and, literally begged this lady by the name of Julie Fitzpatrick, "I wonder if you can help me, because if you can not I will miss my flight."
At first she sounded like our was hopeless, but then she took my passport, had my husband bring  his as well, as she made phone calls to try to get our luggage picked up and loaded in to the next flight.
Julie simply saved our flight, so I want to make sure I mention her name so that she and the people she mobilized get some recognition.
I am not, however, happy with the ways things work in the Republic  of Ireland:
1- no credit card rental insurance?
2- go through customs when I come from an EU country, even though I don't have to go through customs  when I leave their country to another EU, considering that their immigration&customs office his slower than a sloth?
I'm sorry, do you really want me to come back here? Because I am not sure that I am. I will travel to N. Ireland, England, Scotland, but never to Rep. of Ireland again.
This was a lovely vacation. My only regret is not having knocked at a certain person's house while in London.

But I don't need to travel back to this southern part of the Irish island. If I do it will not be by plane. I'll spend "me" money in the UK.

Delaware North Companies - £2.10(credit) (coffee)

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