Missing my flight home for Christmas: TPG travel mistake story

Dec 22, 2019

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We are continuing to share the TPG staff’s travel triumphs and (occasional!) failures to help our readers maximise their travel. This week the newest member of the TPG U.K. team, Features Editor Hayley Coyle tells us about her nightmare experience missing a flight home for Christmas:

About 10 years ago while I was still at university in London, my family lived in Kinsale in Ireland. So anytime I flew back home to see them, and because I didn’t have much money as a student, I’d take the mega early and mega cheap 6:40 a.m. Ryanair flight from Stansted to Cork. That meant being at the airport at about 4:30 a.m.

I booked the same flight back for Christmas one year, leaving on Christmas Eve. Considering all the Christmas celebrations that were going on, this was ambitious. However, I was all packed, alarm set and my dad primed to pick me up from the airport at 8 a.m. — all good. Going out to a big dinner party the night before was totally fine. 

It wasn’t. I slept through my alarm and woke up in my flat in east London after the flight had left. Now missing a budget flight on most days needn’t be the end of the world, but on Christmas Eve, it was.

Firstly the dreaded call to my parents — they were absolutely furious and refused to help. I couldn’t book anything online — all sold out — so had to spend 40 minutes on hold to Ryanair on the phone before I was eventually told that I could go standby on a flight that night to Dublin. For the tune of more than £300.

Dublin is about a five-hour drive from Cork and my parents were so angry, they were certainly not going to collect me. So after a really stressful flight to Dublin, a £50 taxi from the airport to the train station and then a £70 train to Cork, then a bus to Kinsale, the whole nightmare cost close to £500 and I arrived at my house at almost midnight.

And the worst bit? My mum was so cross still that I’d almost ruined Christmas, she told me I couldn’t open any of my presents.

(She relented in the end.)”

If you are unfortunate to miss your flight home this holiday season, check out our guide on what to do in this situation.

If you’d like your own travel stories shared on TPG U.K., we would love to hear them!

Featured image by Gettys Images

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