Saturday, 26 February 2011

Ireland, Airport Security & A Very British Welcome Home

I spent the majority of half term at the Popcap Games office in Dublin where my Dad works. This means I was in Ireland. I travelled there on a plane.

A Ryanair plane.

Those of you who are of the European persuasion will currently be groaning. To those of you who aren't... let's just say that Ryanair are the scum of all airlines, but are dirt cheap.

So let's wind back a bit to the security checkpoints at Gatwick. I had to go through the terrorist-detecting machine 3 times after removing various items of clothing before they finally gave up on it and issued a pat down search instead. I felt somewhat violated.

My bag experienced similar treatment. For some reason I had a large knife and a can of deodorant in it. I honestly can't remember why; perhaps I subconsciously wanted to hijack the plane because of all those violent videogames I've been playing? Yeah, that's probably it. Damn those videogames. Damn them to hell.

Anyway, I then had to empty the entire contents of my bag and have it swiped for explosives whilst they 'disposed of' my supposedly dangerous items. My bag probably felt more violated then I.

Why am I telling you this? Well, you'll find out momentarily when I land.

We're now back to the wonderful Ryanair plane, 60 seconds before takeoff.
"Please turn off all electronic devices."
I seriously hate it when they ask you to do this. Electronics won't crash your plane, Mr Ryanair. Please leave me alone and let me stalk people on Twitter in peace.

Vrooooom. The engines activate we begin speeding along the runway, ready for takeoff.

Or not.

The warning light on the wing started flashing.

The plane stopped.
"We appear to be having some technical issues."
No shit.

I won't go on about what happened next, but we then spent two hours sitting on the plane until they finally decided they had lost enough money leaving the plane on the ground and it was time to take off regardless of the consequences.

The flight lasted just under an hour. Less than half the time we spent on the tarmac at Gatwick.

So we were now in Ireland. Woo! Etc. I stood up, reached into my pocket, and realised something: I had a knife on me the entire time. The knife attached to my wallet (which actually went through the x-ray machine - this was different from the one taken from my bag) had somehow gotten through the overly useless security at Gatwick.

I'm not really going to go into too much depth about my time in Ireland as many of the things I did at Popcap are covered by the NDA that I wasn't actually asked to sign. Oh right, I didn't sign actually sign anything.


I played this really awesome game and got a score of 740,000.

I'm so mean.

Let's skip to Friday and my journey back before anyone gets sued.

Dublin airport was less invasive than Gatwick. I only had to remove my belt and shoes this time and my bag went through mostly unscathed. I thought I'd try getting the knife through again for a laugh, and it worked. I'm not sure how that made me feel - If it's that easy to get a knife onto a plane, why the hell do most of these checks exist?

Anyway. We took off. Had advertising thrown at us for an hour - Ryanair magazine! Ryanair scratch cards! Ryanair perfume! Ryanair smokeless cigarettes! Ryanair duty-free cocaine! - and then we landed. It felt incredibly short compared to the fiasco of Monday.

We headed straight to the train station once we got through the excitement of several hundred meters of sponsored corridor. When we got there, I realised just where exactly I was. England.
"I am sorry to announce that the 22:34 service to Brighton has been delayed by 15 minutes due to the train having to wait for a member of the crew."
Oh, Southern. I missed you.

So we waited and got on the train. Half way through the journey we had another announcement.
"Due to delays, this train will no longer be stopping at Burgess Hill, Hassocks, or Preston Park."
For those of you who don't know me, I live in Hassocks. Several people looked around the train slightly confused for a few seconds before standing up and leaving. We followed. It's sad how little fuss people made over this. I guess we are just used to it now.

We waited another 15 minutes and got on the next train. This one had no spare seats and smelled of old people, but at least it had the courtesy to stop at the stations it told us it would stop at.

When we finally got to Hassocks it was pouring with rain. Rain we would've avoided if the earlier train had stopped here.

Yep. I was home.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like alot of fun :D

    I had my belt taken off me at an airport....because it had plastic bullets on it.