Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Not in Okinawa

At this time, I should be settling into my hotel bed in Okinawa, excited about the Foundation for Endangered Languages conference tomorrow, where I should be attending my very first conference, meeting all kinds of fellow minority-language nerds, and seeing some of a very different part of Japan.

None of that is happening, though, because Peach Aviation turned out to be a worthless bunch of chancers. Our flight was first delayed for an hour and a half; half an hour after that deadline, they suddenly announced that the flight was cancelled entirely. No, there are no more flights anywhere tonight. No, it's not possible to put anyone on any alternate flight until possibly Thursday at the earliest. Given that almost everyone had very specific dates arranged, this naturally did not go down very well.

There's no point me going to the conference on Thursday, since I'd only be around for one day of conference and would probably not get to know anyone. Several hundred pounds for one day of a conference is not a price I can justify, so I've cancelled entirely in the hope of clawing back some hotel fees - which, inevitably, Peach refuse to compensate for. They won't pay for anything whatsoever except the actual cost of the tickets. Apparently this is legal. The mind boggles. All I can say is, don't fly with Peach. Take whatever measures seem necessary to avoid flying with Peach. Don't let your friends fly with Peach. If you suspect that a family member, or someone you care about, is considering flying with Peach, be sure to tell a responsible adult. I can only be glad I'm not the couple next to me, who were astonishingly calm at having their honeymoon disrupted and the alarming prospect of four further Peach flights on their tour; or the two other couples I saw in tears at the news.

It's also now too late to book with any alternative carriers. The only vaguely affordable one has a bafflingly-complex website entirely in Japanese and I daren't risk doing anything. I've started looking into other things to do with the time, but again I'm just not sure I can at this stage - particular since everything is in Japanese, and so much much slower to deal with. Plus, I expended a lot of emotional energy planning for and getting ready for this trip, which has come crashing down, and I'm just not sure I have it in me to do something spontaneous now. Certainly not at this time of night.

I'm in a horrible mood, really disappointed about my plans falling through and worn out after spending hours sat pointlessly in an airport followed by emailing people to try and cancel bookings. On top of my recent cockroach encounters, and enduring frustration with the weather, I just really don't want to be here right now.

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