Well …. 27th July 2009. This will go down in the Med-Saidia Resort history.
AP6 owners managed to rally themselves together, and organise our 1st ever ‘owners meeting’. Congregating by the smaller than originally detailed pool, there were a range of ages and nationalities. Moroccan, French, Spanish, Algerian, Brazilian and of course English. Being attacked by the mosquitoes, one of the Moroccan owners took charge. We were lucky enough to have a fabulous linguist called Fadoua to translate for us and the Spanish owners.
We discussed the car parking issues, water leaks from the main road, the size of the pool, required garbage bins during the ‘high season’ and rules that should be put in place for the site as a whole. Everyone also gave their names, address and e-mail addresses. The ‘chairman’ advised that he would be meeting with Addoha/Fadesa the following day to discuss the issues raised and try to get feedback from them.
The next meeting has been scheduled for 10th August at 8pm, again by the swimming pool. This time I think everyone will spray the insect repellent before they go to the meeting. Therefore anyone that will be on the site is welcome to come and meet with other residents.
Flying back to the UK is always a little bit of a chore nowadays. I guess I have become a lot more laid back since residing in Morocco, and the thought of an entire day of flying was filling me with dread basically. Nador to Reus and then onto Costa del Luton, seemed an ideal routing, especially as the layover in Reus was only 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cutting it fine, yes probably, but I was willing to take the chance.
The chaos at Nador airport check-in, continued through security and through to the embarkation of the plane. As I knew I had a very limited amount of time in Reus, I decided to assist. Drawing on my cruise ship background, and having to organise rowdy rabbles of excitable people, I shouted in my broken French, for the mass of Moroccans to move and make way for the parents and children. This outburst was met with amused disbelief by most, (including the check-in lady) gratitude by the parents, and relief from me as it got the queue moving !!
Being just one of three non Moroccans on the flight, I cheekily asked the Captain on my way in, if he’d be able to make up some time in the air, as I had another Ryan Air flight to catch onto Luton. He smiled, but bless him, either way we arrived in Reus/Barcelona only 10 minutes later than advertised. Considering we were delayed by 30 minutes leaving Nador, I for one was impressed.
Exiting the plane prior to the majority of Moroccans was also a huge benefit. Although it was a good 8 minute walk from the plane to the passport control, walking briskly and over taking the meandering Moroccans, meant that I was 4th in the queue for passport control. Having a European passport meant I was waved through immediately. Whilst a huge line formed at the passport booth, my bag arrived just minutes later. I said goodbye to my Spanish travelling companions (who also have a property on AP6 in Med-Saidia), and sprinted to the check-in desks. So far, everything was going swimmingly.
Arriving at the designated desk I stood with the other people I assumed were waiting for the check-in lady to start calling us forward. However, she kept her head down, walked away, returned put her head down again and basically ignored the people standing in front of her. After a few minutes the flashing sign above her head showed ‘Luton – Closed’ !? What ? I’ve been standing here for 10 minutes at least !? So, asking another woman, she advised – sorry the desk is closed for Luton. How come ? I’ve been standing waiting my turn ? Sorry, go to the office. At the office they advised that I couldn’t go on the flight ? Why not ? Well you’ll have to pay an extra €50.00 as the desk has closed! Unbelievable. I wasn’t the only person, there was a lady with a baby and luggage also in the same predicament. We went through the security after a heated discussion with the guards and a Ryanair rep. Arriving at the gate for the flight, we found that the flight had only just landed !?
People were queuing to embark. They had their tickets taken, then, they were made to stand outside in the 29 degree heat until the flight had been refuelled ? All this time we stood at the desk, unsure what was actually occurring. Once everyone had embarked the flight, we were asked to pay the €50.00 each to put our luggage on the flight. By this stage, I was livid. Having worked for BA in the past, I know that this is just an extortion tactic. Unfortunately, neither of us had the money to pay. We offered dirhams, and credit card numbers of parents, none of these were accepted, and they closed the door to the aircraft right in front of us ! They took the stairs away from the rear of the plane, by now we were both distraught at the thought of missing our flight, when we were both in time for check-in! Just then the ‘dispatcher’ came into the area, he asked why we were still there, was told in a babble of Spanish by the lady that had been sitting at the check-in desk initially. He looked completely incredulous, and told her to get us on the flight immediately. So, after holding up the flight for nothing, we were allowed to board. What a complete bodge. Obviously everyone on the flight glared at us as we joined them. Therefore, in my frustrated state I enlightened those that could hear that it was actually Ryanair’s incompetent ground staff that caused the delay.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to get to Luton before !
From now on, I am going to go out of my way to not have to endure the trauma of a Ryanair experience ever again.
I look forward to meeting you to swap stories.