It’s been a long and winding road, starting in November 2019, but the trip that never was is now officially dead.
After five sets of dates and endless stress and faff, on Wednesday Aer Lingus postponed the start of their Manchester to Orlando service until (at least) mid December. We all knew this was coming of course, but it is still a big kick in the nads when it does.
I knew that something would need to give in the next week or so as we had balances coming due in early September that I would definitely not be paying if there was no border news. Aer Lingus, thankfully, in a way, put me out of my misery….and into a new, different misery instead.
Previously when flights were cancelled we simply picked the whole trip up and moved it into the future, naively believing that by “that time” everything would be back to normal. Not this time my friends. With the US infected with lots of Delta and even more stupidity, I can see no prospect of travel to the US in the coming months.
So on Wednesday and Thursday I began the very sad and labour intensive task of cancelling everything and this time requesting refunds. I called Aer Lingus who tried to tempt me into vouchers with a 10% bonus, but there’s seems little point in that really. So full refunds were requested and then I sent back all our theme park tickets, requesting our refund for those too. They expire at the end of 2021 and I think there is zero chance of a trip before then. I can’t tell you how upset I was sending those back. It was a physical manifestation of the death of our plans. I was also very scared that the postal service will lose them and that envelope contained lots of cash value in those little plastic cards. Until I get receipt confirmed and the refund processed that will be something else to worry about.
For a few weeks now we have been chatting about what to do as and when our October WDW plans died. Ultimately our need for some sort of holiday has kicked in and we are now looking at alternative countries for a different kind of holiday, just to get some sun, relaxation and fun. I have all kinds of reservations about that. The testing regime, the ability of our government to screw holiday makers over by changing the colour of a country either just before you go or whilst you are there and the fact that frankly it isn’t Florida, are all on my mind.
However, I will be happy to go, and just not be on Teams or mowing grass for a little bit.
As far as Florida plans go, well we have none and that is never a state I like to be in. Our position now is that we will wait for the border to be opened and then see how many organs we need to sell to fund the surely ridiculous flight prices that will be used to gouge every penny from the pent up demand.
It would be par for the course now for the US to open their border, probably just after we press the “book” button on some trip to the Canaries or similar. Sure, I am feeling sorry for myself. I earned it.
When looking for these alternative holidays the constant issue of no hotel being in Florida or being operated by Disney persists. Those that “look” nice then have unsettling amounts of horrifying reviews on Trip Advisor. There’s also the fact that we haven’t holidayed anywhere else for twenty years or so (as Louise constantly reminds me) and that makes me scared of the unfamiliar.
I suspect we will find something suitable and have a really nice time, but of course, it will not shock you to know that I will be thinking about the next WDW trip the whole time, like some unfaithful ex.
We did get our Vero DVC element transferred to a credit note. We have 36 months to use that. Should be fine. right? In my gut, I suspect it will probably be next summer before we get back over there and it will probably need to be before the end of August as Freddie will start school/reception in September. We may have to sell the house to fund that trip. I mean, I like this house, but needs must!
We did briefly consider moving the trip to January, but there are only so many times you can get hurt and keep coming back for more. If by some miracle the US open up say on January 1st then you will probably have to wrestle me to the ground to stop me booking us a trip for that month. Sure, it’ll be cooler/chilly at night but not as bloody chilly as Lancashire will be!
In more cheery news I have a week off work next week. How I have enjoyed everyone I talk to at work asking “Are you going away anywhere?”. I refrain from explaining my two year struggle to get on a plane and just smile and say, “No, just relaxing at home.” If only they knew…..
In reality I will be mowing stuff no doubt, answering work emails on my phone and not lying in as long as I would like to. Oh and dieting. If we are going anywhere near a beach or pool any time soon, then for the sake of others, things need to change in a big way and quickly. With just over a month till we go, I figure I can lose say three pounds?
So as I remember sitting in our old house, watching the news of the pandemic around April 2020 and telling Louise that our August 2020 trip would be absolutely fine as there was no way this thing would go on that long, let us all marvel at my spectacular ability to get things wrong. If that trend continues in the same vein then any day now the US border will be open and I’ll be seething on a flight to somewhere else.
Fingers crossed that the return to school over here (I know Scotland are back already and seeing this) doesn’t see a huge spike in cases that may lead to even our second choice of holiday being threatened. I can’t say it often enough. You can keep destroying my overseas holiday plans as much as you like but I am not booking a bloody holiday in the UK!
Till the next time…….
11 thoughts on “Yearn To Fly”
I feel your pain Craig.
We’ve booked for May/June next year but even with it being that far away I’m not entirely confident about things being “normal”.
If you’re looking for somewhere else to go, I’d definitely recommend UAE. We’ve been to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and thoroughly enjoyed it. Abu Dhabi probably being the favourite. We went to Yas Island (stayed in the Formula 1 hotel which has now changed name but it was excellent. We stayed half board and they were flexible about when you had your meal – either lunchtime or in the evening). It’s also nearby to a Cheesecake Factory, Chilis and a large US style mall. There are also theme parks. If you close your eyes you may even feel (briefly) that you’re back in the States. Minus the magic, but still very good. 🙂
I did think about Dubai, but being honest, we need a cheaper option as this will be an extra trip, so I need to protect the cash for Florida whenever it opens. The Canary Islands are looking favourite.
Our flights with virgin for the 24th sept were cancelled this week, so you have our sympathy and we feel your pain. We took the decision to postpone our cancelled holiday this time last year for a whole 12 months, “just to be sure this will be over”. Yeah, right. Like you, this time we’re asking for a refund. We’ll see how that goes. Good luck finding somewhere to holiday – fingers crossed 🤞
I’d take a look at Salou in Spain. Beach, sun, but with then theme park side – Port Aventura, Ferrari Land. Not Florida but pretty close.
We have been to Salou decades ago when the girls were very young. We’d be happy there but it’ll be mid October so not hot enough for Louise who needs to be boiled alive when sunbathing. 🙂
Oh no Craig just the post I been fearing I’m so sorry to hear your trip has been cancelled!! one positive to come out of this though is Freddie will see how pale in comparison other destinations are and truly embrace the Disney love same as his grandad…if he hasn’t already ☺ I know small consolation but only one can think of at min sorry 😞
I appreciate the effort Jo 🙂
Really sorry to read this not least as I was banking on your trip report to keep me going until end of year. Good luck with your search for somewhere else. Where ever it is I’m sure time spent with your grandson in the sun will make it worthwhile.
Absolutely feeling your pain!! We’re booked for September next year and I’m even nervous at that🙄….whilst I love America…..a good number of Americans are of limited intelligence and “The Rona” is going to cause havoc with tourism….unless someone straps on a pair and forces people to get vaccinated.
I hope the full approval of the vaccine will encourage more mandating of having it.