So, we decided to leave our toddler with his Gran for the weekend and do a city break to Porto with just our baby.
We figured that as we wouldn’t have our toddler we’d save a few hundred pounds and do a flight that stopped in Lisbon with TAP Air Portugal.
We’ve done tonnes of flights and barely any have been delayed, so with nearly 2 hours to catch our connecting flight at 9pm we thought we’d be fine.
Once we finally got airborne, about 2 hours after our scheduled departure, we started to realise we might be wrong. (oops!)
Sadly, despite having 19 passengers needing to get to Porto and being only 10 or so minutes late, they didn’t hold the plane. Sigh.
TAP Air Portugal did guarantee we’d get there that night, so well done them. However, all the (1 hour) flights to Porto that night were full, as it was St John’s day the next day, so we got a 2hr 45min bus ride instead. I must say, even the self defined seasoned traveller that I am, I wasn’t looking forward to this with a 6 month old in tow!
Kudos to them – they were really nice about it. They were apologetic, gave us meal vouchers, and all the staff were very pleasant. They even gave us a meal voucher for our 6 month old. Nom nom nom, extra food for mum and dad 😉
Anyway, we dutifully came back to the meeting point an hour later (10pm) and were taken to baggage reclaim.
After waiting there for 10 mins with no sign of the bags, one assistant took those of us who didn’t have checked bags to the coach, leaving the others looking slightly panicked behind.
It was quite a feat to follow the assistant, I must say! She had no luggage and so could dart quickly through the crowds – it was a little harder for the rest of us. When we got stuck in a bottleneck going through customs we had no choice but to split up so I could follow her (wearing my baby) and Karl could follow as fast as he could with the luggage. Luckily with me waving at him round the corners to show which way we were going he eventually caught up. I dread to think what we’d have done if we had both kids and lots of luggage!
Right, so it’s now 10.30pm, we have 8 out of 19 passengers at the stop and our coach (scheduled to leave at 10.30pm) isn’t here.
10.45pm and our coach arrives. We get on.
11pm and we’re still waiting for the other passengers and their checked luggage (the flight itself got in at 9pm).
11.10pm – the other 11, slightly stressed looking passengers show up, complete with checked baggage. Phew.
11.15pm and we finally set off, with all 19 passengers and baggage. Original scheduled arrival: 10pm. Final arrival at Porto airport: 3am.
Luckily for us we only had our very chill baby with us, so it was all ok. He slept on my lap for most of the ride, and then managed a good long sleep in the hotel room once we got there. I think it would’ve been a different story if our 2 year old was with us!
The moral – don’t do stopping flights unless you’re willing to risk missing your connection!