€200 that I almost had, but didn’t πŸ™

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A gorgeous sunrise view departing from Lisbon.

5am! It was a horrible time to wake up a few days ago, and it’s even worse this time because I’m doing it to fly home. After a quick shower and packing up the few things I couldn’t last night, it was time to say goodbye to Yes! Hostel. I couldn’t have found a better place to spend my few days in Lisbon.

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This was the only time during my whole trip that it was quiet and empty.

Since it was so early in the morning, public transport wasn’t really an option. I requested an Uber and made it to the airport in 15 minutes travelling along the deserted streets and paying €7 for the privilege. I did wonder whether this would have been better getting to the hostel at the start of my trip but, knowing my luck, the traffic would have been horrendous and it would have taken longer than the metro.

I walked up to the check-in desk to pick up my boarding pass, and was asked if I had any bags to check in. When I said no, the agent told me that the flight today was incredibly busy and that they were looking for volunteers to be bumped to the next flight. She then said that they were offering €200 for any passengers doing so, and I immediately volunteered. So she put a note on my booking and said they’d sort things out at the gate should they need me to be bumped.

As it turns out, €200 would cover almost all of my expenditure in Lisbon, so I was starting to get pretty excited about it. A three hour wait for the extra money seemed pretty reasonable. I made my way through security, brought the obligatory bottle of aged tawny port at duty free and made my way to the gate.

What caught me off guard a little was the hoarde of Japanese tourists at the gate. I did wonder whether I was at the wrong gate or if they’d changed it at the last minute, but the screen definitely had my flight on it. I guess Japan to Lisbon via Heathrow is more popular than I expected. I joined the queue and waited what seemed like forever, but I eventually got to the front. I presented my passport and boarding card, and just got waved through.

I was gutted.

I never thought I’d catch myself being disappointed about making a flight, but I was. I guess they had a few no shows and didn’t need the seat, but part of me thinks I should have asked them if they still needed me to be bumped in case they didn’t see the note.

Suffice it to say, the flight was extremely busy. My seat was all the way at the back of the plane in the penultimate row of seats with no overhead luggage space to be found nearby. I had to walk back about halfway before I found any space to stow my bag, but I did find some space. Others weren’t so lucky, and I’m sure the crew spent the last ten minutes of boarding having to explain to passengers that there was no space and apologise profusely that their bags would have to be put in the hold.

Anyway, my flight left on time and I got to enjoy one last look at Lisbon before whizzing through the air back to the UK.

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I think my British Airways plane might have been the odd one out in this lineup!

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One final look at their “fake Golden Gate Bridge” before going home!

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I don’t care how meager their offering is; I’m still going to miss the free food and drink. Can you tell I’m looking forward to paying Β£5 for a sandwich?

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Flying over Windsor Castle on final approach to Heathrow.

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The flight was really full and my bag was about halfway down the plane from my seat… but I was lucky enough to get my bag on the plane at least!

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Terminal 3 done… Terminal 4 is now the only one I haven’t travelled from.

About three hours later, we arrived in Heathrow. Our arrival caught me a little off guard because I was expecting to arrive at Terminal 5, but we taxied away from it and towards Terminal 3. It turns out that not all BA flights use T5 yet. This does mean though, that I only have Terminal 4 left to conquer. Although I’m not sure I’d quite stoop to the level of booking a holiday solely because I can fly there from Terminal 4!

The weather in Lisbon was pretty mild, and a bit warmer than the UK, but the weather seemed to have taken a turn in the few days I was away. While walking off the plane and into the terminal, I was met with an extremely chilly draught from the gap between the plane and the jetbridge. I’d have to face that cold later when I eventually emerge from the Underground at Victoria, but at least I had a bit of a reprieve until then.

My journey back to Cardiff was nowhere near as exciting as the journey to London. Just a boring coach. It was a more straightforward journey though because there’s a National Express stop about 30 seconds walk from my house, so there’s that at least!

4 months to go until my next trip! πŸ˜‚