• Travel Freak

Earphones 2 Jessica 0

Imagine a pair of earphones actually taking advantage of you, draining your strict airport budget and then not even being able to use them! Believe it or not this happened to me... twice. So set the scene for the first take, it was my first time flying alone and I had just upgraded my phone; you may see where this is going. I get through customs and have found a prime seat infront of the departures board, juggling a WHSmiths Meal Deal (of course) I'm fumbling my headphone cord around the bottom of my phone. Obviously it had to be me who packed the old-style, circular plug-in earphones when I had the new-style earphone port on my phone. I know this may sound severely over the top but imagine when your flight has been delayed by 3 hours, is 4 hours long and it's currently only 5am; you need earphones. So... you may have seen on my 'Airport' page under 'Preparing' I literally only plan to spend up to £15 in the airport, so scouring Gatwick's North Terminal for Apple earphones definitely was not in the memo. Eventually I sourced a pair in the luggage and gadgets shop (yes in hindsight I should have looked there first but I was counting on a budget Boots pair), and imagine I had to pay £45 for them! It was one of those trapped scenarios where you ask the shop assistant for a very specific product, they can't find it on the shop floor so consult a manager who goes and looks out the back for you. 15 minutes later the disgruntled manager reappears and has already scanned them and unknown to you, you suddenly owe them 3 times the amount you had budgeted for! Safe to say I nurtured those babies, with no tangles or chucking into my pocket occurrences for the duration of the trip.

Then take 2: So from my experience you can assume that I double-check I have my headphones while I am packing and before I leave...right? Correct. And to be honest I do not know what happened on this day but we were packing up to leave our Prague hotel, it was lunchtime so I was fully conscious in what I was doing. I remember picking up two pairs of earphones (one of them being the pair I brought in the situation above) off the floor in the hotel room and then putting them in my hidden carry-on. (Side-note: Bring a big coat and a small over the body bag to the airport and you can get on the plane with an extra bag! But that is a story for a different day.) Once we get to the gate we decide to queue up as it was getting pretty crowded and we didn't want to be the ones last on who have to sacrifice their hand luggage to the hold. Boarding then begins and as I casually check my hidden bag for passports, phone and earphones it occurs to me that I cannot find the earphones. This wouldn't be as much of a problem for other couples as if you are not flying alone you could just talk to each other, but my boyfriend literally refuses to fly without them as he isn't that fond of flying (understatement) so he finds that earphones take the edge off. This therefore meant I had to find a way of telling him, just before we board a plane and after I have continuously told him I definitely have them, that I do not in fact have the earphones. After a semi-breakdown, a few threats, a hostile rummage through our cases and sacrificing our spot at the front of the queue we were forced to give in to ensure we didn't miss the plane. It then gets worse... so quick thinking from me I search up the inflight brochure for EasyJet and find two pairs of ear phones, one bluetooth and one with wires.

I decide to take my chances and pull one of the cabin crew aside, explain the situation and he kindly offers to give me some earphones before the flight takes off and allows me to pay when the food trolley comes around. Problem solved?! Oh no... problem made 100x worse. The EasyJet brochure online is surprisingly more confusing than it is in the physical form (for reference the exact picture I saw is the one pictured here - remember I was in a rush), so to my knowledge the wireless earphones were £20 and the wired were £45. The situation did not leave room for a luxury purchase or to be picky so I asked for the wireless pair to save money as we had just been on a 5 day city break over the New Year, the bank had already been hurt enough. I took the wireless earphones back to our seats and my boyfriend was literally over the moon, safe to say I had definitely redeemed myself! But whoever decided that the stiff plastic packaging you find on kids toys and toothbrushes is needed on wireless earphones in an airplane brochure needs to be held to account, we spent a good 15 minutes in a race for the plane to depart getting access to the bloody things. Amongst the rush and drama neither of us had clocked that bluetooth earphones run on a rechargeable battery... so need to be charged, you may see where I am going with this (I did not). With a sigh of relief I went to turn the earphones on and of course, they needed to be charged. We laugh about it today but at the time it was probably the most disheartened either of us have been; oh and just to make it worse, guess who read the brochure wrong? You got it...me. Turns out my quick thinking, loving girlfriend gesture massively backfired as we were charged £45 for earphones I thought were £20, which wouldn't turn on so he had no use for them. And, I didn't even have my card on me as my hand luggage had gone in the hold, due to our sacrifice in the line, and amongst the frantic searching earlier on I failed to repack my secret carry on; so my boyfriend ended up having to pay! Oh the irony. Moral of the story is do not reassure someone you have the one thing that will convince them to board a plane, unless you have actually checked. We ended up being £45 down, with earphones we had no use for and he was probably more worked up after this whole ordeal than he would've been if he had just come to terms with the fact there were no earphones, rather than all the false hope. Ps, I 100% remember packing those earphones and no one will believe me because why would someone steal 2 pairs of earphones but not the phone and purse next to them? Your guess is as good as mine.

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