52 Hours In the Cairo Airport: Preparing for Flight Cancellations - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles
52 Hours In the Cairo Airport
A Guided Tour
A Real National Treasure
A San Francisco Treat
A Trip Back In Time
A Trip Back In Time
Adventure to Washington, D.C.
Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney
Airline Security
Amish Country
An Insider's Guide
An Insider's Guide
Arlington National Cemetery
Bath, England
Buckingham Palace
Busch Garden Africa's SheiKra
CARES Child Restraint System
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Celebration, Florida
Charleston, South Carolina
Costa Rica Adventures by Disney
Discovering "America's Finest City"
Disney's Vero Beach
Disneyland
Dover Castle
Driving Through The Night
Escape Into Alcatraz
Eurostar
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Flying to Europe for a Disney Cruise
Flying to Walt Disney World from the West Coast
Flying Upper Class
Flying with Kids
Fort Sumter
Greeter Programs
Harry Potter's
Helsinki, Finland
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hilton Head Island
Hong Kong Disneyland
How to Handle A "Bumpy" Flight
I Dream Of Hawaii
In a New York Minute
iPhone, I Travel
Kapalua, Maui
Keeping Kids Happy on Long Car Rides
Kent, England
King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
Las Vegas
Las Vegas for Families
London, UK
Los Angeles
Macau
Madison County, New York
Molto Italia
More Than Bridges
My First NASCAR Experience
Nashville, Tennessee
National Aquarium
New Orleans
New York City
Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Not Your Average Bus Tour
On the Road to Walt Disney World
Oslo, Norway
Oxford
Paris
Passport Update
Playing the Waiting Game
Port Canaveral, Florida
Prince Edward Island
Redondo Beach, California
Rome
Salem, Massachusetts
Small Is Beautiful
Small Is Beautiful
Southwest and JetBlue
St. Louis
Stockholm, Sweden
Stonehenge
Tahiti
The Amtrak Auto Train
The Auto Train
The Emerald Isle
The Globe Theatre
The Grand Canyon
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Other Side of the Falls
The Quest for the West
The World's Loveliest Castle
To Rent or Not To Rent
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea
Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World
Traveling With Extended Family
Universal
Using Orlando's "Other" Airport
Vermont by Bicycle
Viva Italia!
Viva Italia! Part 1
Viva Italia! Part 2
Viva Las Vegas!
Vive la Difference
Washington D.C.
What To Do While Waiting for a Flight
When Does Your Walt Disney Vacation Really Begin?
When to Visit Walt Disney World
Wimbledon
Windsor Castle
Winter Wonderland
Yosemite
Your First Trip to Universal Studios Orlando

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles

Globetrotting Dining Articles

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

52 Hours In the Cairo Airport: Preparing for Flight Cancellations

International Travel photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 03-10-2011
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > International Travel > Traveling  

For the vast majority of us, our stay at an airport is usually just the couple of hours before a flight. Perhaps if your flight out to your holiday destination or back home is delayed, it might be a little bit longer, but fortunately it's rare that you have to spend a night at an airport.


Whenever we've had delayed flights in the past, it's been either down to technical problems with the plane or weather. I never expected in my life that the delays we'd experience would be as a result of a whole political change in a country, but that's exactly what happened to us on our return home from Egypt.

We arrived at Cairo Airport on a Saturday afternoon, knowing that our flight had already left London and should be waiting for us. Unfortunately, our planned flight home coincided with a decision to turn all international flights around, including ours, which was already three hours into its journey to get to us.

The drama didn't end there. Eventually, after finally managing to find another flight out, to Berlin, which was due to depart the following night, that, too was cancelled. We only finally made our escape from Cairo on the Monday evening, when we were allowed to board a flight to Munich with our Berlin boarding passes.

So how did we survive the intervening 52 hours? Honestly? When I look back, I'm not entirely sure, but there were some valuable lessons that we learned during it. With some, we were fortunate with the choices we made, while there were other things that, in hindsight, we wished we'd done or thought about.



Egypt - Cairo Airport photo
Egypt - Cairo Airport

We weren't the only ones spending the night at the airport. - photo by chezp

The first thing we learned was to keep hold of the details of everything we spent while making our alternative way home. We knew that it would be needed for a compensation claim once we were back. Fortunately, I carry a plastic folder with us to keep our documents together, so all the receipts and information we gathered went into this, so we knew where to find them. This made life so much easier, particularly when we reached Munich and discovered that our luggage had taken its own sweet way home. Immediately, we knew where our baggage tags were.

Although it was a nightmare at the time to recover our suitcases when we reached Cairo Airport, it proved to be a godsend to us, as it allowed us access to everything in there. Fortunately, my husband had the foresight to take out the toilet roll that we had in there, just in case of any upset stomachs. It was something we were very glad of during the rest of our stay at the airport. Trust me when I say that it's one of the first things to run out when there are lots of people trapped there.

Sadly, one thing that we didn't think to get out of our suitcases was the phone charger for my BlackBerry. In all honesty, I thought it was in my hand luggage, but I really wished over the remaining time we spent at the airport that I'd double checked and had it with me. With both my BlackBerry and my husband's cell phone running low on charge, we ended up having to use up a chunk of our remaining cash on a multi-charger. It was a great purchase, but one that we could've done without. Note for future trips -- always keep your phone chargers with you and, if it's applicable, an adapter for the country you're visiting. At least that was in our hand luggage with us.

Something else we learned was the importance of keeping some local currency with you right to the airport. With the Internet being shut down by the government, debit and credit card transactions were almost impossible, so the cards we had with us were useless. Of course, usually you'd just go to a cash machine, but even those were soon out of money. Another reason to have cash with you was that the power that it had in Egypt. We quickly discovered the importance of it, as on more than one occasion, people waving large amounts of notes around got themselves to the front of a line.

Tip: A Tip For Long Flights or Delays
My tip is for overseas travellers, or anyone on a long flight. I pack a change of underwear and a shirt in my carry-on luggage, along with a travel size of sunscreen and shower gel. When we hit the hotel, we have a quick shower, change clothes, slap on the sunscreen and go and get something to eat and drink. Once we have chilled for a little while, we then go back to the room to unpack. We have done this for the last few years and it works well, especially on the long flights when you are sticky and tired! And it's helpful if you get delayed at the airport and need to freshen up, too! - tip contributed by Karen

Save This Tip


We had just about enough Egyptian pounds left to buy food and drink, although there wasn't much of either to be found at the airport. The fact that there was a curfew in place from mid afternoon until early morning meant restocking was almost impossible, once supplies ran out. Whatever we bought, and generally it was pretty much chocolate, chips, and water, we made sure to ration, ensuring that there was always something for us, no matter how long we ended up stranded. It was amazing, and frightening too, how quickly everyone descended to the basic survival needs of having enough to eat and drink.

Sleep was a harder commodity to come by, although we made the best of the floor and chairs on our first night, and the chairs at the boarding gate on the second night. As a result of our experience, we're now seriously contemplating investing in some air mattresses or travel pillows to take away with us in the future. We were certainly very jealous of the Japanese group we saw, who came equipped with both, along with a kettle to make their own tea and coffee. They were seriously prepared for any eventuality!

Perhaps the most important lesson we learned from this whole delay experience is that there's no way you can be prepared for everything. We had almost everything thrown at us during our enforced vacation at Cairo Airport. Usually, if you're stuck at an airport, you'd expect to be able to get food and water easily enough, be able to use your credit cards and get more money out. With the situation we found ourselves in, none of those things were options to us.

It certainly gave us food for thought and will make us think more carefully in the future about what we take in our carry-on luggage with us. Trust me, we won't be going anywhere without phone chargers, tissues or toilet roll, or electrical adapters. As for those air mattresses and travel pillows ... we'll have to see what we can fit in with us in the future!


Egypt - Cairo Airport photo
Egypt - Cairo Airport

People were sleeping anywhere they could find a space! - photo by chezp




About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
What To Do While Waiting for a Flight

Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World - Avoid Those Baggage Fees last updated 3/2/2011
New York City - Something Old, Something New last updated 01/02/2009
On the Road to Walt Disney World - Doing "The Drive" last updated 01/20/2009
Airline Security - 10 Important Tips and Reminders last updated 1/21/2009
Sick at Sea - (But Not Sea Sick!) last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


Wow Cheryl, what an experience. Glad to hear you got thru it o.k. A friend of mine & her DH was stuck there too, and got on a Canadian evac. plane first to Jordan? I think, then to Germany. How scary to be caught up in that.

     Sue M. on March 11, 2011 @ 10:33 am
wow! i'm glad you made it home safely. those are all good observations/suggestions.

     Mileese on March 11, 2011 @ 1:44 pm
Loved the article and it really made me think about what to pack when traveling. When I first read this I thought "This will probably never be an issue for me as I will probably never go to anywhere that could have these types of travel problems." Then the earhtquake and tsunami created travel problems in Hawaii this week. I will definitely be considering your suggestions and ideas anytime I travel!

     katluverb on March 12, 2011 @ 3:51 pm
Thank goodness you made it home safely! Thank you for sharing your great tips and advice for situations that we don't like to think about but can happen at any time. Another great article!

     Goofy'sGal on March 13, 2011 @ 11:00 pm
View all 4 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 03-10-2011 - Article #586 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com


Renting a house in Europe?
by Huntermom
30 Sep 2014 at 6:44pm
We have often rented homes for vacations in the US and Canada. I am planning a trip to Italy next year and hopefully will be joined by one of my...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 7777


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.