Majorca aborted: holiday crisis at Bergen airport

Two airplanes at destination of the Spanish island of Majorca ended up not getting in the air from Bergen Flesland airport, leaving 188 passengers eager for sun and fun stranded and bound to go home.

The first flight was supposed to leave on Friday at 6 PM and the passengers waited for two hours in the plane before being told to get off for technical problems, and then invited to try again on Sunday night. It failed again, the plane couldn’t get in the air after two days of false hopes given to the unlucky passengers. Two friends were part of the passengers but they are keeping a positive mind about it, while others have publicly displayed outrage and sheer sadness over the whole ordeal.

From an article of Bergens Tidende about how people felt on Sunday evening.

You may think it’s just about holidays, but it’s a little bit more than that. Some people on the flight don’t live in Bergen but hours away so the whole trip to the airport (twice!) was already pretty straining and expensive, and others traveled with very young or elder family members, whom it is hard to impose hours of waiting and moving around on to. You have to also consider that most people have mostly fixed holidays and they can’t just get a week whenever they want, so if they lose that week, they will lose it for good to stay home and wait for their money back.

Picture by Dominic Wunderlich from Pixabay

I agree that going on holidays is not a right or an entitlement, and that you should consider yourself lucky if you manage to be able to afford going on trips like this. I’m the first one to look down on people who DEMAND a table when we really can’t have them for dinner, and to laugh at the thousands of people who got stranded this summer after thinking that going abroad in the most popular holiday time of the year right « post-pandemic » (and the shortage of staff going with it) was a great idea. But I still have some empathy for this particular case, because summer in Bergen has been really quite shitty. I’m talking, mostly raining and around 10°C everyday, except for a few blessed ones. I do have the urge to go for a beach holiday myself, but I usually wait to go at the end of the season. And guess where? Most probably to Majorca!

Palma de Majorca, a major Scandinavian holiday place.
Picture by Bartłomiej Koc from Pixabay

Spain has always been a prime destination for Norwegians in need of sun and leisure for the summer, fleeing long and wet summers in their home country. Many people actually have a house there, it’s a whole thing. When I used to work in an Italian restaurant, people would order me « una cerveza por favor« , butchering a language that is not even the one spoken in that restaurant. And « gracias », that’s pretty much where it stops. Still, now that I work on top a mountain, some Norwegians frustrated that I don’t understand what they’re asking me (it’s noisy, you can just repeat it more clearly but sure) often end up asking me for a coffee « con leche« , as if it was more understandable this way. But I digress.

From Spain, the Balearics attract a lot of tourists and it’s almost impossible to meet locals, according to Norwegian friends who have been on holiday there. There are apparently places where you have menus in Norwegian, which seems quite… bizarre, but I guess that helps. This year, now that Norwegians feel safer going abroad again, it has been the prime destination. In May of this year, the local online media Majorca Daily Bulletin was foreseeing an increase of the amount of Norwegians visiting the island, attributing it to the war in Ukraine and the rise of the new low-cost airline Flyr that started operating there.

This is what you see when you get out of Bergen airport. My interpretation is: « Really? Are you sure you intended to land here? ».

Now, summer holidays have been disrupted for many eager to travel abroad and enjoy some sunny fun for the first time in two years, either because of the shortage of staff, airlines’ staff strikes and/or a huge lack of organisation from tourism companies and airlines in the chaos that follows the reopening to « real » life. But again, traveling is not a necessity, and I hope the stranded travelers will remember that and enjoy their time off of work. Adios!

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