There are all sorts of reasons people miss flights and some of them are a little hard to believe. Chalk this one up to the “little hard to believe” column.
Missed Flights Due To … Tractors?!
While the financial situation in Greece has fallen outside of the headline news for many, there are still many issues going on in Greece. One of the immediate issues is related to a social security overhaul that will affect many, especially farmers. The farmers in Greece get a lot of benefits from the government so they have been out in full force to protest these changes (besides, this is not exactly the season for farming in northern Greece). And when I saw full force, I mean full-throttle tractor style.
For the last couple of weeks, in a show of protest, farmers have moved their tractors to the sides of major roads in Thessaloniki and elsewhere in northern Greece. When the time comes, they move those tractors into the roads to stop traffic in protest to the government’s moves. It is not uncommon to be driving and all of a sudden find the highway closed due to the tractors – and that can be up to the hundreds of tractors.
Today, I had to return a rental car to the Thessaloniki airport. My plan was to drive it to the airport, return it, and then run back – because, why not?! However, I was unable to enter the road leading to the airport because the tractors had closed it down, and the major roads leading to it. The police were circling people around and sending them to an entrance through the casino and then down a modified two-way road that is normally a one-way road. This added quite a lot of minutes to my plan and I was stuck for a while. After finishing up my task, I went to leave and met many of the people walking on the now-empty side of the street. Some of them were complaining that the lines had been so long that they had missed their flights.
This airport is a smaller one and you can literally get to the airport 10 minutes before boarding closes (during non-busy times) and get to your gate in time still. However, today, people that had planned to be there an hour in advance ended up missing their flights because of the traffic closures – cause by tractors.
That is one strange reason to miss a flight and probably not one that many can say is the reason for them! What is the strangest reason you have ever had (or heard about) for missing a flight? Moral of the story? You never know what might cause a delay so always build extra time into your airport trip!