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  • Christina Fotinelli

Dear to Whom it May Concern,

Sofia Ikariotis (68) is livid! She set out this morning to catch a flight to Ioannina to visit her cousin, Tasoula who is suffering from a particularly debilitating bout of colitis. Weighed down with packages of aloe vera gel, turmeric root, and chocolate digestive biscuits (the first two, natural remedies for her cousin’s inflamed colon, the third, the object of her nocturnal binges), Sofia has been at the airport from 7 a.m. for a 10:15 a.m. flight. Diligently joining the back of the snaking queue, she begins to get fidgety at 7.45 a.m. At 8 a.m., having shuffled only two and a quarter lengths of the rope barrier, her foot starts to tap. At 8:10 a.m. she's tut-tuting. By 8:20 a.m. she's spluttering about shocking customer service and by 8:33am, and no closer to the check-in desk, she’s swaying from side to side, red in the face, with arms akimbo. When a member of the airline’s ground staff invites passengers on the departing flight to Myconos to jump the queue, she loses it.

Dear to Whom it May Concern,

It is with regret and a fair amount of irritation that I pen this missive. I am stranded in Rimini airport less my luggage, my sense of humour, and a ticket that will transport me to my final destination. Why, you ask? Was I tardy in my arrival to the check in? Were my bags overweight? Did I browse for too long in the parfumerie of the Duty Free? Did I dawdle in the food court? No, Sir or Madam, I did not. In fact, I missed my connecting flight thanks to the extraordinary incompetence of your ground staff.

The Law of the Queue

I have lived in this country for thirty years. In that time, I have learned to respect the 'Law of the Queue.' #ruleoflaw #lawofthequeue #ignoreatyourperil

"An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one."

The purest of truths from Mr. George Mikes. Mock if you like but there is none more fair and none more severe a law to break than the great 'Law of the Queue'. None more symbolic of a civilised society and yet... here I am, a faithful disciple, nary a waver throughout my lifetime and I have come face to face with a treacherous betrayal. I request, nay demand: 1. an apology 😔 2. an upgrade ✈️ 2. one of those delightful toiletry bags 🪥you offer customers who travel in First 💰(not the mediocre Business-class ones, only the fine ones from First will help assuage my outrage).

The Customer is Always Right #goldenrule

Outrageous conduct to let those vapid, botoxed jet-setters jump the queue. Us honest folk, bound for humbler destinations have rights too. I gave that mouthy little frippet – I didn’t catch her name – a piece of my mind. She had the nerve to tell me she represented customer service. What rubbish! I shouted that her actions were tantamount to abuse. She had the good sense to wince when I quoted the 'Law of the Queue' but she still let those smirking miscreants go first. She tried but I had had enough. I wouldn’t let a soul past - blocked the path with my luggage.

That’s when things got a little sticky.😬

Do all Clouds have Silver Linings?

I was placed in detention and questioned endlessly. The aloe raised a few eyebrows. Sadly, the biscuits were confiscated. They said it’s Brexit rules but I think the guards were just peckish. I was released after four hours and the only flight headed anywhere near Ioannina was going to Rimini, so I thought what the heck. Stranded and with no connection in sight, I reflect back over the day. In hindsight, perhaps not one of the wisest decisions on my part. What now?

Oh, Yes. They Do!

I am bored in this airport, another annoyance I lay at your feet if you must know. So, I have decided to explore Rimini. In fact, a charming Signore I met loitering in the souvenir shop told me that the great cinematic maestro Federico Fellini was born here. He offered to take me on a magical tour of the city on his motorino, for a very special price. I'm off to enjoy #ladolcevita with Gianni. 🍾❤️🛵

Yours faithfully,

Miss Sofia Ikariotis

P.S. I’m leaving the suitcase with the aloe and the turmeric in baggage claim. It's green, plastic-wrapped, with a bright yellow ribbon around the handle. If you find it, send it on to Tasoula (address on the inside flap). Flare-ups come and go. Her problem is chronic, anyway. Ciao!

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