Yesterday I discovered at the airport that I would find it really hard to participate in Survivor or Big Brother. You know, anything that would require a group to pull together for a task…
My flight was supposed to depart at 8.15am and after a really early start I arrived at the airport where chaos was starting at the door. Because City is such a small airport the queues needed to be looped around each other and they had decided to call out for people per company to lead them to the right queues in small groups. Obviously this was not communicated (no, that would be way to efficient…) and the crowd that was waiting outside was getting restless and confused.
As soon as you were in the building though, it was easy-peasy. You had the occasional jobsworth who tried to get everyone to stand in single file but was soon discouraged by the unmoving crowd. (Silly woman.) Still it was pretty smooth-running. All passengers on my flight, roughly 15, even got all the way to the gate . There we had to wait for the bus to bring us to our small plane. Ten minutes later however the ground-steward got a call that we had to wait because of the change in weather. Icy rain at the tiny airport where we should land, in combination with a small plane was going to be a problem.
As you can imagine, 10 minutes turned into half an hour into one hour into two – finally we were sent back to the departure lounge with sincere apologies (Poor man, every time the phone rang he had to give us worse news!). We were instructed to keep an eye on the screens for the next update. As we were now a bit of a group, we stuck together in the lounge – my rookie mistake as this is where the whingeing started.
At first they complained the flight wasn’t on the screen, amongst the group until a fed-up girl decided to ask customer service, who apologised and placed it back on. Then it didn’t say anything more than ” Delayed” cue more sighs, but when 30 minutes later it said Delayed until 13:30, it triggered even more complaints that we had to wait for so long. Wasn’t it ridiculous that we were the only morning-flight left, even the 12:45 to Antwerp (close to where I was supposed to go) was going etc. etc. etc. Lots of phone-calls home were made and it just included a lot of sighing.
It made me realise that you cannot win with some people. Surely it is better to see that planes are still flying than to be stuck with six more flights, imagine all those extra passengers in the lounge too… The fact that the flight to Antwerp was still going surely was a positive things as well: more chance our tiny plane would make it too.
People were worried they wouldn’t make it home for Christmas, when we still had 10 hours on the clock – and one extra day if necessary. It has been snowing for three days, everyone was well aware of chaos and troubles so what do you expect? As far as I could see it, we were warm inside, being able to sit comfortably and more importantly able to find oneself some food… Every time someone said something positive like “Well only an hour more to go.” a member of the pity-party would shoot it down with a “That is, if we are actually make it out of here.” Grand, just the spirit. The high-light for me was when six hours later, we finally made it back to The Gate and someone started complaining about how cold it was there…
So yes, we had a massive delay and the flight got diverted. We got met by two lovely ground stewardesses who waited with us until coach arrived. Ok, the coach driver had never been to the other airport either and at the very end decided it was a good idea to reverse back onto the round about, and we did find out other planes had managed to land at our original destination throughout the day…Annoying? Perhaps. Not life-changingly so though, surely.
My parents who came to pick me up gave two fellow-passengers a lift to the station before heading home. I’m typing this blog entry on the 23rd of December from my parent’s living room. Two days before Christmas, result.