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January 10, 2010
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It is quite alright to spend 16 hours on a plane when you are coming home from, say, Tahiti or New Zealand or...I don't know! Fucking Guam!!? But...when a simple 7 hour flight becomes a 16 hour disaster it's simply NOT COOL. I have been in England, where alas and alack, they have had their snowiest, iciest coldest fucking December/January for the last 30 years. Everything was cancelled. Everything was closed (which was great, BTW, because you never quite know your inlaws until you've played 700 hours of pictionary with them anyway), and if you could actually get to the activities you'd planned to avoid said game of pictionary, let's just say you NEVER would have known. So, point of blog, I was dreading the weather on Sunday because we had to, not just fly out of Manchester (which had gotten buried and closed down on Tuesday), but also the quick stop to Gatwick before setting out across the Atlantic, and the snow was predicted to slap Gatwick on Sunday morning. SO! We don't really sleep because "sleep" when you know you're getting up at 3:30am isn't really sleep, we got up, we got out and were at Manchester airport for about 5ish am-ish...we check in for our 8:30 flight. In about an hour, we are told by other passengers that they were given a notice that the flight wuld be delayed until 3:30 because they were going to bus the passengers from Gatwick to Manchester to avoid snow squall. WELL! That's what they should have done. Instead, after delays and crazy, we board the plane roughly after nine, and then we can't leave because they can't find passengers. Then they unload the remaining four missing passengers baggage, then they find 2 passengers and have to put their luggage back on the plane. Who the Hell knows what time we actually left. We get to Gatwick, and there has been no food service on the plane because it was a mere 41 minute flight. We get to Gatwick and the weather is fine. Everyone gets on board, they are refuelling. Hmmm. Problem. Technical problem holding us up. They inform everyone that if the engineers can't find a certain spare part, we will be moved to another plane which is available. I say, at that moment to Nigel "Why don't they just take the part off the other plane?" 45 minutes later, the pilot comes over the PA and declares that it will be another 45 minutes or longer as th engineers have had the brilliant idea to take the part from the other plane and are now doing it. (I could have saved them an hour at least). ANYWAY...they changed the part..turns out that part wasn't exactly the problem...will be roughly 45 more minutes, and is still possible we will change planes which would take easily an extra 2 hours. We stay on the plane, and the food service can't start, nor can they sell you a soft drink until in air...so in the time, we are not being fed or hydrated but for a complimentary serving of orange juice or water and a packet of shortbread cookies. 6 hours later, we are up on the air, everyone gets past being relieved and then wonder "Hmmmm...will the plane make it over the ocean?" The service resumes, the staff were great! I moaned a bit about not having a Coke for 10 hours!!!(they only had Pepsi, but I didn't care, I just needed it and a Stella to boot)...they gave me 2 pepsi, 2 ginger ale and a Stella for Free :) I was SO happy :) Rest of the flight a dream but for my BIGGEST complaint. People. When there is a Flu pandemic of global proportion, (media fuelled or not), and you know you will be in a confined space, for HOURS, with families, weary travellers with compromised immunity, it shouldn't be mandatory but a voluntary courtesy to wear a face mask if you have a nasty cough. I'm not talking about the little tickle coughs, people who had the "little coughs" were the ones politely coughing into their sleeves, but the 2 passengers (and you know who you are left and fucking right), coughing their faces off for the entire 16 hours...could've grabbed a mask at Boots for 3 pound and it may not have prevented anything but at least it would have been an effort, as would have, say, covering your mouths once or twice you germy bitches. End of rant.
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