Monday, August 08, 2005

The Best Laid Plans

I get up BEFORE the crack of dawn, drive with the family for over an hour to get to Sydney airport by 7am for my 10 am flight. After a slight hiccup at the check in desk where I repack my bags frantically to reduce my excess luggage, I go through customs to my gate. Gate 115.

There is NO gate 115. Eventually I see the right flight listed for gate 24 so I proceed there. As I sit down the woman next to me asks what time I was told the flight would be.
“It is supposed to leave at 10am, but I was told it was delayed until 11.50am” I reply knowingly.
She smiles sadly and says another passenger was told it wouldn’t arrive until 1.30PM. We shudder and hope against hope that he is wrong, as we make mindless small-talk.

Soon enough we hear an announcement:
“Passengers on Qantas flight 129 to Shanghai…. We regret to tell you…..”
“…that your flight has been delayed until 4PM as it has been re-routed through Adelaide.”
So I got up at 4AM for nothing then?
“Don’t you realise that I am NOT A BLOODY MORNING PERSON!!!” I scream inwardly. Only my eyes reveal my true inner anguish as they search hysterically for a magic button somewhere with a neon sign and arrow flashing “Push here to make that announcement merely a cruel joke and be on your way at your scheduled time”

Of course, this being Sydney airport and not Chitty-chitty Bang-bang, no such button exits. So here I am, still sitting in the airport five hours after I arrived here, waiting for the AWOL plane.
I was scheduled to arrive in Shanghai at the nice civilized time of 6.30PM, with enough time for a nice dinner with Phil. Instead, I’ll be lucky to get there before midnight.

A new acronym for Qantas: Quietly Absent, Never Timetabling Arrivals Successfully.

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