Domestic Travel Fiasco

I wasn’t planning on writing another post until our next overseas adventure, but ……

Today we left our Australian home after three nights in our own bed. Neither of us had jet lag from our trip from London which was great, but we did have a few issues. 

Firstly, my bag did not arrive in Brisbane when we arrived. Just as I had feared, it was still in Taipei. It was delivered very late Wednesday night – 36 hours after we got home. 

Secondly, after enjoying a lovely meal cooked by Joe and Lita on our first night home, and catching up on all their news, I woke the next morning with absolutely no voice whatsoever. 

Anyway, today we were heading to Canberra for our youngest granddaughter’s baptism. We will spend 4 days in Canberra catching up with Sam and Sarah and other family and friends. We are very much looking forward to that. 

Our Virgin flight was to depart Brisbane at 2pm. But, there was one issue after another, and we took off at 5.30pm (6.30pm Canberra time).

ISSUE  1 – the plane we were to catch was 30 minutes late arriving into Brisbane and the monitor displayed a 30 minute delay. 

Not a problem. 

ISSUE  2 – the pilot was worried about something to do with the plane and called for an engineer’s inspection. 

Good idea. 

ISSUE  3 – we noticed all the bags being offloaded from our plane just moments before an announcement explaining we had  a new departure time, a new departure gate and a new plane. 

Another good idea, but there were a few unhappy campers starting to surface. 

ISSUE 4 – after sitting on the “new” plane waiting patiently for the safety talk for about 30 minutes, the crew started to relocate passengers as the ground staff was not happy with the weight distribution. I estimated about 20 people were moved up towards the front of the plane. We were asked to move to an emergency exit, which we’d normally jump at, but Mick explained he was not 100% fit to help in an emergency. A combination of a very late night at the Watson’s last night and his badly sprained ankle. Worryingly though, an elderly woman we had earlier helped to find her seat because she was “confused ” (her words) and who was limping more than Mick, happily took a seat in the exit row. I contemplated complaining but knew this would delay us further. 

Unsure of the pros in this move, but possibly a necessity. 

ISSUE  5 – after another 15 minutes waiting for the safety talk, the frustrated pilot made an announcement that there was a safety issue to do with the crew’s flying hours and they were waiting on advice about whether or not the staff would be able to continue with this flight. 

A safety requirement must be followed, but there were loud groans from passengers. It transpired that the staff had to disembark and be replaced. The pilot explained that because two of the crew agreed, and were given approval to, remain on the flight, the flight did not need to be cancelled. 😩 Loads more groans and some appreciative comments to the staff who volunteered to stay. 

ISSUE  6  – while we were waiting to find out if there were some replacement staff to be found, one passenger, I’m guessing a very unhappy passenger, indicated s/he wanted to get off the plane. The pilot made an announcement as he had to explain there would be a further 10-15 minute delay while the passenger’s luggage was removed from the hold. Another safety requirement. 

We were all shitty with this passenger, whoever he or she was, regardless of how much he or she needed to get off, because we were kept on the ground for longer and the plane was stinking hot. 

ISSUE  7 – I needed to contact the car hire company and the hotel to explain we’d be later than I had indicated. Virgin staff phoned the car hire company for us and sorted that, but while waiting in the plane for 90 minutes I tried to contact the hotel. My booking app showed the accommodation was cancelled 😱😱 and, wouldn’t you know it, the crew was ready to give the safety talk I’d been waiting for, so I had to switch my phone off before I could contact the hotel. 

I wrote this post in the air, worried  if we had a place to stay tonight and for the next three nights. 

But if you are reading this, it means we at least landed safely in Canberra. 

Happy days. 😀😀😀

2 comments

  1. OMG Jane what a calamity , I can’t believe it , I bet Mike was getting cranky you poor people
    Hope you have a lovely time visiting family in Canberra, have enjoyed your blogs what a fabulous time you both have had
    Love Mary x

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