Thursday, September 6, 2007

Stranded!

Here's a photo essay on what you can do while stranded in an airport terminal -



A number of you might have read my crazy "Dear Charo" Twitter posts during the day. It went like this -

11:03 AM me: dear charo, ako'y sumusulat mula dito sa paliparan ng iloilo, gumising ako ng alas kwatro ng umaga upang di mahuli sa aking flightngunit datapwa't nang kami'y palipad na biglang umapak ang pilot sa brakes at kami ay paulit ulit na nag headbang

11:04 AM makakatulog na sana ako nun charo. sabi ng aking katabi pataas na kami nung biglang pilit ihinto ng piloto ang eroplano
natakot ako charo, isker! isker na isker!... to be continued... back to work muna.

2:34 PM me: dear charo, i'm still here in iloilo and trying to figure out the reason behind why i got stuck here for 10 hours now
2:35 PM naisantabi ko na ang takot ko sa nangyari kanina at handa na ako sumakay ulit ng eroplano, para lang makauwi!
me: ito nga po sa tingin ko tataba ako sa kakakain... kain kain to the max... sige kain muna ako ulit... brb

To make a long story short (yeah this is the translation), I got up at around 4:30 in the morning to be at the new Iloilo International Airport by 5:30 a.m. so I could catch the 6:45 a.m. flight. My flight was originally slated at 10:10 a.m., but I had to move it earlier because of some appointments. Yeah, yeah I always keep a crazy stream of activities every single day.

The plane was taking off already (I was almost in lala land by then) when the pilot hit on the brakes (thus the headbanging). It took a while before he mumbled something about "error in the cockpit" and then later on said, "erroneous reading". By then, I was wide awake and freaking out with my now new found friend Chat. Who wouldn't?

Anyway, the pilot said that it seemed that it was just an erroneous reading and announced that we just had to wait for the brakes to cool off so we could try taking off again. Ummm... erroneous reading??? So we tried taking off again, this time the plane glided along the runway slowly, but hit the brakes immediately at some point. Something was terribly wrong and the baby crying just pronounced that reality even more.

So, we had to get off the plane and wait at the terminal for more than an hour before any announcement was made. "We'll update in an hour." Another hour passed and then another hour and another... let's just say we finally managed to get back on the plane at 3:30 in the afternoon.

8 hours of delay equals three very important canceled meetings for me, lack of sleep, waiting for my nose to fall off because of the cold (they should've offered blankets or something!), and let's just say a lot of things got ruined as well within the day. But! At least:

(1) Nobody was hurt and the trouble came up before we managed to get up on the air;
(2) The airline fed us well;
(3) I managed to be productive (thanks to Globe Visibility); and
(4) I have a new found friend!

My Dad told me to ride another airline next time coz they have better maintenance. I was truly terrified on the ride back to Manila coz there was obviously still something really wrong with the aircraft (it was flying really low and slow!) and it didn't help that the stewards looked terrified themselves. I heard some really scary incidents about this airline (yes, crashes), but since it's very convenient to book online with them I've been using them more often than not in my trips. Hmmm, but then again lately they're becoming quite notorious in delayed flights as well. I don't even want to think about what could've happened if the "error" showed up mid-air. Pffft!

Thank God I got back in one piece.

Note to self: Do not watch "Air Crash Investigations" the night before taking a plane trip.