I love flying but I also like being on time. Those two concepts don’t always coexist.
Our family was up bright and early this morning. Well maybe a lot more of the early and a little less of the bright. Today my adventure begins. I’m flying to Melbourne, taking a coach trip to Geelong, then getting ready for another early start tomorrow as I begin the 25000Spins Great Ocean Road Challenge. I’ll be cycling to release children from poverty through Compassion Australia. It’s not too late to support the ride. Just go to my Everyday Hero fundraising page.
We were all out of bed around 3:00 a.m. so that I could be at the airport early enough to check in my ‘oversize baggage’ for the 5:30 a.m. flight. Well, it was meant to be a 5:30 flight. The oversize baggage is my bike, expertly boxed up by the wonderful Phil at Cyclebuzz Canning Vale.
With the bike checked in we headed to the departure gate for the usual wait. Once the call came over the P.A., one of the only announcements we could actually understand, I said goodbye to Pauline, Emily and James and headed on through. It was all going like clockwork.
I boarded the plane on time with the other passengers and got ready for take off. We taxied out to the runway …. and that’s when it all went pear shaped. A passenger three or four rows behind me had some kind of medical issue. If I heard the banter correctly he may have had a hard night last night but I’m not sure. What I do know is that the flight attendants headed his way with the oxygen bottle and started shifting passengers to other seats.
One of the flight attendants had obviously practiced her “everything’s alright” smile well. She was moving between the passenger and the flight deck a number of times, each time wandering down the aisle with a confident, happy look. She didn’t look this happy before the ‘incident’.
And so we headed back to the gate.
Five or six medicos headed on board and attended the patient … er passenger. After a long while they helped him into a wheelchair and left the aircraft.
Finally, once the paperwork was updated and the ambulance drove away from the plane we pushed out and headed for the runway again. Then, almost an hour late, we took to the skies.
The passengers who were near the incident noticed that the bloke had left a bag with some food in it and a choc milk. Oddly enough no one put their hand up for it so it was binned … and maybe incinerated.
So that’s where things are right now. I’m in the air on Virgin Flight DJ 678, winging my way to Melbourne and my 12:00 p.m. arrival is looking like a 1:00 p.m. arrival. Of course I won’t get to publish this post until we touch down. Until then I’ll keep listening to my iPod and enjoying a rather quiet flight. It’s amazing how dazed most passengers look but I suppose that’s to be expected on a 5:30, make that 6:30 flight.
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