Thankfully, no-one uttered those particular words though I’m sure they were in many minds as we flew back yesterday afternoon. Having checked in and made ourselves comfortable whilst waiting for our 3pm flight home, we spotted a red flag on the departure board, alerting us to a 45 minute delay. Ho hum.
Going to the gate around 3pm, noticing that the later flight had been cancelled altogether, we waited for news. Sure enough, an announcement came to say that there was likely to be a longer wait on the plane because there was fog at Heathrow and fewer planes than usual were being granted permission to land. Nevertheless, we boarded as instructed, settled ourselves in and summoned up all patience.
That’s when the Captain came on the loudspeaker to say that we were likely to be there waiting for another four hours.
What does one do? Play solitaire on the laptop, do a puzzle or two, read a magazine…for someone like me with the boredom threshold of a gnat, it’s no problem to find some kind of activity in my bag – but going nowhere makes settling to anything rather a challenge.
We were getting hungry too. As a result of the cancelled flight ours was completely full and space was not exactly available to wander around, to stretch legs or anything else. We simply sat and waited.
From time to time the Captain issued updates and one or two folks decided to get off the plane, so permission was sought, luggage offloaded and the rest of us settled back for a while longer. Our inflight meal of a sandwich was served, a round of drinks brought and remarkably the baby in the row in front of us was happily entertained by his doting parents and didn’t make a sound. A chap across the way asked if he may buy a giant Toblerone from the inflight shopping catalogue but was advised that since we were still on the ground, nothing could be sold. A pity that…I can imagine BA could have made a killing on those chocolate bars!
His request reminded me that I had a little secret stash of peanut M&Ms in my bag – we thought about rationing them out so they would last the full two hours remaining but actually scoffed the lot in one go!
Thankfully, with about an hour to go, the Captain reported that we had been given a slot and we were taking off as soon as everyone could get themselves seated and belted up – within five minutes we were all there, ready and waiting, the safety demonstration was done in superfast time and we were off. An uneventful (and snackless!) two and a half hours later, we were back at Heathrow, where the fog had thankfully lifted but list of cancelled flights reminded us of how lucky we were to have arrived home tonight.