Down the aisle on aircraft

OK, so I cheated a bit with the title, and it is actually day four technically this morning, UK time. Anyone who has flown the Australia – UK flight should understand why I didn’t have enough in me to post last night.

That, and the fact I was in a little pub in Bishop Auckland, drinking beer and watching soccer should be a valid excuse.

What a flight. I’ll say that again for impact; What. A. Flight. We boarded the Qantas flight from Changi Airport in time for our takeoff at 10.55pm on Tuesday night. All went well at this point, until I realised we were on an older and much simpler entertainment system than previously mentioned – in fact, there was no Video On Demand, you had to watch the movies when they dictated. That’s fine, I thought, it’s only 13 hours in the air.

40 minutes from landing at Heathrow, and our plane took a sharp right. Then the announcement came over the PA that due to an unexpected issue, we were being diverted to Frankfurt airport.

We landed at Frankfurt to be told we are going to refuel, since we’re at an airport and it seems like the right thing to do. That’s fine, but we weren’t allowed to disembark or even eat or drink much, since we’d all just about cleaned out the plane. OH, and we were told we couldn’t use the restrooms either, whilst on the tarmac.

40 minutes later, refuelling finishes, to be told that the pilot and first mate had already had their allowed share of flying time for one shift, and that we were getting replacements from a hotel in the city (handy that Qantas has backup crews in various hotels). It’ll only take an hour for the new crew to get dressed and get to the plane.

This brought on a collective sigh from the couple of hundred passengers, but these things happen. The crew finally boards half an hour after that, and then start the engines to discover… a mechanical issue.

Just over three hours of sitting on the Frankfurt airport tarmac, and we finally got back in the air. We landed just over 19 hours after we left Changi. Given I start pulling my hair out and climbing walls after a four hour flight, you can imagine my excitement at getting off this plane.

A zippy four hour drive up the M1, thanks to my brother and his fiancée, and here I am in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. I’m trying hard to not think of my Heathrow to Perth flight next week, believe me.

Image: down the aissle, aircraft to Heathrow.

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