Saturday, 26 January 2013

A Dangerous Mission

The car came to an abrupt halt outside Sydney Domestic Terminal.

"Hurry!" the driver ordered, eyes wild. I opened the car door to searing heat. Within seconds I was sweating profusely. Ten percent heat. Ninety percent nerves.

The suitcase thudded next to me. Anxiously, I gripped the handle, aware of the arduous task ahead of me.

"Come on!" I called to my young accomplice. The car sped off.  Through the doors and a sea of people. The rush of cool air did little to soothe my jangled nerves.  I headed to the agreed waiting place. Breathe, I told myself. Everything is okay. It had seemed such a good idea. So far, our plan was working.

Surveying the crowds of people, my mind raced. Where were they going? Why? Did they have such a dangerous mission ahead of them? How would I get through this?

Breathe. My heart was beating faster now. Dear God, would I survive? As I was about to do the unthinkable. Take three boys on a flight to the Queensland!!! Cue dramatic music. The Sunshine Coast, to be exact.

As per our plan, Micky Blue Eyes, had dropped myself and Mr4 off, and was heading back to his parents house, who live closer to the airport (let's face it, anywhere is closer than Boganville) to pick up Mr11 and 8 and return with his father. Because this is what bogans do. Just to save parking or taxi fairs.

An overjoyed  Mr 4 was peppering me with questions as we waited.  I answered vaguely, too busy trying to stay calm.  Suddenly, a commanding voice pierced loudly through the noise.

"Passengers travelling on flight JQ783 to Maroochydore, if you haven't already checked in, please do so immediately. This is the final call for flight JQ783 to Maroochydore. Thankyou!"

Maroochydore? Um, no problem, right? We were going to the Sunshine Coast. Pause. But where on the sunshine coast exactly?  Gingerly I unfolded the paperwork from my handbag. To my horror I read Flight JQ783 to Maroochydore! It was our flight! Mick and the boys were still not here! Shit! What should I do?

Now, obviously the best thing to do at this point would have been to just calm down and think logically. The flight wasn't until 2.50pm, which was still a way off. However, logic has never been my strong point. I immediately became alarmed.

Surveying the queues, my panic mounted.  Calling to Mr 4, I headed towards the end of a line, suitcase lumbering behind me. Mr 4 was agog with curiosity and excitement, oblivious to my frantic musings.  There I hovered, wondering what to do. An official looking woman in an orange Jetstar vest approached me briskly, perhaps noting my uncertainty.  She then began punching the flight number into one of the machines and printed out our boarding passes, urging me to join the line.

Frowning intensely, I did as instructed, willing Mick to make an appearance pronto.  The line moved along. No Mick. I scanned the crowd nervously. I let people in front of me. Still no Mick. The calls to check in for our flight came over the loudspeaker yet again. This should have been a give away that there was nothing to really panic about as they had said the previous announcement was a final call, yet here they were announcing it again!

All rational thoughts appeared to have deserted me, however and I became more and more jittery. Hurry up Mick!!  The same official woman noticed my agitation as I let more people in front of me.

"What's the problem?" she queried.  I explained the situation.

"You need to check in," she informed me, emotionless "otherwise you may miss your flight."

EEEEEK!!!

"Perhaps you should call him." she suggested.

"I don't have a phone!" I admitted, feeling foolish. The only phone we owned was with Mick.

"Oh here, you can use mine." said another lady in the line behind me, who had heard the whole exchange.  Thanking her, I punched in the number, my fear rising. Voice Mail. I left a frantic, babbling message to hurry or we might miss the flight.   The queue moved again. Still no Mick mercifully appeared.

"Call him again," the kindly lady offered me her phone again.  This time I spoke to a startled Mick, who assured me they were in the car, just minutes away.  I hung up.

"You should have told him what desk number you're at." the lady pointed out.

Shit!

"Ring him again, it's fine," she handed back her phone for a third time. All I could do was thank her exuberantly.

 I told a distraught Mick we were at desk 39. He said he was just coming in the door. Finally!  A minute or so later they all appeared, pale and panting. Thanking the lady again, we hurried to the counter.  We checked in our suitcases and headed through to departures. After putting everything through the security conveyor belt thing, we then hastened to our departure gate. 

Quickening our pace, we rounded a corner. A luggage buggy beeped at us to get out of the way. Mr 8's Ipod clattered to the ground in front of it. Mick lunged, grabbed it just in time and we continued our break neck pace through the airport. A long ago memory flashed through my mind. Of returning home from a family holiday to Holland when I was only ten years old. Somehow my parents had miscalulated our boarding time for our flight back to Australia.  We were strolling around the airport, window shopping, when we had heard our names called out over the speakers! The plane had been delayed because of us. I still recalled the humilation of dozens of disgruntled eyes boring into us, as we shame facedly boarded the flight. Hopefully we weren't about to suffer the same humilation!

Breathlessly we reached the gate. Bored people sat around, listlessly flicking through their Iphones or scrolling down lap tops. The plane hadn't boarded at all!  We sank onto a seat, exhausted already.  There we waited. For at least another forty five minutes!! After all our racing, the flight was delayed! Silently I cursed that official woman for stressing me uneccessarily.

Eventually we boarded the plane and prepared for take off. Due to the searing Sydney heat that day we circled the tarmac for at least another half hour. Apparently it was so scorching that the breaks over heat, so we had to wait until they had cooled sufficiently for take off. After what seemed like an eternity of Mr 4 endlessly asking when  we were going, the plane finally rocketed down the runway. We were airbourne, headed upwards and towards the Sunshine Coast.Yep, exactly what we needed More sun. Find out what happened next time.

 Linking up my old crap with Kim from Falling Face First for The Lounge's freestyle session, because that's what lazy bogans do.


 Do you like flying? Have you ever missed a flight?
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17 comments:

  1. Bloody hell! This is partially why Team Abulous has not attempted to fly anywhere. I hope this story gets better but I'm thinking there will be more misadventures... Am I right?

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    1. Yes, you are right, not so much concerning the flight but there was a mishap or two on the holiday. I also don't recommend flying with really young children, but it's getting easier with my 11 and 8 yr olds.

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  2. I've flown a couple of times and I am always scared of missing my flight or similar. I think those stupid customs etc shows have made me more worried about it all.

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    1. Oh yeah, I never watch those! Or any plane crash type movies...

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  3. Oh yes, the joys of flying... It always does seem to be a "hurry up and wait" mentality when dealing with anything airport related. I've had to fly quite a bit in the past decade or so... Luckily, it seems that the airport officials are no longer viewing me as a potential terrorist threat, as I haven't been forced into a body scan, or a phone booth where they blow air on me, or been patted down for a year! Impressive, yes? :)

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    1. "Hurry up and wait!" EXACTLY!!

      I guess it's the times we live in post 9/11 with the airport security. Mick I were checked with some device and our carry on luggage on the way back too.

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  4. I really loved reading that - it was like I was there!!! The last time we flew (for a LONNGG) time was to NZ to see inlaws, youngest was 4 months, middle 2.5 year, oldest 4 years, BLOODY NIGHTMARE. I can't stand it when they're so young. I don't mind flying solo but with three kids - not fun. Emily :)

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    1. Thanks Emily, glad you enjoyed it. :) Yes, air travel with kids is a whole different ball game, isn't it? You were certainly brave to attempt that! It's getting easier with my 11 and 8 year old, so there's hope for the future.

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  5. Travelling with kids - argh! Hideous even when things go well. I hope you all enjoyed a lovely relaxing holiday when you finally got here.

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  6. This sounds like the army - hurry up and wait ! LOL
    Have the best day !
    Me

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  7. I have missed too many to remember, I have had to run through terminals, I have had to get off planes and run back to get new planes...the list goes on. Something about airports makes everything soooooo stressful...

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  8. Far out Ness - I was getting all panicking reading this! LOL I hope that any future mishaps in the story are not too major! xo

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  9. Oh I remember reading this months ago and commenting, you were such a legend doing this xx

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  10. Oh God I'm coming out in a cold sweat just reading this..

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  11. LOL! What stress!! The things bogans do to save money. It's not just bogans, let me tell you! And yes, I've almost missed a flight as well. I was relaxing over at Virgin when my flight was over the other side of the airport on Qantas. Idiot.

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  12. Ah. Stupid cheap airlines, you were right to panic, because even though there is no ACTUAl rush, they will refuse you your flights if you don't check in by their prescribed times.
    And they weigh your luggage and SLUG the crap out of you if you are over. My husband was overweight for handluggage just an incy bit and it cost him an extra $90 to check the bag (about the same price as the ticket). And I made an incorrect booking, and 2 minutes realised, and it almost doubled the ticket price to make a change.
    Now I try not to get lured in by the cheapness of the tickets, but it is hard to fight temptation. Stick with Qantas or Virgin is my advice.

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  13. Major props to you Ness! I find car travel with my boys stressful enough. The idea of taking to the skies makes is almost inconceivable. I will be hanging out for the next installment :)

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