Saturday, February 20, 2010

Heading home...or maybe not..

February 3rd...

So, we arrived at the airport at 4pm for our 6pm flight.  We checked in and our flight was scheduled to leave on time.

We went through security, passport control etc. to do some last minute shopping to use our few remaining Rands.  We got to the gate 30 minutes before the scheduled flight just as they are announcing that our flight has been slightly delayed.

No problem...a cute and young (20's) Australian girl sits next to me and we start talking.  She tells me all about her incredible 7 week safari all throughout Africa.  The countries that she went to were amazing.... 

After a while, we look up at the board and now it says that our scheduled departure time is 22:00 (10pm)!  Okay, still no problem...more shopping time for me.

An Emirates representative tells us that a plane (not ours) had a "minor" crash (no fatalities) on our runway.  The airport was working on moving the crashed plane and cleaning up the runway.  Meanwhile, our plane had been circling for some time and now was running low on fuel.  So, they were re-routed to Durban South Africa (1715 kilometers away) to refuel.

So, my new Australian friend and I continue to talk.  A little while later, she glances up at the board and sees that we have a new departure time...  13:00+ !!  That means 1pm the NEXT DAY!!

The representative comes out again and explains to us what happened:

1.  The crew from the plane that was re-routed to Durban couldn't fly to Cape Town because they were above the FAA rules for flight time per day (?) or something along those lines.

2.  Our crew had to fly on South African Airways jet to get to Durban and bring the plane, passengers and crew back to Cape Town.

3.  When our crew arrived with the plane back to Cape Town, they couldn't continue on to Dubai right away because they would be breaking the flight hours law.

4.  So, we had to wait until 1pm the next day, when they would be able to fly again.

So, we got to spend another night in Cape Town!!  Yipee!  Plus, there was a huge mining convention in town and there were only really expensive rooms available.  Yipee again!!  Our room was 2 floors and bigger than our apartment in Paris! And...they gave us a glass of champagne at check-in!!

Looking from the second floor down...we had walls of windows!!

We even had a microwave and fancy coffee maker!  We don't even have a microwave in our apartment.  We then headed down to waterfront and ate a delicious dinner outside.

Next morning the airport.  Tom is not even in this picture yet because he at the very end of the line (at the top left side of the picture).  Everyone that had connecting flights in Dubai had to get new connecting flights.  We would arrive in Dubai around 12:30am and the next flight to Paris was at 8am.  So, we got to sleep in Dubai airport.  The first time that I have ever slept in an airport so I was very excited! 

And no...we didn't leave Cape Town on time today.  We were delayed another hour because we had to wait for the caterer to deliver the meals.

An exciting end to a wonderful vacation!!


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I would say very exciting, my husband would be well peed off with that :-( He flies all year round and works, so understandable really,...

Notes from Noël said...

Hi Anne!!

I was just so excited to stay an extra day in Cape Town for free! sleep in an airport for the first time at 47 years old!!

I definitely can understand how Arni would feel and I'm sure that the second time sleeping in an airport won't be nearly as exciting for me!!

Rosina at Middle Ageless said...

What a wonderful experience all round. I so admire all the physical challenges you undertook. You are very bold and I envy that :)

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