I was travelling yesterday. My first ever connecting flight by myself. An hour and a half to disembark, find the gate, go to the loo, find some food, sit down and wait. Easy, right? Apparently not. As my flight landed in Sydney I was pumped and ready to go. I turned my phone off flight mode and suddenly ping. ‘Virgin Australia apologises flight [insert flight number here] on 01 Sept is delayed. New departure time is 1905.’ Yes, this was frustrating, especially when my initial flight was supposed to land at 1805. But flights get delayed all the time, things go wrong – it’s understandable and not the issue earning this post.
No. The issue comes after I have left the plane, paced the airport back and forth a couple of times and find myself at a Virgin counter. Not particularly wanting to spend the next three hours hanging around an unfamiliar airport I asked for a possible flight change. A ‘please chuck me on any plane that leaves earlier, I will sit in the bathrooms if I have to’ request. There I was told that four previous flights had been cancelled, and that my 1905 delay was in fact the next earliest flight.
So wait I did. Outside the gate for the first two hours, then it happened. Over the speakers: an announcement for the soon to be boarding Canberra flight – leaving half an hour before mine. I watched people from my gate stand up and head down towards the gate. People from my flight. People who were not just aware that earlier flights existed, but had gotten a ticket. I packed up my stuff and stalked, to my frustrated shock it wasn’t a mistake – it was most certainly a flight, leaving before mine, to Canberra. I was not told that there was another flight with no availability. I was told, directly that there were no earlier flights. No. Earlier. Flights. Yet there in front of me was an earlier flight. Boarding in right in front of my eyes.
But my waiting was not over there. Oh no. Five minutes before estimated boarding it was discovered that the Captain and his first mate were not at the gate. The Captain of the plane, was not at the plane five minutes before estimated boarding. I appreciate the employee at the counter, trying to make us all laugh in that moment, because there was murder in the eyes of everyone waiting. Four cancelled flights, multiple delays, a missing Captain. These people, myself included, were about one more case of Murphy’s Law away from homicide. So thank you Virgin counter lady for keeping the tone as light as possible to prevent disaster. You were one of the best parts of one of my most frustrating days.
So Virgin Australia, I know that you have a hectic job – trying to organise flights. Getting people from A to B is intense. Just a word of advice, try not to tell frustrated people that there are no more flights when there are. It’s frustrating, it’s rage-inducing, it’s infuriating. It prompted the awakening of the inner psycho stalker within me. I can safety say that I didn’t have a fun travelling experience, and from the murmurings of the passengers around me when we finally landed in Canberra, I was not alone.
Frustrated traveller girl out.