Saturday, 20 December 2008

Out on Runway Number Nine

At Heathrow,in the depths of the coldest December for 30 years, waiting to check in for my flight home to see my family for a brief pre-Christmas visit,I join what appears to be the shortest queue.

Like a diligent customer,I have already checked in on-line and printed out my boarding pass,thus saving Virgin about $0.00000000000000000000001 cent.Still it all adds up.

There is a special area for business class 'fast bag drop',where you simply...well...the title is self-explanatory...or so I thought.

The first person in the queue,a middle-aged Chinese man with a shed load of baggage seemed to be having a problem at check-in.
Not only did he not speak English,but he was scheduled to fly on Singapore Airline and was mystified that Virgin wouldn't check him in,

The second person in the queue was a charming elderly gentleman who was excited to be flying.However he didn't actually have a ticket.He thought that his travel agent had got it for him.She hadn't.Many tears.
Still the staff gave him a coffee-voucher.

The third person was a young Urban youth,all cool shades and baggy trousers with a fake American drawl.
I know it was fake because I happened to be washing my hands in the Gents at the same time that he was on his cell phone to his mum in Manchester.
He didn't manage to check it either because he was booked in Economy.

The truth is I suppose,is that there are always crazy people,everywhere you go.
Which is why I always try and sit next to the emergency door.

Twelve hours ; 2 bad movies;17 screaming kids;1 indifferent breakfast;and a glass of wine that tasted like the sweat from a Mongolian wrestlers jock-strap,we landed in Johannesburg.

And heard the most romantic words in the English language:-

"Welcome to Johannesburg.Local time is 06h45 and the temperature is a very pleasant 22C"

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