The plane finally left 11.20am UK Time, 2.20pm Dubai time, 8.20pm Sydney time. Our ‘fated’ flight from Dubai to Sydney was delayed and I understand the plane was overbooked by 40 people.
Apparently, common practice. And those willing to travel on a later flight go for free! Fine if you have nothing much to do. But if you have plans, and one lady we spoke with was a bridesmaid for a wedding, needed to board THAT plane.
It’s astonishing how grumpy and rude we can be when tired, lacking sleep and delayed from our course of actions, especially when queuing forever for the toilet.
This is the second occasion we have been delayed on one flight alone. Firstly, a sick child then a bag not belonging to anyone was investigated as all overhead bags were checked individually. This added an hour and fifteen minutes.
Then the major drama – cabin crew running up and down the aisles frantically, a call for a paramedic, nurse or doctor, passengers everywhere looking on, not sure how to respond with a potential medic or two on the scene looking calm and smiling but clearly a difficult situation to take hold of and ascertain.
Our son could see all from his seat. The plane suddenly descended, seatbelt sighs on …. Had the passenger fainted? Had a heart attack? Maybe had too much to drink?
It was quite surreal as people continued to queue for the lavatory. There were many onlookers chatting and we had no idea if the man in question had something seriously wrong with him, was suffering with minor symptoms or was dying.
So what should one do?
I made myself known and available as a minister of religion, hoping and praying my services would not be called upon. But I felt with integrity it was essential to offer spiritual support. The staff were grateful and marked where I sat. I prepared myself mentally for the worst …. Prayers for a dying man or dead man, frightened or grieving family, bewildered passengers and professional crew. The family were great and supportive – just part of the course.
So the announcement came 1.45pm UK time, 4.45pm Dubai time, 10.45pm Sydney time, that an emergency landing in Columbo was essential. For over an hour, possibly quite inevitable witnessing the events of one Wednesday afternoon.
You see, we are all human & frail. We do not know what today or tomorrow holds. We all have a beginning and an end. Yet Father God is the Alpha & Omega. He knows our first and our last day. He welcomes us with open arms but with so much to do here on earth, I prayed throughout for the gentleman to survive, for healing and wholeness.
1.42 UK time, 4.420′ Dubai time, 10.24pm Sydney time, we landed in Columbo, Sri Lanka.
Amazing how we can be open to God and faith at our hour of need.
Author – Linda Ward.