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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I SHOULD HAVE SAID BOMB ON THE AIRPLANE (RELOADED)

So it’s Friday morning and my flight is scheduled to leave Lagos at 10:50, being a very UnNigerian Nigerian, I brave the pouring rain and defy the antics of the ATM machines which refuse to dispense cash and make it to the airport by 9:30am. It’s all smooth sailing as I successfully check in and make my way to the departure lounge.
It’s still raining cats and dogs outside and the airport is really full, I half wonder where all these people are going. With the heavy rain it’s no wonder when some flights, including mine, are delayed. I was expecting that. I wander around the departure lounge strolling into stores with VAT charges I cannot afford (yet) and still wondering why people always seem to stare at me on the few occasions I dare to wear something short (must be the hot legs) Back to the point, Aero seems to be making departure calls to every city in Nigeria but the one I’m traveling to. I try to be patient, but that has never been one of my strong suits. To pass the time I bury myself into the Marian Keyes I’ve been reading for the past 2 weeks (once upon a time I could get through a 400page novel overnight, those days are long gone!) It’s been over two hours now and the passengers are starting to get antsy. I make my way to the boarding desk and ask an Aero staff if she had any news about our flight. She says she thinks the flight might be cancelled but that she’s not sure yet. The passengers begin to get agitated and I chip in my small bit (mind you, a very small bit. I’m not about to be reminded that there are people who shelled out almost 40 grand for a seat as against my 5 grand)
I hurry downstairs to the ticketing desk along with everybody else where we were harshly informed that we had two options, either we were to be rescheduled on the 4:15pm flight or get a refund. I quickly weigh my options, shell out another 12 grand which I did not bargain for, or wait a couple more hours for the 4:15 flight. I choose the latter option and hand my ticket to the lady who’s barking at everyone like a French poodle.
My backpack is starting to feel like it weighs a ton and I’m thinking my day couldn’t get any worse, right? How wrong was I. The poodle-lady returns and informs us in her high pitched barks that unfortunately only about 5 people could be rescheduled to the 4:15 flight cos the flight had been fully booked ( she didn’t know that before?) Once again, we had two options, be rescheduled to the 8:15am Saturday flight or get a refund. By this time I really did not feel like a person with options,Virgin Nigeria’s last flight to PH had probably touched down in PH and I was stuck in Lagos staring at a reincarnated poodle who was “just doing her job” What an interesting job, I thought, canceling and rescheduling flights. I had no choice but to once again opt for the 8:15 am flight. I thought I had it bad, till I heard the oyinbo (white, just in case u have to pretend u don’t know what “oyinbo” means) dude next to me sigh “na wa for this Aero o!” That was enough to diffuse the anxiety for a while at least.
I called up a friend who lives so close to the airport that when any member of her family is traveling back home all she has to do is stand on her balcony to see the flight when it lands (her words, not mine) and she came to pick me up from the airport so i could sleep over at hers. Well there was about half an inch of an silver lining in this story at this point. I got to hang out with a few friends for the rest of the day.
Bright and early the next morning (it had to be Sanitation day) my friend dropped me off at the airport. I got in thinking I’d be the one waking up the check in guys, how wrong was I, the queue was so long and wavy that it was impossible to tell where it began and where it ended, so I did what any right thinking young lady would do. I walked boldly to the front of the line, decided that the dude controlling the line was better bullied than smiled at, so I told him that I had been asked to come straight to the check in counter and that if he had any issues with that he should take it up with his manager. It worked! What a wonder a calmly and confidently spoken jumble of words could do, yeah?
I checked in and made for the departure lounge, this time the plane actually boarded, took off and landed on schedule. Okay, this is the point where any sensible nightmare would choose to end, right? Wrong!
I had a fabo day in PH, saw the whole family again. Sunday morning dawned bright and clear, decided to relax a bit, my flight back to Lagos was scheduled for 1:40pm. At about 11:30am my phone beeped a text in. I quote;
“Dear Esteemed Customer, This is to inform you that our flight AJ314 from Port Harcourt – Lagos on the 28th June 2009 at 13:40 hrs has been cancelled due to operational reasons. The next available flight will be tomorrow 29th June at 09:05 hrs and 17:30 hrs. we sincerely apologise for any incionvenience this may cause you and plead for your understanding. For enquiries; Please call 0700FLYAER0”
At this point I decided that this would be a silver lining, I would get to spend more time with my family, all I had to do was develop a bad “sore throat” when I called work early Monday morning to explain why I wouldn’t be coming in. so around noon I left for the airport to reschedule for the Monday morning flight. This would have been another appropriate spot for the nightmare to end.
I got to the airport and when I got to the Aero desk I was sent to a guy whose skin looked like it hadn’t yet made up its mind whether it wanted its owner to be an albino or not. He was on his mobile and did that annoying thing where the person smiles at you and holds up one finger. When he was eventually done talking, he smiled and asked how he could help me. I very calmly in my best I’m-a-lawyer-so-you-dont-want-to-mess-with-me voice explained the whole thing to him, he took my print out and gleefully informed me that my promotional ticket did not enjoy the privilege of flying on a Monday morning flight and that the later flight was fully booked. At this point it was becoming clear that this was a plot to make me lose it, so I did. My flight had been cancelled twice in 2 days and since it was no fault of mine the least they could do was put me on their next flight whether or not the seats were laden with gold! He said that he was sorry but that it wasn’t possible, still with that annoying smile! I lost it further and the blessed son of man had to effrontery to ask me whether it was his fault, whether he was Aero Contractors? I had to ask him if he expected me to run to the tarmac and shout at the aircraft. He replied that the best he could do was to leave my ticket open ended so I could use it some other time. Yeah! Just so they could cancel on me again? So I proudly squared my shoulders and asked for a refund of my 5 grand. I was once again directed to another sour faced lady who made the refund.
Cut the long story short, I had to fly Virgin Nigeria the next morning, it was a good flight, the one with in flight entertainment and the flight attendant didn’t ask me if I wanted those doggone cashews. I saw the Aero flight on the tarmac as I boarded Virgin and now all I can think was I should have warned the passengers boarding it how I suspected there might be a bomb on the plane.it was my civic duty! Hell I SHOULD HAVE SAID BOMB ON THE AIRPLANE and maybe one of these days I will.

12 comments:

Dark Neo said...

LOL @ Oyinbo“na wa for this Aero o!” nice!

Yinkuslolo said...

"Besides i want to pitch an idea for the next reality show called "Enter the place" starring Tuface and 12 ladies, winner will be the one who doesnt get preggers. i think i'm on to something, Whaddya think?"

I dubbed this ur comment from Robby's blog. that's plain sick. as in, i tracked u cos of this comment. something do Tuface.

first time here. I don't trust local Naija flights. As a Nigerian, how unNigerian are u? I'm just curious, cos u stated it

Neo said...

@ Yinkuslolo, "thats plain sick?" Sick as in psycho sick or funny sick? with todays lingua i'd hardly know, if its the former tho the 2face thing was just a joke so dont get ur knickers in a twist.

I'm as unNigerian as they get, for one i'm a stickler for time, anyways thats if ur one to go by stereotypes.

Yinkuslolo said...

funny sick

Neo said...

oh ok, i must be gettin old! mayb i shd get botox!

Sumptuous said...

Lol @ 'and did that annoying thing where the person smiles at you and holds up one finger' this is plain genius. P.S: I have been reading marian keyes(s) 'sushi for beginners' since last month and here I was thinking I had lost my reading mojo when obviously, it's the author that has lost hers.

Neo said...

@ Sumptuous i really feel u on Sushi for beginners, i thot it was absolutely Gobshite! I almost gave up on Keyes till i read angels. U read Jill Mansel? she's hilarious!

Sumptuous said...

Jill Mansel? No i've not but i'll defi look out for it. This reminds me that I need to get books. It's d only thing that can keep me sane in that place.

Ms. 'dufa said...

Lol. If I'm about to get on a plane and I hear someone shout "bombs on the plane", as a typical Nigerian, I'll wait for the someone to volunteer to come down first, then I'll pack my hand luggage and run for my life!

Neo said...

Lol @ Ms dufa! Hopefully u wont be on the plane when i decide to "get" aero. hehehehe

doll said...

what a drag...even if its free self...the wahala was too much

Eknoreda said...

That;s what you get for flying a Nigerian Airline! They are all crap! Even Virgin... That's probably the worst airline ever!!