Last week, we went for a mini holiday to Dubai. Dubai is always a fun destination – with family, friends, great food, shopping and lots of entertainment options for the kids! This time we stayed for a couple of nights at newly opened Dubai Parks and Resorts and I will tell you all about that in the upcoming posts! To sum it up – my kids declared it as the “Best Holiday EVER!” (So stay tuned for my detailed review of the Dubai Parks and Resorts including Legoland Dubai, Lego Land Water Park, Motion Gate Park and Bollywood Park!)
After a fun week in Dubai, we were supposed to fly back to Doha at 9:30 pm. We wanted to be back on Friday so the kids have a day to come back to their normal routine before the school week starts today. Just so you know, the Dubai-Doha flight is hardly a 45-minute flight (if all goes as planned). But things didn’t go as we planned it, AT ALL! Here is how the adventurous night unfolded…
Friday 21 April 2017
7:30 PM: We reached DXB – Dubai International Aiport to check in for our 9:30 PM flight back to Doha. We checked in our luggage, passed through immigration, had a bathroom run with the kids (I hate taking them in the aeroplane ones) and were all ready to board the plane. The boarding started as scheduled and by 8:45 pm, we were all settled in our seats, all ready to head home. It already felt like being almost home and I posted a picture on Instagram and this a PERFECT example of the phrase, “I spoke too soon!”
10:00 PM: The plane hadn’t moved till now and the Captain announced that there is a ‘technical problem’ that the engineering team is looking into and in about 40 minutes, they will be able to give any update. So we waited patiently but the kids were getting restless as they weren’t able to hear what they were watching on the TV screens (no headphones on such a short flight – we were told). I kept myself busy taking a photo for a newly announced photography contest – the subject needed to be a plastic cup and the air hostess handed me one with Orange juice! What could I have done! So I took this photo.
10:30 PM: They decided to serve the snacks while still on-ground & that kept the kids busy for some time. It was the first time in my life, I witnessed the food trolleys coming down the aisle prior to take-off but as we were hungry by this time so didn’t quite mind that. Meanwhile, some first class passengers decided that they didn’t want to wait any longer and demanded to disembark the aircraft. Since we were still standing at the terminal, connected with the jetbridge, they were off-boarded.
11:00 PM: Time for another passenger announcement and this time the Captain gave us the good news that the technical issue was resolved, but we need to wait for the bags of the passengers (who off-boarded) to be off-loaded as well (it’s a security issue – your bags can’t fly without you). And this can take up to 20 mins. By this time, my boys were asleep.
11:30 PM: We finally hear the awaited announcement to cabin crew to “arm doors and cross check” and the aircraft started to taxi towards the runway. DXB is a very busy airport and there is normally a queue at the runway for take-off. Though we were moving slowly towards the runway, but the blaring engines provided the assurance that it was finally time to go home.. but NOT JUST YET!!
Saturday 22 April 2017
12:15 AM: Another passenger annoucement.. and we all went Uh-oh! The captain spoke once again and this time he said,
“We have a very bad news. One of the bags of the passengers who decided not to fly with us tonight has NOT been offloaded and we will need to go back to the terminal to find and offload that bag. Since its a security risk, we cannot fly without offloading that. We also need to refuel the aircraft.”
Mohsin and I looked at each other and went like “They have to be freaking kidding me!” The situation seemed hilarious to us (that’s quite a silly mistake for an airline to make), however, it angered a lot of people! People went up to the air hostesses and started shouting at them (even though we were still taxi-ing to reach the terminal and the seat belts signs were switched ON!).
20-30 passengers gathered around the door and demanded to be offloaded as well (Not considering or realising that it will cause so much delay for the other passengers!). There was a lot of commotion – people snap chatting the crazy screaming ladies and ridiculous arguments! Amidst all this, I was quite surprised and amused to see how unreasonable can people get in anger.
Another thing that was quite fascinating was to see how we generalise certain ethnicities to be more impatient, more aggressive and less respectful of women but I was so pleasantly surprised to witness the opposite of it. One of the many such incidents was the story of a man who looked like a European (I gathered from his accent and no offence to any European though), seemed quite decent and well educated. He came after the air hostess all the way from his seat and started arguing with her! She was quiet as she had no answer to his questions (and it wasn’t her fault!), but the guy kept coming close to her face, trying to intimidate her with his physical closeness along with his harsh tone. A Qatari family was sitting right in front of us, and the Qatari guy stood up and told the man off! ( I wanted to cheer for him!) He told him that,
“She cannot answer his questions and more importantly, she is a woman and he needs to respect the space and back off!”
I could have given him a standing ovation for that! He was so quick to respond to a situation where a woman was being harassed – even before we could gather what was happening! Bravo!
And I felt this was a Perfect Example of how wrong it is to generalise people according to their nationalities/ethnicities.
There are Good people and Bad people everywhere, irrespective of their cast, creed, ethinicity, religion or nationality! Let’s not judge each other 🙂
A few minutes later Mohsin introduced me to the ‘rude’ guy and it turned out that he knew him through work. Later he told me that the guy works heads a department for some big company in Doha. (Awkward!- the guy must have seen the disgusted expression on my face though :))
1:15 AM: Another passenger announcement that all the passengers need to disembark the aircraft. Since in all this commotion, a few passengers left the aircraft without identifying themselves and therefore ALL the passengers and their luggage needed to be off-loaded!
2:00 AM: We went back to the terminal, going through security and then waited for our flight at an ‘unknown’ time!
3:15 AM: We finally re-boarded the same plane and I passed out – totally exhausted by the events of the adventurous night!
4:30 AM: The flight finally took off, but I have no recollection of what happened cause I had passed out, with two kids sleeping on my lap. I woke up as we touched down in Doha.6:00 AM: We finally reached home, with no luggage (I knew this would happen!). The luggage was delivered to our home Saturday night.
I think this all could have been avoided if people were a little more patient. Flight delays happen everywhere, human errors happen everywhere! We could have been home much earlier if those 20-30 passengers would not have made a ruckus and fuss by demanding to be disembarked (By the way, most of them re-boarded the same flight and flew with us MUCH MUCH later! – How stupid is that!)
It was inconvenient for sure (especially with kids), but these things happen. Try to be Patient, People!Until next time!