Monday, 9 January 2012


I returned to Dubai on the 6th of Jan 2012. The return leg of my journey was truly a test in patience!

We were booked on the 4.20pm Air India flight from Goa to Mumbai on the 5th. Our connecting flight to Dubai was at 10.20pm the same night. All was well until the monitor showed a delay! We were now going to leave Goa at 6.30pm. We kept our cool since we still had ample time to make it to our connecting flight.

At 6.00pm, the monitor shows a further delay! Now we were going to leave only at 7.45pm. This was too close for comfort and we complained to the Air India staff who assured us that we would be helped at the Mumbai airport by their staff. they also told us that they had sent a message to EK notifying them of the delay (Later we realised that it was all humbug!).

We boarded the aircraft and started rolling towards the runway at 7.45pm sharp. To our dismay, some navy aircraft were returning from their sortie and Goa being a Naval Airport, we had to stand by till their aircraft landed. It was already 8.15pm when we ultimately took off.

We reached Mumbai at 9pm but landed only at 9.30pm due to 'congested skies'! Now our hopes were truly dashed! To add to it, our luggage was the last to arrive on the belt! We took an external prepaid taxi hoping that EK would be delayed and that we would reach faster by cab. Much to our chagrin, we got caught up in heavy traffic and reached the International Airport only at 10.20pm. We later realised that EK had taken off in perfect time!

As you well know, missing a flight in the holiday season spells disaster! There was not a single seat on ANY OF THE AIRLINES going to Dubai till the 13th of Jan 2012! All we could do was look at each other and sigh. It was then that i told my family that we had to believe that God would make a way for us to get back to Dubai that very night. All along, Lorine was looking at my 'restful' face and grumbling that i'd no sense of responsibility and that the kids and i were too cool about the serious situation we were in. I resisted going into offence mode and i kept believing that God would surely make a way!

I spotted a kindly young fellow from Qatar Airways who had just entered the hall through a staff door. I went up to him and told him of our predicament. What he said made my heart sink. He said that QATAR AIRWAYS was going full for the last 22 days!). Something made me insist that he check with his office just to be sure. His office told him that the 4.45 am flight was choc-a-block! But then he did something out of the way...he called Akbar Travels downstairs in the arrivals hall and to his surprise found that there were exactly 4 seats vacant on that flight! Since the security would not allow me to enter once i exited the airport, Amir came with me to the counter himself and made it possible to buy the tics! Amir was our angel from God! He even gave us great seats on the plane.

Although the flight via Doha took us a good 5 hours, we got into Dubai safe and sound!
(And yes ... there was another test we faced inflight! ... the labourer sitting behind us decided to take off his stinking shoes and almost made us open the emergency door and deplane in midflight!)


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