Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Terminal Time

You’re at the airport, your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices are working. How do you pass the time? - The Daily Post

Hang on, that’s my flight! I just registered the voice on the tannoy saying flight VA528 is delayed. 6 hours delayed! Well, that’s annoying! At least I don’t have another flight to catch on the other end. I grab my phone to let my mum know about the delay. The phone is dead. Of course. I already used all the battery on the coach, and the charger is in my suitcase. Smart move. There has to be a payphone or computer nearby.

As I walk past the help desk I see the long queue of angry people. I don’t blame them, what if they have another flight to catch? I wonder if they’ll get on another flight. I feel sorry for the staff, it’s not their fault the flight is delayed but they’re the ones that will get shouted at.

I find the computers tucked away in a corner of the terminal, it seems a lot of people has had the same idea as me, there is only a couple left. I check my purse, no coins. Of course. I think I saw a bookshop close by.

I spend about half an hour choosing a book, at least I will have something to read for the remainder of the wait. I rush back to the computers, hoping there is still one available. One left. I hope it’s not been left alone because it’s not working or something silly like that. I sit down and put a coin in, I’ll only need it for 5 minutes. Yes! It’s working! I log on to Facebook and shoot off a message to my mum, hoping she sees it right away. She shouldn’t have headed off to pick me up yet but the longer it takes for her to see the message the more nervous I get. Drumming my fingers and the table and staring intently at the screen, I probably look like a mad person. From the corner of my eyes I can tell the people next to me keeps looking at me.

Only one minute left on the computer time. I might have to put some more money in. Finally! I see the little tick sign and it says my message has been seen. I have just enough time to read my mother’s reply and log off before the computer times out. At least that’s sorted.

5 hours to go.

I grab some sweets and a drink in one of the shops as I head back to the waiting area. I find a seat where I can still see the departures screen and I settle down with my new book. Disappearing into the world between my hands, the time passes quickly, I glance up at the screen occasionally to see if there is a gate for my flight yet.

1 hour to go.

I’ve nearly finished the book, I glance at the departures screen and notice there is a gate for my flight. I grab my things and head over to the gate before it gets too crowded. The gate isn’t open yet so I sit down outside it and open my book. I can’t focus on it. I’ll finally be able to board soon. I give up and put the book in my bag, I’ll finish it on the flight instead. I people-watch until the open the gate. We have all had to wait for so long, everyone looks as fed-up as I feel. Our movements are slow, there are only a few people running to the gate when it opens, the rest of us sigh and slowly lumber through.

Lift off!!

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