Hello! I’m traveling again~ this time to the US via Madrid. However, my trip didn’t start exactly the way it was supposed to, and I decided to just write about what happened to me today in just a morning, because it was in some ways exciting and in some others, exhausting.
I woke up at 5AM after sleeping just 4h, ready to fly to Madrid and then to LA. My connection was only of 90 minutes, which is great as long as the flights are on time. “Flights in the morning rarely ever get delayed because the planes stay already overnight at the airport, so it will be OK”, my mum said. I should have known that things were not going to go that smooth!
But the flight just didn’t go as planned; I’d probably not be writing about it otherwise~ 15 minutes before the supposed departure time, we were all still sitting at the boarding gate and waiting for instructions. Some people had gotten impatient and went to ask the ground crew about the flight, and eventually so did I, as I started to worry about my flight connection. Soon after I asked, they instructed us to go to the airline office within the same terminal to actually get the explanations and instructions.
I rushed to beat the crowds and was standing second in line when they decided that, instead, they’d explain the matter to everyone, so everyone gathered around the desk, ignoring any previous line or order. Apparently, the plane had had technical problems or the flight crew was not present in the airport at that moment (2 different version told by the same team). Some people were saying that what had actually happened was that our flight was quite empty and that, in order to save costs, our plane wasn’t going to fly and we would be distributed between the previous flight (which had been purposefully delayed for us to catch it) or the next one 4h later. Not nice if that was the real reason, as a lot of us had connecting flights within the next 1~3 hours.
Anyway, in the middle of the chaos of people trying to claim their flight should be a priority, I saw a very familiar face talking to another airport ground staff, far from the hubbub. The person I’m talking about is David Silva, #21 of the Spanish National team, the same team that won the EuroCup in 2008, 2012 and the WorldCup in 2010. His hometown is in Gran Canaria, so it made perfect sense that he was there. I haven’t met many famous people in my life, and I always imagined they’d always be surrounded by either fans or bodyguards, so it came to me as a shock to see him by himself. Maybe it was because everyone was trying to get a seat in the earlier flight, but not many people seemed to notice Silva there, just a few meters from us.
Lucky me~ I got my seat very short after him, so I got to the new boarding gate when he was still there and asked to take a photo together~~ yay first picture with a famous person I actually knew! (remember I took a photo with the Architect of the Thai White Temple of Chiang Rai and also one of a Chinese athlete that competed in the Asian games -whose name I didn’t even know).
We still had to wait on the plane for a while until we actually departed, and despite the encouraging words of our pilot saying we were flying at maximum speed, many of us where already stressing about what to do if the connection flight was already gone. Suddenly, one of the air hostesses asked if there was any doctor or health worker on the plane as another brought an oxygen tank to the back of the plane. Everyone was confused, but it seemed like some patient had gotten really sick (of flying?). As soon as we landed, we were told to remain seated and 7 health workers from the airport rushed in with lots of bags and equipment. Minutes later, they left the plane with a girl and her father into the ambulance.
This whole thing took another 10 extra minutes so all my hopes of catching the flight were starting to dissipate. In fact, we had landed 35 minutes before my next flight closed gates, but with all the waiting, I was left with about 15 minutes to reach the furthest point of the terminal (approx. time to get there is 23 minutes). I ran for it and I was so relieved to see the plane and the ground crew were still there. “I made it!” I thought. But they were not waiting for me; the flight was closed and I wouldn’t be able to get on the plane anymore… crap 😦
Of course the company had to rebook a flight for me, and I chose to wait for the same flight tomorrow because it is the only direct flight. So I also got a room in a nearby hotel with all meals included, and here I am, writing and eating, writing and waiting, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be on a plane to the US!