My sister picked me up early to drive down to the Greyhound terminal and she was panicking a little as the roads near her place were already looking like they might get cut by flash flooding so we got there safely and she headed off for home to stay put for the day. The trip to Brisbane was wet but there was no flooding at that stage so I was fairly confident that we would take off on time. Little did I know.
I should have realised that something was different for this trip when I received an email from QANTAS weeks ago to say that my seat allocation had been changed. I wasn't able to book in online as I normally can and then when I arrived at the airport and tried to check in on their computers I got a message that I had to see a QANTAS worker about my flight. After much ringing of other departments I was finally issued a ticket with the only explanation given that my e-ticket hadn't been updated by them and I went on my merry way through the metal detectors and into my usual routine of having lunch and a casual walk through the terminal to get some exercise. Eventually I sauntered down to the section the plane always takes off from and thankfully asked at the counter if the flights were on time...which they weren't by that stage.
The QANTAS worker looked at my ticket and said I was at the wrong gate and it took me ages to walk to the other end of the terminal to find the right gate so I was glad the flight was delayed. I was really curious about the change of gate etc. after leaving from the same gate for years but still didn't twig about what had happened. Then the storms started with thunder and lightning and the airport was closed and flights that had landed at the gate where I was just had to sit on the tarmac for a couple of hours until a break in the weather before the passengers could get off. When they did they had to walk across the tarmac in the pouring rain and were absolutely soaked by the time they got inside.
I was feeling a little smug and thought to myself that they should have flown with QANTAS as there was NO walking across the tarmac with them. Eventually the terminal became very crowded with planes not being able to leave or land as the airport shut down, reopened again and so on for the next couple of hours. All power points in the terminal were being used by passengers charging their mobile phones and devices and fairly soon most of the floor space was used up by hundreds of people sitting anywhere they could find a space. The line to the cafeteria was a mile long and I grudgingly had to resort to paying $4 for a bottle of water from a vending machine.
Suddenly there was an announcement that a delayed flight to Melbourne would be boarding soon and there was a very loud shout of jubilation from the passengers booked on that flight much to the amusement of everybody else. Then it was our turn to be happy as our boarding time was announced. Thankfully we went through the gates and down the corridor to get onto the plane when suddenly we came to the end of the corridor and there was the plane across the tarmac. I couldn't believe it...we had to walk to it in the pouring rain!!! Well, no use walking so I ran and hoped I didn't slip on the stairs and fall down, finally boarded a very damp plane entrance and then realised I was a sopping mess.
On finding my seat I asked the attendant if she had a towel as my hair was dripping wet and she said the only thing she had was a blanket which I dried my hair with and then wrapped it around myself for the duration of the trip as I was freezing. I then noticed how small the plane was and looked at my very damp boarding pass and realised that I was flying QANTAS-Link...so that was why we had the tarmac walk. My daughter has since found out that QANTAS-Link are now flying a couple of days to Mt.Isa so I won't be flying on those days in the future.
Once on board the plane the weather deteriorated once more so the plane taxied for 15 minutes or longer (no joke) then sat for an hour being buffeted by wind while planes landed and took off as there was a backlog understandably. At last we took off and without a few minutes the pilot announced that we were flying over Kilcoy and the forecast was for clear skies ahead and that we would land around 9.40pm which was three hours late but thankfully we arrived safely.
My son-in-law and my night-owl granddaughter met me at the airport and we headed off to home after all the drama. When we took my suitcase out of the car I realised that it was wet and when I opened it my clothes were sopping wet as well as my electrical chargers. Obviously the baggage handlers in Brisbane don't cover the luggage when it is raining so it was a rather soggy start to the week for me. I am thankful to be safe though as I believe there was loss of life in the severe weather event.
Have a great week everyone.