Scallywag

The love we give away is the only love we keep.

~ Elbert Hubbard ~

Our Airline Flight Schedule

May 14th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 3 mins, 18 secs

Our airline flight schedule panic could save you a lot of pain.

Our airline flight schedule said we’d be flying out with JetRats Airlines at 11.20. No problem. We had hours to get to the airport. Leaving our family reunion on the Queensland Gold Coast, it was time to say goodbye, catch the bus, take the train, and connect to another train to reach the airport. Simple.

Ruth, being the organized type, was ready. While I, less methodical, was preparing to get ready. But our airline flight schedule time had a bit of fat in it so that was okay. In Australia, you need it. Come to the counter one minute after thirty minutes before departure and JetRats won’t let you board. Worse, they’ll cancel your ticket. For a family flying a few thousand miles, buying a whole new set of tickets costs a lot.

But we were fine. Everything was going to schedule. The bus picked us up and we got to the station with time to spare. But where was the train? Nothing and nobody was there but crows and a beating sun. Ruth used the time to double check the flight. That’s when we discovered flight schedule stress was just a phone call away. JetRats, bless them, had quietly decided to bring forward our airline flight schedule by forty-five minutes, but hadn’t let us know.

Suddenly, for our flight schedule to work, we needed to catch the train that was nowhere near appearing; have it fly like an express, and connect in choreographed synchrony with the airport train. It could work. But like all wishful thinking, it was a fantasy.

If you’ve even been late for something crucial, like a vital flight, you know how nerve-wracking delays can be. Straining, with screwed up eyes for some sign on the horizon, we watched in vain for the mysterious train. But hoping is a poor gauge for getting. We weren’t going anywhere.

By the time the train arrived an hour later, we were feeling bilious with worry. Together, we flung ourselves into the carriage like baggage. With our airline flight schedule looking increasingly doubtful, keeping calm was hard.

Rationalizing the situation we tried laughing it off. But as Ruth furtively rustled travel documents, I silently hyperventilated; emitting the odd long sigh. Thanks to JetRats and their secret airline flight schedule reshuffle, our leisurely trip was turning into a Race Around The World torture test.

Long stops, including an agonizing halt in the middle of nowhere, left our stress levels peaking. How would we ever make it in time when Queensland’s rail ran on manjana time?

Meanwhile, Ruth had an idea. Phoning JetRats’ call centre, she left a message in the system explaining the situation. They agreed but otherwise couldn’t help. By now, our airline flight schedule meant only 20 minutes were left.

Shhhhhh! Clunk! Having labored into Brisbane, the exhausted train opened its doors. Leaping onto the platform we ran to where we thought the airport train would depart. Bags dragging, kids groaning and sweat beading, we rushed, we found, and we flopped inside the last carriage. Ten minutes left.

Strategy time. Assuming the train made it, Ruth would make a run for it downstairs and into the airport, whilst we’d follow behind with the luggage. Our airline flight check in time was imminent. Rushing, the train swallowed each moment whole. Five minutes…four…three…two…one. Too late!

As the train stopped, Ruth dashed out the door, dodging passengers and running as fast as she could. Bounding downstairs, she disappeared from view. Forget it. Despite our best efforts at meeting our revised airline flight schedule, it was too much. We tried until we felt sick trying. Still, we quickly shuffled our luggage inside. There was Ruth waving her arms in the air, frantically talking with the JetRats reception clerk. Approaching, I slipped my arm around Ruth to console her. Turning, she whispered with defiance, “We made it.”

Once on board, Ruth explained. Rushing, she sidestepped the queue and sprinted to the counter waving our tickets as the JetRats attendant sneeringly declared, “You’re two minutes too late. Unless you check-in 30 minutes prior to your airline flight scheduled departure you’ll have to buy new tickets.”  About to burst into tears between gasps, Ruth suddenly remembered her message on the call centre system. Reluctantly, the attendant checked. Abruptly changing tack, she immediately processed the tickets. We did it.

Well, what did we learn from that?

  1. That it’s always worth getting to the airport early
  2. Not all airlines are the same. Check what people say about them at reputable sites like Trip Advisor before you book.
  3. If it’s important, do a double, even triple, check of your airline flight schedule – just in case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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