Hopefully the weirdest flight I ever experience.

oxygen mask panicA couple of weeks ago, I traveled on the weirdest flight I’ve ever experienced.

I’m not a good flyer at the best of times. When I was fifteen I experienced my most terrifying flight. About midway between Queensland and Melbourne all the lights went out. A few minutes later (probably seconds, but it felt like hours) the exit lights turned on and started flashing. Then the oxygen masks dropped from overhead.

It was at this point that I grasped my sister’s hand and declared, as calmly as possible, “We’re all going to die!”

At nearly the same moment, the flight attendant announced that everything was fine – we had merely experienced a small mechanical glitch.

How comforting.

But this week’s flight wasn’t terrifying. Instead, it was incredibly strange.

Even before leaving the ground I was feeling a little more on edge than usual. We had to wait in line at the security point for quite some time as they reset the system.

Apparently the power had gone out that day and no one could enter the terminal until the security doo-val-akees had been rebooted. One might imagine this would involve turning the whole thing off and on again, but no. We all stood and watched as airport staff began some kind of bizarre oompa-loompa inspired dance routine. They bobbed around and through the security scanners in circles, shuffling at different heights and basically looking as though they had teleported straight from a “Come fly with me” sketch. You may well be able to find the incident on YouTube, as there was a toddler in front of me recording the whole thing on his iPhone. Security Oompa Loompas

Staff attempted to console waiting guests by assuring us that no planes were currently at the gates. Therefore, they insisted, there would be no difference waiting on either side of the security scanners. This, I must point out, was a flat out lie. On the other side of the security scanners is a bar. And I really needed some wine.

Unfortunately, once the wine was eventually in my hand (and then my stomach), I started to consider the concept of an airport power-out. Had it affected the air-flight control systems? Would they be able to safely navigate the departing planes? Or would it all end in a horrifying crash – after all, how is it that they have enough material to fill entire series of the television show Air Crash Investigations? These things HAPPEN.

By the time the plane eventually pulled up to the gate and we began boarding, I had anticipated every possible worst case scenario flight, except the one I was about to experience.

We boarded as usual. We took our seats. The seat-belt sign came on. The plane began to roll down the tarmac.

And one of the flight attendants came running down the aisle squealing “WOOOOOOOO!”

Woooo

Ah…. What?!

There are only a few ways to respond to something like that. A few people laughed nervously, most people shifted uncomfortably, I quavered in my seat, certain that this was the first sign of my doom.

The second sign wasn’t too far off.

A few minutes later the flight attendants began their safety speech. Kudos to them, I suppose, since they made it to “place the life-jacket over your head-” before they all burst into fits of hysterical giggles. One attendant even ended up bending over to clutch his stomach, while another rocked back and forth with laughter.

We were not laughing.

Well, two small children in front of me did seem to find it amusing. But that’s because they still live in a world where flying is exciting, not a life threatening necessity.

I was scared.

Were the attendants drunk? Were they on drugs? More importantly, had the pilot been to the same party the attendants had clearly just departed? …He had seemed coherent enough when he welcomed us aboard. Yet, his weather forecast for Adelaide, while informative, was a little peculiar given we were flying from Hobart to Melbourne.

Ahaha...It was at this point that I began laughing hysterically too. What more could I do? We were all going to die. Hahahaha. Ha. ha… ha.

The flight attendants didn’t bother finishing their safety demonstration. If I hadn’t been such a frequent flyer, I might never have known that the exits were “here, here and here” (arms wave vaguely to encompass the entire plane).

Such knowledge ended up being unnecessary. By some miracle, we managed to arrive safely in Melbourne, the plane only bouncing six times along the tarmac before coming to a nice wobbly roll and stopping a short ten minute walk from the gate.

Sadly, the weirdness wasn’t over. Once the doors were opened and guests began to rush desperately to the safety of land, the flight attendants enjoyed one last moment of terrifying hysteria. As we departed the plane, the attendants folded their hands together, bowed their heads and announced to each guest, “We love you. We love you.”

Right.

Well, I hate to be harsh, but the feeling wasn’t reciprocated.

Once in the terminal I was ready to celebrate my survival, but instead I was too distracted by how much the “Terminal” reminded me of the border security point on the dystopian film Children of Men. We stood inside a small cage – this is really the only way to describe it. A clearly makeshift baggage carousel squeaked next to a portaloo and waiting relatives pressed their faces to the bars as they waited in the car park.

Children of Men Terminal

I too stood and starred out the barred blockade, wondering how exactly I would get back to Tasmania.

I wouldn’t be traveling with that carrier again.

—–

This is a true story. Honestly.

Every. Single. Word.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Author: Stuffed Olive

My awesomeness intimidates some people, others just point and laugh.

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13 Comments

    • Aw!!! I LOVE YOU ANNA! <3
      I'm just catching up on all your flash! You are so talented.

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  1. That is definitely the funniest aeroplane story I’ve ever heard. I laughed so hard my officemate told me I was having too much fun.

    From your description of the terminal I’m guessing you didn’t fly into Tullamarine, in which case, that narrows down the airline options…

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, but actually it was Tullamarine! The description of the terminal is the biggest hint for the specific carrier….
      *wiggles eyebrows*

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  2. Loved this blog Holly, and I don’t doubt the veracity of every word. Have just flown to the UK via Abu Dhabi and Paris…they didn’t even do the human arm waving safety check, we had to read a card to know what to do. I don’t think this is right as I forgot all about it, being too busy checking my goody bag and putting the little socks on.

    Who looks after Mr Mew Cat while you do all this jetting about?

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    • Ahahaha! The little socks! I love the goodie bag. That would have been enough to distract me too.

      My poor mother looks after Mr Mew while I’m gone. On my return I can tell he is always disappointed. He likes her more.

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  3. Ha ha! I love your posts and the photos you post along with them ;). Thanks for reminding me about plane crashes since I’m going on one on Friday. Just in cast the worst happens, I’ll say good bye now. Good bye and it’s been a pleasure reading your blog *waves*.

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    • Oh dear! Good bye and good luck! :S I’m sure you’ll be fine as long as you haven’t made the same mistake as me by traveling with the cheap as chickenfeed carrier… 😉

      I AM a rather prolific photographer. I’m glad you like my shots! Hah.

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    • SEAN! You leave such suspense filled comments! NO you haven’t told me about your “Adventures at Nakatomi Towers, Christmas of 88”, which, btw, makes a fab title for a story. DO SHARE!!!

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  4. I’d have enjoyed this. I love watching other people being terrified in aircraft. Horrible, aren’t I?

    Technicalities: air traffic control and navigation systems have backup generators in case the electricity grid goes down. More worrying is that the flight attendants didn’t complete the safety briefing. Legally, they have to: safety is the only thing that necessitates their existence. If it wasn’t for that, budget airlines would dispense with attendants in a flash.

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    • You’re a little bit evil, Peter! Love it.

      To be fair on the flight attendants, they also serve food, and I’m sure budget airlines make half their money on the over priced wine we all drink the calm our nerves as the flight dips and shakes.

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  5. You didn’t mention who sat next to you on the plane. I ALWAYS drew the short straw for my travelling companion when I travelled alone. Had to listen once to a guy who was in ‘hoses’. He twittered (before Twitter was invented) on about them all the way from Chicago in the USA, to London Heathrow. I was an expert on hose and its uses by the time we landed! Not only that, but his large frame spilled over to my side, and his personal hygience left a lot to be desired. I am still traumatised by the experience.

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