I returned from Barbados last night….I missed the pilots’ strike but got caught up in the back log of passengers.
I trotted up to the airport in time to catch the 12 .50 to Grenada and Trinidad, in fact I checked in really early in case things were still pear shaped with Liat and refrained from any comment when I saw the challenging look in the check in clerk’s eyes. Are they still called “check in clerk” these days or are they called something else? I can’t keep up with PC names. What they ain’t called is courteous. Ominously there were no Liat Superior Girls around just one Mr Jekyll. Too intimidated to say a word I proceeded to the departure lounge and went to get some coffee and something to eat….bad mistake, (apart from the awful food).
As I was about to receive my white styrofoam box of junk food which I had paid for, I heard my name being called over the tannoy! Now I don’t know about you but I panic when I hear my name over a tannoy system. I took off chased by a junk food dispenser person waving a styrofoam box and a styrofoam cup in the air…..I managed to out pace her and arrived at gate 9a convinced I had misread my itinerary. But no, a Liat Superior Person had decided to put me on what in all likelihood was the last flight to Grenada. At least she saved me from severe indigestion!
The dash 8 has open seating and suffering as I do from claustrophobia, I have to sit near the front of the plane to avoid making a complete idiot of myself. The secret is to be first at the gate and then sprint to the plane when allowed out the door. In this way I avoid having to announce my defect to Liat Superior Persons and numerous small islanders.
Collapsing into my second row seat gratefully, I watched as the plane filled up rapidly with weary travellers. A very large and very dignified lady climbed into the cabin followed by a very large infirm lady…..all the front seats were taken. My heart sank, I was going to be asked to move….I felt it, I knew it and I was, to the back of the plane ! I had the choice now of being noble and ultimately panicking the entire plane at some point or refusing to move turning myself into an object of disgust ….typical foreigner, only thinks of herself. I chose the latter.
We sat on the Tarmac for forty minutes with no air conditioning while the pilot climbed in and out examining the external parts of the plane..followed by every pair of eyes on board..by this time I was convinced the plane would not leave….no one complained, but we did leave to sighs of relief and clapping from one obvious couple of foreigners. The rest of us know Liat only too well!
… our friend at Caribbean Hurricane Network makes it home: Don’t run an airline or own a hotel in the West Indies!