Gzira, Malta (33 Triq Carlo Manche’)
Was up by 6:30 a.m. to get ready for my flight to London. The car will arrive at 8:30 to take me to the airport. Was easy to finish packing and get the place cleaned before I leave. Before I knew it I received a text at 8:20 that the car was waiting for me outside, so I left the keys on the table as instructed, and took my luggage and garbage to the elevator and met the driver outside. (I left the garbage sack on the curb for pickup later in the day.)
In 30 minutes I arrived at the airport. Traffic is congested throughout the day on Malta due to the high volume of tourists along with the people who live on the main island. As a result, you need to allow for extra time for travel when visiting Malta.
My flight was two hours away and had plenty of time to check-in and go through security and passport control. I ignored a “funny feeling” as I waited to board the flight. I felt that there was something about this flight that was going to be out of the ordinary. But I had faith it would all work out okay.
We boarded the flight on time, received safety training and waited to be cleared for take off. It was taking longer than expected to get moving for take off and noticed some unusual activity at the front of the plane. We soon heard an announcement that there was a technical issue with the plane and that we are on hold for take off. I was keeping my finger’s crossed that we wouldn’t be held on the plane for hours while the issue was resolved. Thankfully we were allowed to return to the terminal after about 30 minutes.
Once in the terminal I headed for a place to charge my phone. There were several hubs that were available for charging but a number of the ports had no power. I talked to several people who were charging their phones as well. Some were optimistic that we would be leaving in a few hours and others were predicting an overnight stay. Meanwhile, I had booked another flight to London as a contingency if this flight was cancelled.
As I waited for my phone to charge, meal vouchers were given out. I took a voucher once my phone had charged and walked to the food service that was redeeming the vouchers. About this time I received a text that the flight was probably going to be cancelled and the airlines was arranging places for the passengers to stay overnight. After 30 minutes I received another text that the flight was given the okay to proceed and to head back to the gate. On the way back to the gate we were told to not go back to the gate but wait on the EU side of passport control for 30 minutes.
To make a long story short, we were able to get back on the plane and take off three hours late. I cancelled my other plane reservation. I had planned to meet my friend Csabi in London but had to text him that my flight had been delayed and we would need to find another day to meet up.
After a three hour flight, an hour to get through Gatwick airport, another hour or so to get from the airport to my hotel, it was nearly 9:00 p.m. when I walked into my hotel room.
I am thankful that in all the years of travel, this has been the worst delay that I’ve experienced. When I look back, it all worked out okay and I met a few people during this experience. About this time I knew I was very tired and looking forward to getting settled and then some sleep.
Tomorrow I plan to meet up with Prean and Viktor for tea and to get my mail. My new debit card arrived and also the checks I need to write out my cousin’s estate disbursements. Also to find a notary for a court order that I received to witness my signature.