On the appointed date at the appointed hour we rocked up at Terminal 2 Heathrow for our Singapore Airlines flight to Singapore. What a pleasant place T2 is for an airport terminal; not crowded, not rushed, calm yet professional. Coffee shops and snack bars galore and the usual mix of expensive shops for the retail addicts to indulge their passions.
Flight called at 1015 and we boarded our A380 (yes one of those massive beasts) anticipating a departure on or close to our 1050 schedule. We waited…….and waited….and waited. Thinking it was another Air Traffic Control delay I was very surprised when the Captain came over the cabin PA to announce that we could not move because the plug and cable that connected the aircraft to the Ground Power system at the ramp could not be disconnected from the fuselage and the collective brains of the Ground Handling Team had run out of ideas. They had sent for some more senior engineers but this would take some time. Apologies all round but we went no-where…….for a very long time. The senior engineers also ran out of ideas so they sent for some others. In the meantime we were invited to leave the aircraft if we wished and given £15 of food vouchers each to spend in the Departure lounge. We were asked to be back on board by 1530 by which time they hoped to have found a solution and refuelled the jet.
We duly arrived back and hurray, they had fixed the problem and we were good to go. Those who know Lyn well, know that she is an anxious flyer at the best of times and this delay really did not help. She said to me “I could easily turn round and go home now!!” Thankfully she didn’t and we departed some 5 hours late. Once airborne it was a 12.5 hour flight to Singapore. Lyn wasted no time in talking to the cabin crew to help calm her anxiety. At one point she returned to her seat clutching two plastic cups of champagne flavoured “Ginger Beer to calm her nerves”!! Apart from some turbulence at stupid o-clock in the morning, the rest of the flight, including the bit over the Afghan border, was uneventful.
We eventually arrived in Singapore and were driven to our hotel for some sleep. More on Singapore next time.