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Travelling 101: When Flight Is Delayed And No One Knows Why

Changi airport delayed flight

(When it comes to flight, I must admit, Changi is one well-managed airport with plenty of signage to ensure everyone knows where to go – provided you know English. Price of items sold at the airport is at the high side though. But I guess the most unsettling thing at the airport is seeing young girls walking around with sidearms – I am sure they are well trained on firearms and tactics but still, it is very unsettling. Image source: Wikimedia)

Overall, the journey was good – we made it in time for the business meetings with plenty of hours to spare, the meetings itself went smooth and without any major hiccups and I had one of the best coffees ever at a small stall by the roadside.

We were halfway through the meeting when I got an SMS saying that the return flight has been delayed by almost one hour. One hour delay was not that bad but considering that we had expected the meeting to finish early and will have at least couple of hours to spare, adding another one hour was not something we readily welcomed. But we were still grateful for the heads-up.

We decided to kill time by visiting the nearest watering hole and ordered ourselves some beers to lose track of the time. The alcohol did the trick but not the final bill – beers were still cheaper in Malaysia.

Halfway through our beers, my colleague posed the question – what if the SMS was wrong and there were no delays and we end up missing our flight. Fearing the worst, we finished our beers and rushed to the airport. It was peak hours – we knew that the MRT would be packed but we managed to find enough space to squeeze through and the MRT journey back was smooth.

We reached the airport early and headed to the counter to check-in. It was confirmed that our flight was delayed by almost one hour. Somehow, that was a blessing in disguise – we had an excellent early dinner and check out the many duty-free shops at the airport (although many of the items on sale were overpriced).

The delayed flight was rescheduled to departure at 9.15 pm but by 9.20 pm, we did not see the plane at the departure gate. We wondered if there is going to be another unscheduled delay. At almost 10 pm, the plane finally taxied in and it was almost 10.30 pm when we finally took off – after almost 2 hours delayed.

I do not know what the real cause of the delay was but I suspected it to be the bad weather in Klang Valley – I managed to catch the weather forecast. We were hoping to hear the reason for the delay from the flight attendants but other than “sorry for the delay”, no reasons were given. As we were reaching the runaway, the captain spoke but other than “we are 5th plane on the queue and we will be taking off soon”, nothing was mentioned on the delay either.

I guess for others, the fact that the plane arrived and despite the 2 hours delay, the flight is taking off without further delays would have been good enough but if the airline staff had mentioned the reason for the delay, at least for courtesy sake, it would have been, err nice.

It was already bad that the flight was delayed by an hour and it got worse with the further delays before we can finally depart. At least knowing the reason for the delay would have been some relief to the immense frustration and anger on the delay. I mean it would have been happier to say that “my flight was delayed because of a thunderstorm” than “my flight was delayed but I don’t know why”.

A couple years ago, as I was sitting in an Emirates flight out of Dubai, there was a delay in departure. We have already boarded the plane but the plane was not moving even after all the passengers had checked in and the flight safety drill has ended. The captain came over on the intercom and apologized for the delay.

He said that the ground crew had detected something and making another round of check just to make sure that the plane remains safe. We appreciated the announcement but at the same time, we did not welcome the news that there was something not right with the plane.

But then, I guessed the captain detected the same anxiety and came over the intercom again. This time, he said that there no problem but to ensure the safety of the crew and the passengers, the airline staff just wanted to make double sure that all systems were working well. This time we breathed slightly better. In the end, we reached our destination several minutes early and without any problems.

Flight delays are understandable but the silence as to why there was a flight delay is not.

6 thoughts on “Travelling 101: When Flight Is Delayed And No One Knows Why”

  1. “Flight Delayed” – This set of two words is perhaps the most feared one by travellers all across the world! A long wait at the airport lounge with numerous other co-passengers becomes quite uncomfortable. Especially for holidaymakers with their families and kids, it becomes really tormenting. To tackle such an unwanted situation, here are some useful measures that the passengers can employ to make the best out of this extra time.

  2. Oh i know how u feel. I absolutely loathe it when they don’t give any explanation at all for the delay, as if we’re expected to just put up with such things. Idiots!

    1. True. Being the so-called budget airline, I guess that they have to be “thrifty” on everything including a simple explanation as to why there was a 2 hours delay in departure, sigh.

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