Monday, 1 June 2009
Air france flight, it could have been us..
I wanted to share with you what happened to us on our 11-hour flight from Bogotá to Paris with the company air-france. I have to say that I found translantic flights with air-france very comfi with a excellent service, a wide range of movies,games and tv shows to see on your private screen (each passanger has one) and you can always have a good French wine or anything to eat if you are hungry throughout the flight. This was my good and fair opinion of it until last time.., as you know i´m not very fond of flying specially since i became fan of the discovery channel reportage series: "air-crash investigation". Mea culpa,anyway (you learn a lot with them though!).
Well, on our flight back on the 25th of MAy 2009 we had to wait for one hour and a half until we finally took off. First, we had to wait until all passengers took their seats ,fair enough, but then, when we had our seatbealts on and the plane was moving very slowly (still on earth) the pilot said " there are some technichal issues and that we have to go back to our rest-point". At that time I thought, o.k.,they will fix whatever and then we will leave. Time started to pass vey slowly and i couldn´t be seated for longer. The black obese woman on my left-handside hardly left me space for my skinny left arm and leg. She was actually very nice and I dont have anything against obese people,dont get my wrong. The woman started to be nervous and noticed that I wasn´t feeling well either, she looked at me and said: "Hey, I´m claustrofobic and i dont like flying and now this.., are you scared? i know how you feel,if you want you can have some drops,they are very good" she said.I looked at her with a worrying look and I said "no, thank you,you are very kind". I stood up to get close to the stweardess to try to find out what was going on and I did..to some extent. The stweardess was looking through the emergency window and said to another passenger that it seemed that there were some problems with the petrol ,he went on and said that the pilot should have seen something going on before taking off since pilots calculate exactly the amout of petrol needed for the journey. At that point, I asked for water to try to digest what I heard. I explained to my husband the situation. Then, the stweardess went on and confirmed that he had not seen something like that in a very long time ..,he was supposed to calm the tripulation down but i was getting anxious. At that moment, I decided to go back to my seat with my claustrophobic neighbour and remain ignorant of what was happening,after all ignorant people suffer less in some situations. After a long time without any news, the pilot talked and said that in 20 mins we will be taking off so i tried to fall asleep with no luck,of course. The 20 minutes passed and then the security instructions were given and we fasten our seatbealts again. The plane was going very slowly to take off so i knew they were testing something..that wasn´t normal, the speed was not increasing. Once again, i was right and the pilot said that we couldn´t take off yet and further security checks would be needed. Then, passengers started to call their families to communicate that there were some tech issues etc and I thought to myself " In Spain it´s 1 a.m., i can´t even say bye to my family if i´m gonna die! ". My claustrophobic neighbour fall asleep with the magical drops (i still dont know the content of them ,i didn´t want to ask lol but she slept all the way!) finally,after 90 minutes inside that airbus we managed to take off. It was the worst flight i have ever been on because i knew that if we ran out of petrol, there was only the ocean to land for miles and miles. There was a small storm and mild turbulence throughout the flight..oh God, I hardly slept thinking of the worse could happen. We got to Paris alive! yes! and guess what? one of the plane´s doors was out of order and we couldn´t get out of it up to 15 minutes had passed.
But this is not the end of it, when We got to DUblin, My husband told a work colleague our troubled flight and guess what? she came on a flight from Bogotá the week before on another air-france flight and they also had technical issues before taking off although they were not waiting for such a long time.
This morning at work, I have read that there was one airfrance airbus flight gone from the radar with around 228 passengers,they were going to Brazil. Another transanlatic flight.., would it be the same plane on which we were?I got goose pimple! I´m ver thankful to be here today and I´m really sorry for all the passengers on the crashed air-france flight , i do hope that they have not suffered so much.. my thoughts are with the families..