Last April 9, 2016, the entire family was very excited for our annual vacation to Manila. Though we’re a bit of anxious that only my passport was below the prescribed 6-month validity and that it might prevent me from travelling, everything turned out well in the end when all went out smoothly until we exited the Doha immigration. But since we are a bit early that time – around 9am, to make sure we have more time in case of any problem would arise, we just decided to take our breakfast at the Marché.
Few minutes upon boarding our aircraft via Dubai, the captain announced that “it was not legally possible for the aircraft to fly so we have to disembark and go back to the boarding gate and wait for further instruction.” Confused of what it meant, we just followed the crowd until later on we learned that the aircraft has to be fixed and a spare part is on the way.
Our flight to Dubai was supposed to leave at 12:15pm and to compensate the passenger’s waiting time, we were told that we can proceed to Marché Restaurant for a complimentary lunch. However, since we are still a bit full, we just stayed and waited for some announcements.
But after sometime, we haven’t heard any updates and some passengers started to complain that they’ll be missing their connecting flights, they’ll be late for their appointments, etc. But the ground staff cannot offer any good explanation except for us to wait.
We tried checking online if any adjustment has been made, and to our surprise… the flight was moved to the next commercial schedule which is at 6pm, which means we will be missing our original connecting flight to Manila at 4pm. And to add more to our frustration, we came to know that the next available flight will be at 4:00am meaning, and that we have to wait for over 7 hours at the Dubai International Airport.
Just like that, we’ve managed to stay from 9am to 6pm at Hamad International Airport in Doha before be boarded our connecting flight to Dubai. And to pacify my family in this unexpected event, we decided to enjoy roaming around the airport and checked-in at the airport hotel to get some comfortable rest for at least few hours.
And with another complimentary dinner due to the delay, we headed out to their buffet restaurant before boarding.
Our scheduled early morning arrival in Manila became 4pm. And since it was a Sunday, the traffic was less and the travel to Cavite was a bliss.
Some asked if we felt we are properly compensated for the long delay? We thought that at least a good comforting communication was enough, but it didn’t happened as updates we’re nowhere available. While some even said the accommodation should be provided especially for those travelling with kids or elderly… we couldn’t afford to beg for it even if it might be due to us. While the free meals were provided, the one in Dubai is better than the one in Doha. I couldn’t say it’s special than the ones offered at the counter.
But the experience taught us few things:
- Handled things (delays) with calmness;
- Talked to staff with politeness even if it felt frustrating;
- Took advantage of talking to people, hearing their different stories; and
- Being creative on thinking of things to do while spending time at the airport (go for a window shopping, exploring the airport facilities, or even checking out the airport hotels for a power nap and a shower) – in this way, you can overlook the unpleasant experience with something more interesting.
Also, God have different purposes for every diversion… it’s mostly for our safety, whether it may give us some inconveniences, rather than be sorry in the end. Sometimes we thought that these things are messing up our plans. But knowing that God is in control, for sure He has better plans.
Romans 8:28New International Version (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Still, to God be the glory.