Last year, we (my
worse better half and myself) decided that a trip to Beijing would be a suitable entertainment for the first week of October. I always wanted to visit The Great Wall and I do love tea and steamed buns so very, very much. It was a no-brainer, really.
We booked with KLM, flying from Copenhagen to Amsterdam, where China Southern would show up with a big, fat Airbus A380 and lug us to Beijing. First trip on the A380, and flying home on the 747. It was perfect, a nice plan indeed.
In real life, while on our way to the airport, we received a text message, telling us that our flight had been delayed. In fact it had not only been delayed, it was cancelled. The plane was still in Amsterdam, where fog had decided to halt operations completely. In other words: We were going nowhere fast. Months later, we would come to regard this message with some suspicion, as we observed planes land and take off right on scedule in an incredibly foggy airport. And when I say “observe”, I mean on the screens at the airport. It was so foggy, we couldn’t even see the runway.
But anyways. This was where my love of everything airport came in handy. We had left home with hours and hours to spare, because I wanted to oogle the planes and do some People Watching, Airport Version. This not only meant a relatively short wait in line to be rebooked, because we arrived shortly after the cancellation, we also managed to snatch the very last seats on our brand new itinerary: We were now booked on Finnair instead, with a stop in Helsinki (HEL). Boarding passes in hand, it was straight to Burger King, where I proceeded to drown my sorrow in onion rings. There would be no A380 for us this time. The tragedy.
Instead we ended up on an Airbus A330 so dull and non-A380-y, the Captain used a pseudonym, when he introduced himself. “If you drink enough,” he announced, “it might help. Lucky for you, this is Finnair. We have plenty of vodka.”
Okay, maybe he didn’t say that, although I’m sure he wanted to. We suffered in silence. But as we looked at our boarding passes from the connecting flight, it was all worth it.
For we had travelled on flight AY666 – to HEL.