Aberdeen Airport Strikes Again!
Having not flown from Aberdeen airport for quite a few years, I have done so a few times in recent months and... every time there has been a delay and problem. It is so frustrating. Last night was no different. My flight to London was already running late when I arrived at the airport, and then, once we had all boarded and the Airbus A320 was fully loaded they realised that the door of the plane had become jammed against the airbridge. The weight of the plane had, of course, caused it to hunker down on its suspension and the door then made contact with the airbridge.
Okay, the physics of it are all simple to understand, but... this happens every time a plane is fully loaded. My conjecture is that there were not enough ground crew staff to monitor and lower the airbridge as, I assume, would normally happen. The upshot of this was we were running way behind schedule by the time an engineer had checked the door and its tolerances to ensure we were safe to leave.
The flight to Heathrow was then fine, but you know where this is going, right?
A mad dash then took place on landing to get from Terminal 5 to Terminal 4, via Terminal 2, by bus. Of course, it took forever. By now there was a wee group of us who were in the same boat all trying to get to the same flight to Doha from which we were then connecting to various other parts of the world. It was good to be 'in it together'! We went through security again which was laughably slow, missing the flight we were scheduled on, but knowing there was a later flight which we might just make it for.
We got to the gate as that later flight was boarding (see picture above), and beseeched one of the crew, but British Airways had done nothing to book us on to the next flight so we were stuck. This later flight had some of the rest of my South Africa-bound party on it so all I could do was wish them well on the WhatsApp group as they departed.
Another bus ride back to Terminal 5, by which time it was a couple of hours after we had landed in Heathrow, and then a long time with BA's very patient customer service team as they got me rebooked, but flying out 24 hours later, and with vouchers for a hotel. Which is where I am writing now.
I'm so sorry for the extra hassle this is going to be for the team in South Africa to have to come and get me a day later from the airport, and that I will miss a whole day's activities. All down to a wedged door.
All is not doom, though. I have a day to kill in London. So, I'm off to Covent Garden this afternoon to meet up with Scott Rennie for a coffee before I head back to the Heathrow hellscape!