Given the flight delay

At the gate, resigned faces, impatience and looks lost in the void. The return to normal, for which many sighed, turned out to also bring limitations and inconveniences that we may no longer think about, and the airports have been known to be busy again or almost at full capacity. That you didn’t like the feeling of being in a post-apocalyptic series or movie when you took a plane in the middle of a pandemic and walked the corridors and abandoned modules of Son Sant Joan – dark corners, uncertain lighting, premonitions and whispered, until you reached the terminal corner that was used for the few operational flights? Didn’t you find yourself curious to look at the screen that announced the flights and see if there were four or five that day? Didn’t the silence that reigned in the entire complex find something impressive that suddenly made the airport look like a cathedral?

Well goodbye and welcome back to the noise, the crowds stuck at the security checkpoint, the people pretending not to chat unless they shout, the stressed out staff, rude users, and the whole long list of nasty surprises that you can find at any airport, and even more so in an oversized one like Son Sant Joan. And among them, of course, the unpleasant surprise (relative surprise because it is the most common) par excellence: delayed flight, almost always with a pin.

“That’s amazing, it’s amazing.”

This is expressed as a passenger on Air Europa flight UX4007 departing from Son Sant Joan Airport for Manises Airport in Valencia on a Friday in October. Earlier, the announcement of the flight delay appeared on the screens without any further explanation. For a while, it was Vueling that had the hegemony over delays and ill-treatment of all kinds vis-à-vis the public, but since Air Europa was bought by IAG, the parent company of Iberia and Vueling, it has also become the party of punctuality and poor service connected. Let’s get back to the episode ahead of us: the passengers are all on time like sheep at the boarding gate, and the announcement of the delay (in English it is better) created a certain uncertainty that everyone carries with them as best they can. Except for this man who has to sell it and who has got up and walks around as an actor Hamlets’ among the other passengers (some seated, others also stand but motionless, suitcases and bowls next to him, sometimes huddled on one of the available seats) not be ‘recite:

It is wonderful he repeats, moving his hands without looking at anyone, looking at a wall or pillar.

Most of them check their cell phones, and a woman who wants to vote for the good ones blows over and over as she reads what’s on the screen, so that she manages to lift the edge off. There is a cafeteria next to this gate and some travel there for a drink as they anticipate the wait could be long. You will experience a moment of confusion when a door change is announced, forcing the passenger guard to enter another corridor off Son Sant Joan in a disciplined manner. But you don’t have to worry about missing the flight: since the delay is finally an hour and a half, you have time to go back from the bar to the first boarding gate and from there to the new one, with the snack interrupted by the idea to lose the flight because it was missed. But no, you will have to wait a long time. The passenger, who is called to the tragic theater, continues his plaintive lament at the new door without stopping to repeat: “It is astonishing, it is astonishing.”

A riot of the passengers

Finally, the passengers are called to board according to the zone system introduced during the pandemic (passengers in zones 1, 2, 3 or 4, as indicated on the card), which in principle should serve to make boarding as smooth as possible, but what usually has the opposite consequence: people tend not to know which ‘zone’ corresponds to them, and each is placed where it is advised by intuition, impatience or the rod that advises of everything there is , and in the end forms a considerable excitement that the door staff (in a good or bad way, including that of all that is there) must undo. The man who recited his psalm is of course wrong and tries to enter when it is not his turn: when the young man at the door notices him, he finally explodes and causes a scandal that you hear from Valencia long before me come there.

Long before that, because when everyone has finally got on and all passengers have been sitting for a while, the commandant’s voice can be heard through the loudspeaker system: He apologizes dryly for the delay, strong accent from Santa Eugenia, but no longer says that of the “Delayed arrival of the plane”) and informs us that due to airport regulations the flight will take another half an hour before he can take the runway to take off. A collective “oooh” of anger and disappointment runs through all the rows of the plane. Now everyone is complaining, except those who practically do not notice anything because they live immersed in the alternate reality that comes to them through the headphones and the screen of the mobile phone or tablet. You have the advantage of always living in normalcy; the others gradually recover.

Leave a Comment