By the Ticking of the Clock

So I almossst missed my flight to Oman. I got home only at 7pm for an 8:30 pm flight cos I was delayed at work. The cabbie was already waiting for me while I parked my car and ran up to my house, to pack! Yes. I’m kinda a last-minute packer. (esp cos I hate traveling for work, and packing for it depresses me further).

I rush out of the house with my trolley and laptop bag rolling along. As the disgruntled cabbie was loading the luggage into the car, I realized I’d forgotten my passport. So I rushed back again. When I finally reached the check-in counter at the airport it was a couple of minutes afterf 7:30pm. As the cut-off for check-in in Dubai is an hour before take-off, I was worried that they’d not let me through. But they were very nice about it and asked me to relax and there was “plenty of time” so ” breathe!” :o)

On the way back to dxb though, I was relaxed. My flight was at 8:45pm. I was back at my hotel after meetings by around 6pm. I was packed in 10 minutes and ready to leave. I desultorily flipped through TV channels, waiting for my colleague to return so I could check out with him. He got a  bit late, we checked out a little after 7pm… but we weren’t worried. In Oman, you only need to get to the airport a half-hour before take-off. We got to the check-in counter 45 mins before take-off.

“I’m sorry, but you cannot take this flight. You are too late.”

I stared in disbelief at the man behind the counter. “Nononononononononooooooo! This cannn‘t be happening! I neeeeeed to get back to Dxb!” We requested, we begged, we pleaded,  we spoke to the damn supervisor… but nothing came of it. They just wouldn’t let us through.

“There is another flight at 1:10am” they chipped in, not helping one bit!

Suddenly I missed everything in Dxb. And hated even more, everything about Oman. My colleague said he’d go and get the new tickets.

I stayed back in that horrid no-man’s land between the Security checks and Departures, waiting for him to return so we could grab some dinner. And waited. And waited some more. At about 10pm, I was on the verge of tears. My colleague had disappeared with my passport and I had no credit on my phone to call him. I was hungry and tired and my legs were accching. I’d missed my flight for the very first time in my life and I didn’t know what to do.

Finally, I walked up to a one of the security officers and found out where I could buy a top-up card. I called my colleague, went outside through the emergency exit and met him back at the Oman Air counter where he was waiting to get a confirmation for the ticket (that’s why he was gone for so long) and we went to dinner. I ordered everything I laid my eyes on at Costa- a bag of doritos, a caramel frappe (deeelicious!), and an arabbiata chicken panini sandwich. Oh, and I bought a couple of oatmeal-raisin cookies for later. This is what happens when you’re ravenous and buy food. I ended up making my colleague help me finish it all.

We caught the 1am flight and got to Dxb a little after 2am. I felt so relieved and happy to see the Burj Khalifa twinkling away unconcernedly. It bothers me sometimes, being so at home in a country that I’ve no right to. :|

Oh well, I’m here now… and won’t have to travel again till… next week.


6 thoughts on “By the Ticking of the Clock

  1. Rakesh says:

    I’ve never missed a flight :) Though I’d got up one morning at 6.15 for a 7.30 flight. But still I ran and made it (except that I forgot my suit at the security x-ray machine while running)

    You know, I think the time after security and before boarding a plane is the most wonderful time in my life. Absolutely nothing to do except relax, drink, eat, have coffee, do whatever you want to coz. there is no mails to answer, no tasks to do, nothing at all. For the next hour or so, there is absolutely nothing you can do :) Just like the feeling I used to get when I was a kid and I was returning home on the last day at school before vacations. Weird, I know but I just love that feeling so I make it a point to reach the airport early :)

    • nmaha says:

      You’ve actually taken the words out of mouth. Even with an energetic toddler in tow, I make it a point to get to the airport early coz I love the unaccounted time.

  2. Sanjana says:

    I go early to the airport only when I’m traveling by Emirates, cos I have lounge access. :)

    When traveling for work, I can’t always go Emirates, cos it’s more expensive than most airlines.
    There was this one time in Bahrain, where I reached the airport a mere 20 minutes before take-off and they still let me through! So this came as a real shocker!

  3. nmaha says:

    I feel for u. Missing a flight the first few times is tough.
    I still feel most at home in Dxb. Would come back in the wink of an eye if I could leave all my responsibilities behind. *huge sigh and small sniffle*

  4. Roop Rai says:

    This reminds me of the time when we were moving from England to Houston. Funny story really. We moved into an airport hotel for our 11am flight next morning. We woke up real early around 6 next morn. Got dressed and packed to leave by 7. Rolled our luggage into the airport and checked in. Then we came back to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast and to check out. Eventually, as we strolled back into the airport feeling all so smug about having checked in early, we heard our names being announced in Gatwick airport to reach our boarding gate or our luggage would be offloaded. It was the last call. I prolly haven’t ran faster in my life than I did then. I dunno how we lost track of time but I thought that was friggin hilarious even if the plane staff grumbled on seeing us and passengers on the plane gave us dirty looks. :pp

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