6:15 – up to get ready to leave for airport
7:30 – Check-in at airport for 8:40 flight to Southampton. Looking forward to touring Southampton, and another Titanic museum. B&B allowing me to check-in early by noon
8:30 – Announcement from agent – “Your flight has been diverted, we will provide an update at 9:00”
9:00 – “Your flight is cancelled. Go retrieve your baggage at carousel 8 and get in line to re-book.”
9:30 – Bags finally returned – never left terminal, so why delay?
9:40 – Find long queue for rebooking. One passenger comes up and says there had been a big fire, and all equipment was at a hanger, thus shutting down runways.
10:45 – News media all over the place filming and interviewing. Ends up a hanger caught fire at 7:15 and all equipment sent to fight the fire. Incoming planes diverted and flights grounded since no fire-fighting equipment for runways. Learned nothing moved for 90 minutes at least while fighting fire. Our plane had been diverted to Belfast. We were never “officially” told what happened. Word only spread on social media I learned, and later when I asked why we weren’t told the reply I got, “in case it is a terrorist attack we want to keep things quiet.” (that from a young non-official agent)
11:15 – Interviewed by IRISH TIMES, and later by BBC News. Irish Times article unfortunately did not quote me. But you know me, I roll with whatever hiccup comes my way. ACCEPT and ADJUST – just get me to my ship on-time !!!
11:45 – Finally my turn at the counter – only almost three hours since cancellation. I was told I could get on the 8:15 PM flight to Southampton, the 4:25 is full. Could you please double check. Click, click, click, and more clicks on the keyboard. “A seat just came open on the 4:25, would you like it?” “Yes please.” Dot-matrix printout given to me and a 10 Euro voucher for food. I was told I could check in at 2:25.
NOON – Emailed B&B in Southampton of the delay – kept bouncing back. Recently I reactivated SKYPE, but why is it not on my laptop? I must have deleted it? Guess what, it was working on my seldom used IPOD (only use the IPOD overseas), and I was able to call my B&B hostess who was expecting me at that moment.
12:30 – Got a meal, sat down, and then saw a couple from Atlanta who I met in the queue. They were also headed to QM2. I joined them, and we enjoyed lunch together.
2:00 – Went to recheck in. Was told not sure when flight would take off since they were still trying to get a plane in. Got boarding pass, but did not check bag (again) until they got word there would be a plane. Word came shortly, but not leaving now until 5:15 – an hour plus flight, so now not arriving in Southampton until 7PM.
2:45 – Went through security for a second time, and SKYPE’d my B&B hostess again concerning delay.
3:00 – Sat down to write this. Hesitate posting until safely in Southampton however. My adventures are always fun. Well, long walk to gate – guess I will head off there again. What else am I going to do? At least I have, and enjoy, my writing.
4:19 – Just noticed departure time rolled to 5:30 PM. QM2 will be leaving at this time in 24 hours — see why you plan an extra day when there is a drop dead date/time.
5:30 – Plane just arrives
5:45 – We get to board
6:06 – Pilot says they cannot close rear door – 6:12 Pilot leaves plane
6:34 – We are all told to get off the plane. The company’s engineers are not in Dublin, but another group of engineers is “borrowed.”
7:12 — I an SKYPEing again with my B&B hostess saying, “obviously I did not make it at 7PM.” As she was giving me instructions on how to get in if I were ever to make it I hear the door was fixed. And, we get to reboard.
7:30 – Ready to take off
8:40 – Arrive in Southampton – get taxi – arrive at B&B a tad after 9PM
10:00 – Trying to finish this up to get some sleep. Forget an English dinner, and touring Southampton. As my luck would have it I learned they had the worst rain ever today, so I would not have been able to tour after all. My hostess needs my room by 11AM, so she has arranged a taxi for me, and I will just head over to the docks. Tour of Southampton will have to come next time
So I head to the QM2 in the late morning for an 8 day crossing. My second crossing and third voyage on her. Posting is hard from the Atlantic, and I am thinking of compiling my blogs in diary fashion with slide shows for posting when I return. My desire is to recreate the experience to entice you to also experience the gentile way of Trans-Atlantic Crossings as they were done in the Golden Age of Ocean Liners. Good night, I am ready.
1] ALLOW TIME FOR TRAVEL DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS so you can still make your main objective. Of course, I had no idea I would have one flight cancelled, and 9 hours before I get on second plane, only to have to get off again.
2] Make sure to have SKYPE ACTIVE and INSTALLED on all your devices for those emergency calls.
3] All credit card processing is done in Europe now with CHIP Technology. MAKE SURE ALL YOUR CARDS ARE UPDATED – David told me to do this years ago.
4] Enjoy FREE WI-FI EVERYWHERE IN IRELAND. Not the case in London and elsewhere. Another reason to go to Ireland
5] ACCEPT and ADJUST – You have heard me say that before. Do not let hiccups bother you – it usually works out.