Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Flight 1023

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"Ladies and Gentleman, this is your purser speaking; the captain has just informed us that the conditions of Hurricane Nikki are not conducive for a safe landing at Houghtailing International Airport. We have been rerouted to Middleton Airport instead. For your safety, please stay seated with your seat belts fastened and we will update you on our estimated time of arrival. Thank you for your patience."

Peter clutched his arm rests firmly with both hands as his legs nervously twitched, hitting the seat in front of him. Peter was going to miss his wedding. He had an emergency situation that needed his immediate attention, so three days ago Peter caught a red eye flight to Japan to do some damage control. Kate was reluctant for him to leave considering they still had some final preparations for the wedding including the rehearsal dinner that ultimately had to be cancelled. Peter convinced Kate that the business trip was absolutely necessary and that everything was going to work out fine. He even joked that it was bad luck to see the bride three days before the wedding.

Now as the reality of the situation sunk in, Peter's mind raced with all the different ways he could have handled his work crisis. He should have had is partner, Barry go to Japan instead. Barry was just as competent as he was to deal with the Tanaka case, in fact, he was the one that had done all the research on the strategy, so why did Peter insist to be the one to go. Now Peter was kicking himself for always having to be the one in control, only trusting his own abilities to smooth out difficulties, and instead of sharing in the excitement of his upcoming wedding; he was being taken miles and miles away from Kate.

Peter had to call her and let her know. She would be waiting at the airport for him. He unbuckled his seat belt and stood up. He opened the overheard compartment to look for his briefcase. Peter needed his credit card so he could call Kate.

"Sir! Excuse me, Sir!" A flight attendant with bouncing red hair tied into a ponytail high on her head was rushing down the aisle waving at Peter.

"Excuse me sir, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to take your seat. The captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign."

"I understand ma'am, but I need to call my wife, she'll be so worried," Peter frantically said as he reached in the overhead compartment pushing away a bulky backpack to get his briefcase.

"Sir, you're just going to have to wait. Once we get out of this turbulence and the captain turns off the fasten seat belt sign, then you can move about the cabin, but until then, I'm going to have to ask you to please stay seated."

Then, as if right on cue, the plane jolted and Peter lost his footing and was thrown into the flight attendant who fell backwards and landed in the aisle with Peter on top of her. Two other flight attendants rushed towards them from either side. A passenger in the aisle seat reached out to help them.

"I'm so sorry, so, so sorry. Ma'am are you okay," Peter quickly tried to get himself up, but had difficulty since the plane was dipping up and down. Peter tried to grab onto the back of one of the chairs but couldn't get a good grip so he kept on falling back onto the flight attendant.

"Here, take my hand," said a Good Samaritan passenger who was standing up and reaching down towards Peter.

Peter grabbed the hand and was able to pull himself up while the flight attendant was helped by her colleagues.

"Are you okay? I must apologize for this-"

"Sir, now do you see how important it is for you to comply with the fasten seat belt sign," the flight attendant interjected.

"I understand, it's just, I'm getting married tomorrow and." Peter was interrupted again.

"Ladies and Gentleman, this is your captain speaking. I just received word from the ground crew at Houghtailing informing us the conditions of Hurricane Nikki are decreasing enough for us to have a safe landing. We are being rerouted to our intended destination."


Anonymous said...

I love the irony of this story and how people always seem to think that their situation and needs are more important than just doing what is needed and not causing problems...

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