During the night both Paula and I started feeling sick, in truth we both were feeling crap not long after dinner. We thought it could have been the wine. House wine can be like that sometimes. Then it started. The pains, the frequent trips to the bathroom. Lucky Paula had some over the counter meds to help with this. Little sleep, taking it in turns running to the bathroom. In the morning, we rang Muriel’s room and asked her how she was. The only thing the 3 of us had in common was the wine. Muriel was ok. So what did we have in common then. The Bone Marrow! Argh! how could something so good be so bad for you? Too much perhaps we should have shared and not been piggies.
When was this medication going to stop the frequent trips to the bathroom? We had a long flight ahead. 3 hours wait at Charles De Gaulle airport. 12-15 hours to Singapore, couple of hours layover, then I would have about 8 hours to Melbourne and Paula and Muriel would have roughly 3-4. I was staying overnight in Melbourne as I live in the country and my flight wasn’t due to land until 8pm. Last train home leaves at 6.22pm.
We had packed the night before, so we could lay in bed a bit longer. Shower, then down to breakfast. All that food and I couldn’t face any of it. Nice cup of peppermint tea, a pot actually. Hope that helps the stomach. Muriel was ok, so she ate some food.
At 8am we were called, our taxi was here to take us to the airport. Paula and I just wanted to go back to bed. I think the medication was starting to work. Our tummies were still jiggling and making noises, but the frequent trips to the bathroom was beginning to slow down.
Arrive at the airport, I am sorry to say I do not find it a very useable and friendly airport. It felt like a prison, it looked all grey and ugly. Lets hope its better inside.
Lining up to check in was crazy. There was a huge group of travelers who were heading back to Singapore. They thought it was ok to wander off and just leave all their suitcases in the line. Luckey one of the ladies checking everyone in saw this and waved us through who were behind the large line up of trolleys, cases, young children and elderly relatives. Yes they left them so the “adults ” could wander. No photos as I was feeling crook still.
Finally our bags are checked in. Paula had to unpack her bag and take out her broken i pad and have it in her cabin baggage. So we went to find our way to get through passport check in. The walking elevators are crazy, and up and down you go. Up so high and a bit scary. Had I been feeling a little less seedy I would have filmed it.
Then we finally get to where we line up to check in for passports etc. The line up was long, it seemed there was no air-conditioning in the place. Hot, standing in lines that seemed to not move. Reason why? Only one person was on the passport stand. Two lines, ours wasnt moving, the other line priority I think. Not sure. I think it felt like hours standing in that line up. It could have been because we were not well, dehydrated. No use having a bottle of water on us as it would be taken off us through the check in. Had we known it was going to take so long we could have finished it before the check in.
Then the line up began to move – the other 3 windows were now working. Checking through was easy, then the bag check, easy. Once through, we saw that the cafes were not open yet. So found some seats, plugged in the phone and did a bit of Facebook. Once the shop opened, we went and got coffee/tea and something light to eat. Paula and I were starting to feel a bit more human and hungry.
Our flight was called and we decided to wait to board, no use standing in another line that wasn’t moving. A quick trip to the bathroom for each of us.
Once on board, we settled in for the long trip to Singapore. Muriel by the window, Paula in the middle and I was on the aisle. We were looking forward to a meal on the flight and lots of water , movies and sleep. The flight attendants went through the safety briefing and the captain told us it should be a fairly good flight to Singapore.
The plane begins to taxi along to where it would take off. As it was a jumbo that took a while. Then it just sat, we waited for take off. Nothing. Finally the captain spoke said there was a problem with the steering and we would be heading back to the gate so it could be fixed. He said they were just waiting for the tow truck. An hour went by, then he comes on the speaker and announces that the first tow truck had broken down and they were waiting for another tow truck. Oh my goodness , really! However, we were pleased the steering issue had been picked up before we were in the air.
Finally we are towed back to the gate. We were told we had to stay in our seats, however the flight attendants would be able to bring us some food and water. Food??? Salty Peanuts, yes you heard, Peanuts, most airlines have banned peanuts due to the allergy reactions. I have an allergy to them so I asked for something else. They brought salty chips. A small cup of water was provided. We ate those chips and nuts and sculled our water, all 3 of us. I actually got two packets of chips, my sisters only received 1 small packet of nuts each. If i remember I think I shared mine 🙂 Then they began bringing the sandwiches etc. I am also gluten-free, so none of those were any good for me. After 3 hours, we were finally told we could get up from our seats and go to the toilets. Long line ups again. The flight attendants seemed to disappear. I think they went into their sleeping cabins underneath us. Perhaps in case the passengers revolted! The toilets were a bit scary by now. They never went in and cleaned them. It was like they only know how to look after us when we are in the air. When the plane is sitting on the tarmac, they seemed to have no service skills. People were going down to their food area and getting snacks etc. This was evident when we were finally in the air, as the person in front of us was vegetarian and they had handed out those meals to anyone. So he had nothing to eat.
We heard from the captain again after 3 hours, that they had to get a part for the steering and fix that and once that was done we could depart. After nearly 6 hours on the tarmac, he finally advised that we would be leaving. By that time we knew we had already missed our connecting flights. We would worry about that once we arrived in Singapore.
After an hour in the air, the flight attendants came around with the food. I am fish free as well and they knew this long before I even left Australia. The meal was placed in front of me with the sticker fish free food. Someone got it wrong. Staring at me was an ugly piece of salmon for the entrée! By this time I was fed up, I was tired, dehydrated, in the 6 hours we were only supplied with 2 small cups of water! I yelled, yes I did the unthinkable of yelling on a plane. They came back, as I had a special meal mine was handed out first. They removed the offending salmon. The heated meal well it was disgusting, overheated. yes they would have started heating up the food before we had even taken off. Even my sisters meal was disgusting. We asked for more water and finally we were given some more. All snacks had been eaten in the 6 hours on the tarmac so food was scarce. I had taken some of my medication that would help me sleep, so was hoping that a boring movie and the pills I could sleep the rest of the way to Singapore!
The captain’s voice booms over the speakers, “Due to our delay in Paris, and occupational health and safety, the flight attendants have gone over their 20 hours they are allowed so we will be making a quick stop in Kuala Lumpur! What the heck! I think a few swear words were said. What they couldn’t go the extra 1.5 hours to Singapore. It’s not like they did anything on this flight. We had to practically beg to get a cup of water.
So we land in Kuala Lumpur. We wondered how long this will take. The captain said quick stop. New attendants boarded, the others left the flight. 1.5 hours later, we finally take off. New crew just sat in the seats and did nothing.
Finally we land in Singapore. We were guided to a desk where we were given taxi vouchers and new flight details. Yes we had missed our connections to Melbourne and Perth. We were given details of a hotel where we could have a shower and a meal. So the 3 of us head out to the taxi rank and get in a taxi. Our hotel was at least 30 mins away. We were given a room then told the kitchen closes at 4. To get any food we needed to head to the restaurant first.
As the hotel was 30 mins away from the airport, that left Paula and Muriel only 1.5 hours and some of that time was in the restaurant.
Over a meal we sat at a table with 2 others who were on our flight. My sisters would be going back to Changi Airport long before me. So the girls said I could share the taxi back with them.
A few hugs and goodbyes to my sisters, they were on their way back to the airport.
I read somewhere before we went on this trip to always have a change of clothes in your hand lugguge. I am so glad I did. I only had a clean t/shirt and undies but it did the trick. A quick shower laid down on the bed. I propped up the pillows so I could raise my legs. My ankles were swollen from so long sitting on the plane and very little water. I think I even managed to sleep.
At 6pm I met the girls in the foyer of the hotel while we waited for a taxi to take us back to the airport. The girls did a bit of duty free shopping then we sat down and had a cuppa while we waited for our flight to be called.
Boarded the flight and found I was sitting in the middle seat. The lady sitting on the aisle told me her flight had been delayed from Heathrow England. Technical issues also. Her feet were also blown up like balloons. We had a laugh a good chat a lovely meal and watched some movies. We even shouted ourselves a Singapore Sling and clinked our glasses to a great flight.
My flight was originally to have arrived in Melbourne at 8pm on the Thursday night. After all the delays and horror service I arrived at 7.30 am. Going through customs was easy and quick. Walked out got my bag, on the bus to the city. My hotel was opposite where the busses come in from the airport.
My checkout was supposed to be 11 am, but a friend had called the day before and explained about the delay so they had given me till noon.
Up to my room, quick shower a cuppa, and a few social media tweets to let everyone know I was safe. Had a sleep. Then went out had something to eat, got my ticket for my train trip home.
By 4pm I was home and by 4.30 in bed.
Bit sad to end a holiday, a fantastic holiday at that with a horror flight.
*we have sent letters of complaint to the airline but nothing has come of it.* Our next trip will be with another airline .
At no time were we upset with the delay due to the problem with the steering, however the service with the flight attendants and the extra delay in having to stop in Kuala Lumpur were the issues.”
Next post will be some hints and tips with what worked for us.