“We’re gonna miss our flight,” I said


Can I see a show of hands if you’ve ever been late for a flight and wondered if there’s enough money left in the credit card to pay for another one?

Following a sensational, if tiring, two nights in our new favourite capital city, we’d arrived at the Melbourne Airport’s terminal nearly half an hour previously, but unfortunately had entered at the Qantas end and struggled to find the Virgin departure area – mainly because it was on the other side of the terminal, beyond the international terminal.

If you have difficulty picturing what I’m talking about, then welcome to the club because I have difficulty understanding how a domestic terminal has an international terminal smack bang in the middle of it. It’s like putting a hot dog bun between a Frankfurt that’s been sliced lengthwise.

“We’re gonna miss our flight,” I said to Tracey, and she saw no reason to contradict me.

Suddenly, we’d gone from well on time to shit, I hope they still let us on the plane because the line up of people checking in their luggage was soooo loooooong. Plus the speed with which it was snaking its way forward suggested it had just eaten several good sized rodents followed by an after-dinner mouse.

Then an angel spoke to us from on high.

“Attention Virgin passengers,” came the announcement. “Would passengers bound for Brisbane please raise their hands, as you need to board now. An attendant will bring you to the front of the line and arrange to have you processed quickly.”

Okay, so maybe not an actual angel, but yet here I am singing her praises.

“That’s us!” said Tracey, raising her hand.

I raised mine too, although I confess I wasn’t really listening because I was puffed from the power walk to get here.

A woman signaled for us to push past the hundred or so shuffling people serpentining towards the snake’s head and present ourselves to a nice lady at one of the checkouts. We handed over our licences…

…and then our new-found sense of relief immediately started to haemorrhage.

“I can’t find you in the system,” she frowned after a few seconds of frantic key tapping. “You’re sure it’s the 9am flight?”

“I thought it was 9.30am,” I said. “Maybe we’re on the next flight?”

She checked. Nope.

We answered a series of questions. How did you book the flight? When did you book it? Did a third party book them maybe?

“I’ll need to grab my supervisor,” she said finally, and went off.

Tracey, meanwhile, was tapping away furiously on her phone.

“I know I had a confirmation email,” she muttered. “Here it is. Melbourne to Maroochydore. 9.30am”

“I thought it was 9.30,” I said.

Then we simultaneously realized what the problem was.

The usual. Us.

“Excuse me!” I called after the woman. “Excuse me! I think we’ve worked it out!”

We’d decided not to fly in and out of Brisbane, hadn’t we. Yep.

“We’ll get back in the line,” we told the woman.

“Don’t worry about it,” she said, giving us a wink and, I’m certain, feeling sorry for the dumb couple who seemed to have forgotten where they’d parked their car. “I’ll put you through.”

So instead of being a little behind and having to race for the gate, we had time for a coffee and cake before boarding.

If you think that sounds like a great idea, raise your hand. Trust me, it’s worth a go.


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 ~ raising a family on little more than laughs ~

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