So yesterday was crazy. I got to the airport 15mins before my flight, sans boarding pass, and yes, I had luggage to check in. Luggage that came up to 6,500 bucks worth of excess luggage.
I begged one guy like I would die but he said no, they were closed for check in. Then when they were doing the final call for boarding, the guy had a change of heart and it was beautiful to watch. (This is summary; I walked to and fro between the check in counter and the rescheduling unit at least 12 times but that’s details). Same guy who refused to help me, suddenly called to hold the plane, checked me in, ran me up four flights of stairs, whizzed me through security (endured the insults of the guards) and the boarding gate, got me off the airport bus when it seemed like that would work against me. From across the tarmac, I could see the doors of the aircraft were closed but he pushed me and I was running and screaming and waving. I almost dropped to my knees to thank him but he yelled “GO.” I don’t even know his name. Called my sister to get his number so I’d thank him (some trivia – he was a really good looking boy) but she had left that section of the airport.
See, I always knew that I would hold up an aircraft one day, but that was to be because I was a celebrity, not because I had cried and groveled and begged myself hoarse and almost broke my leg sprinting.
It wasn’t over. When I got to the aircraft, my luggage was nowhere to be seen. I had to race back to ‘Holding.’ On identifying my luggage, they said nope, this ain’t going, too many liquids and they tried to take my huge bottle of extra virgin olive oil, pure Obudu honey, perfumes. . . Another round of begging. In the end, they only took the Soy Milk my sister insisted on buying me.
The plane had been waiting for almost 20mins now and was going to take off at about the same time as the next flight by the same carrier.
I raced back and just as I stepped up, I passed out slightly on the air hostess. My eyes cleared when she asked “are you sure you are fit to fly?” HIAN!!! I swore o. I am fit!!!
I was so panicked and shaken that I couldn’t read my seat number. It was written FS. I have never been on a Free seating flight before. Passengers were hissing. I could care.
I got what seemed like the only available seat between a guy and lady. I should have asked the lady for the window seat. She is a terrible flyer. She read a novel through take off and dozed through landing. That is criminal.
See, when it comes to flying, I will always be a child, my nose plastered against the window as I watch the ground race away from, or towards us, trying to recognize places. So for someone to waste a window seat like that, I wanted to kill her.
Anyway, more drama. The plane lifted way off the ground, but the vents in the wings were doing like they were trying to open – and failing. I couldn’t tear my eyes away and I couldn’t remember whether the vents open on take off or not. I started trying to see the ground, to see how much damage would occur if we dropped. Molues were looking like soldier ants so I didn’t like that option. I now tried to calculate how much luck/goodwill I have racked up. I sighed. Didn’t seem too great either. I then looked away and closed but eyes but they shot open a second later as myself said to myself, keep those eyes open, you may want to write about this. So I did.
Vents didn’t open but we got up in the clouds and beyond. Then we hit air pockets and the ride got really bumpy. Just before the air crew came by, I knew the food was going to be free. What is it with airlines and feeding people when they hit turbulence. Do they have a thing against crashing with food onboard? A last act of contrition? Ironically, when your plane looks like it might crash, food is the last thing on your mind. No dear Ms. Air Hostess, not even oysters and caviar or ekpang kukuwor and isi ewu can take my mind off my impending death, never mind meatpie and juice/water.
Anyway, we didn’t crash. Obviously.
As though the day were determined to be dramatic to the very end, on getting to the arrival lounge, my luggage was already on the last leg of its return journey down the conveyor belt and into the dark recesses of ‘unidentified luggage,’ and I was at least 50 meters away. I had to run again, screaming at the people nearby to grab my bag and box off the thing for me. I was lucky. They had good hearts and quick reflexes.
Kollins was picking me up and as I was leaving the building, I was dialing his number frantically, walking briskly, not looking where I was going when the trolley guy yelled “watch out.” If I had walked into that door frame, it would have been disastrous.
Against all odds, I am home.
P.S 1 I found out later that I would have paid an extra twelve grand if I’d rescheduled my flight. Blood of god!!!
P.S 2 Please forgive any mistakes; this started out as a facebook update but I was like nah, and lifted it to blog.
P.S 3 You should see all the food I came back to Lagos with, nicely frozen and neatly cellophaned. My sister Deby spoils me. They all do. Plus, she is an astute young woman. She knows that Fashola’s Lagos is a hard place. I had a lovely extra one week with her. Love that girl.
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