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Itchy Feet "I am going because I would have no peace if I stayed" - Donald Crowhurst.

THE LAST REMAINING PASSENGERS

INDONESIA | Thursday, 28 August 2014 | Views [400]

Departure day.  Time to head home to Melbourne.  At Medan airport, the neon sign said Boarding Gate Opens at 3:15.  We were with staff at that time & had to fill out a departure card.  Dave couldn’t find his (we received it on the day of our arrival).  At 3:15 over the P.A. came an urgent announcement: Would the last remaining passengers for flight MH865 please board now.  That meant us!  But the gate only just opened so why were they already calling the last remaining passengers?

I told Dave I’d run ahead to secure our places on the plane while he filled in his departure card.  (It was inside his passport which he’d already handed over).  I was walking really fast, overtaking people who were on travellators. We had to leave through gate 2.  I was passing gate 5, gate 4, gate 3 and gate 2!   I had to go all the way to gate 1, turn hard right & then head back to gate 2!

Suddenly, all in a blur, a man in uniform is yelling at me, “Mrs” & heading straight for me.  I don’t even remember what he yelled apart from “Passport!”  He grabbed it out of my hand and said something else which I didn’t catch.  I said “My husband!” and I ran a few steps back where I’d come from, poked my head around the glass and yelled “Dave! Run!”  The man in uniform also yelled “Dape!” (sic) “Run!”  He grabbed Dave’s passport and the 3 of us ran fast through all the people seated in Gate 1 & Gate 2.  We threw our bags on the conveyor belt x-ray & walked through the metal detector archway.  At which point Dave yelled “He’s got our passports!”  So our passports were passed along to us.  Then someone else in uniform yelled “Aqua” and pointed to our 2 unopened litre bottles of water.  Dave handed over the water & we ran at full speed down 2 long sections of corridor past 9 more staff members waiting there purely for us. 

We stepped into the plane, said hello & sorry to the 2 stewards greeting us & they closed the plane door behind us.  I was about to squeeze by the person in the aisle seat to get to my allocated seat when a steward directed us to an entire row of seats all to ourselves!  At that point I looked up & saw how amazingly empty the plane was.  Then everything suddenly made sense!  There were only 20 people on the entire plane!  That’s why they were calling last remaining passengers at the exact same moment that the boarding gate opened – because it only took a few seconds to board the entire plane!  Now we would have to do some extra air time because we would be too early to land!  With some nervous giggling, we buckled up and that is how our holiday ended.  Indonesia is wild!  

Tags: airport, indonesia, medan, sumatra

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