Surprisingly, after my crazy wet morning, I made it into Prague not just on time, but a little bit early. I break my 100Kc bill to get change for the metro and then head all the way out to Zličín where Martin and the rest of the team that’s coming in from America are going to pick me up.
I leave the bus station and maneuver the passageways over to the KFC, making it inside just before the floodgates open once again. We’re talking a monsoon of a torrential downpour — that just goes on and on and on.
I wait in the KFC for half an hour. An hour. An hour and a half. Finally, Martin gives me a call.
“Do you know what city they are flying through? Is it London or Amsterdam?”
Um….let me scroll through my emails and see if I can find the answer……..They’re flying on British Airways and I know they are going through London on the way home, so my guess is that this time they also are going through London.
“Ah, hmm… Well, they might be in Dresden.”
I’m sorry, what? Dresden?
“Yes. If they were flying through Amsterdam, maybe now they would just be landing. But through London — then they are in Dresden.”
Oh, ok. Do we know if they’re going to be coming back to Prague?”
“That seems to be the question. I think maybe I should come get you and then we will see if they appear.”
So, Martin comes to pick me up and proceeds to take the scenic route to the airport — we’re not in a hurry after all. He then learns that I haven’t eaten for seven hours and am about to fall over — lunch it is!
We finally make it back to the airport and as we’re walking into the arrivals hall, I see the familiar faces of my team. They made it!
I then find out the most terrifying news: Their airplane had been circling the Prague airport for about twenty minutes due to the massive downpour and the flooded tarmac. Finally, they were given the green light to land, but just as they were to touch down, the pilot pulls up and off they go again into the air. The pilot comes over the speaker: “We’re being rerouted to Dresden.” And off they go to Dresden, landing safely.
Again the pilot comes over the speaker: “Once we refuel, we’ll be back off to Prague.”
And all the information is clicking: circling for twenty minutes, a second take-off, two landings, and a detour up to Dresden —- they probably didn’t have that much fuel left. And once again, had I been on the airplane that almost landed and then took off again? Flagging down the flight attendants for sedatives of any kind.