Thursday, August 31, 2006

baggage irregularity

We thought that the 7 hour delay flying out to Orlando, Florida from Manchester (UK) was annoying. The delay was less coming back (just 2 hours) but a tad more scary.

While we were waiting to take off, armed police came on to the plane and took two men off. We were on the right-hand side of the plane and they were on the other side in the row behind. Then two security ladies with rubber gloves on, came and searched their seats and the overhead lockers above. The pilot announced that two passengers and their luggage had been taken off the plane due to a 'baggage irregularity'. The Geordie gentleman behind me said that he'd noticed one of them looking at his watch over and over again, and had noticed that the other one was reading the inflight magazine upside-down (I think he meant that the magazine was upside-down not the man).

Then a large family group a few rows further down stood up and were talking to the cabin crew for a long time, before taking all their hand baggage and moving down the plane. The pilot then announced that there had been lightning around the airport and we weren't allowed to move and the ramp connecting us to the terminal had been locked for safety reasons (tropical storm Ernesto was just passing by at this time); after the weather-related incident was over, it seemed that the large family group disembarked and their luggage was taken off. I assume they were scared. Next - and seemingly prompted by concerned from passengers - the security ladies returned and searched all the seats that the family had vacated and all the nearby overhead lockers.

The pilot then announced that because we had been delayed we needed a new flight schedule and that this had to come from Bangkok but was delayed due to a technical glitch, I assumed at the time that this was some reference to outsourcing but I'm not sure what it means now. When we landed in Manchester it was raining just as hard as it had been under Tropical Storm Ernesto in Orlando, but then it does rain a lot in Manchester.

I couldn't find anything on the Internet about it, so I assume that the two men were just guilty of looking a bit swarthy, checking the time slightly too often and having irregular luggage. Fortunately my watch had stopped, which prevented me from looking suspicious; also, our luggage was in the form of regular cuboids.


dB said...

Welcome back. Possibly part of this story does illustrate that you'd have been better off not choosing Hurricane Season to go to Florida...

That does sound like an unpleasant situation to be in. Although it could clearly have been a lot less pleasant.

JP said...

It sounds a bit horrible; I really don't want to have to deal with anything like that...there aren't enough drugs on the planet.

Having said that, you might have to be a bit stupid to go to America...erm, well, full stop really but definately with the current air travel hullabaloo.

HistoryElephant said...

apparently it's still safer than crossing the road