Flying Cathay Pacific direct from Hong Kong to Toronto one August. Let’s count all the things that went wrong:
1. I sat behind two babies, next to a couple with two babies, in front of one baby, and to the right of yet another baby across the aisle. None were enjoying their flight.
2. The couple next to me had two babies, and I do mean BABIES. They spent the whole flight yelling and pooping. The parents changed their diapers RIGHT ON THE TRAY TABLES, allowing me to get a good eyeful and noseful. Said parents also handed me their babies without a word when they got up to use the bathroom. I don’t speak Cantonese and they didn’t appear to speak English, so I sat awkwardly holding these strange children, who were screaming their heads off after being held by a stranger.
3. We stopped to refuel in Alaska. The baby behind me was running a fever, and the mother insisted that she and her child be taken off the plane by emergency services. She was quite vocal that her baby had SARS (this was in 2006, well after the SARS epidemic) and the flight attendants could not dissuade her. For reasons that I don’t understand – but I’m sure are standard – we weren’t allowed off the plane. Customs officials eventually came onboard to examine the baby, who by then was sleeping comfortably and no longer had a temperature. We departed two hours after we were scheduled to due to this woman’s hysteria.
4. The baby across the aisle squirmed and then suddenly shat explosively. Some of it hit me in the face. Flight attendants came by with wet wipes, but I smelled of baby shit and there was little I could do. Luckily, it blended nicely with the feces coming from the World Pooping Champions sitting next to me.
5. As we began our descent into Toronto, in the middle of a summer storm, the plane suddenly dropped. A LOT. Everyone had barely raised their heads to look at each other before it dropped again, worse this time. People were screaming. Suddenly, the plane zoomed into the air, sharp enough to send my seatmates’ dirty diapers into their own faces. More poop splattered.
6. The pilot announced that we were being re-routed to Ottawa. I was part of a large university group, many of whom were actually headed to Ottawa as their final destination. I myself had a good friend there at the time who would have taken me in. Again, we were not allowed to disembark. We sat on the tarmac for four hours, as the storm was now over Ottawa. I called my then-boyfriend in Toronto, who informed me the squall had lasted five minutes and that everything was now clear.
7. We finally landed in Toronto, eight hours late. The kids going to Ottawa had missed all their connecting flights, ironically.
I guess I can say I literally AND figuratively had a shitty flight!