Sunday, 21 January 2007

Leaving Dubai

Exhausted again and it's only 10.40am!

I've just returned from the airport and am sad to say that Patrick is up up and away..........

The plan was to put him on the direct flight to Melbourne but the cheery staff travel agent at the airport told us that all the flights into any Australian destination for the next two weeks are overbooked. Just what I wanted to hear at 6am! I asked about Pat's chances on all the other flights and it became clear that there really was no chance of a flight today. He said I could try listing Pat on the Perth flight, which leaves half an hour before the Melbourne, so I did and he got the last seat!

It was all very touch and go - kind of like a serious suspenseful movie that you just can't bring yourself to look away from.

So all my carefully written instructions for Melbourne airport are out the window and I really don't know that much about Perth. Apart from the fact that the international terminal and domestic terminal are separate and either a taxi or shuttle bus are required to navigate between the two. Not the most crucial fact.

When staff or their families travel on concessional tickets, it's all very last minute and we have to wait until the flights are closed to the public before we can see what seats are available to us. So, we're usually issued tickets about half an hour before the flight leaves and have to RUN to the gate. It was all over so quickly! Pat was handed his ticket and told to run to the gate. Harvey from staff travel was jokingly yelling "RUN I TELL YOU, OR I'LL CHASE YOU MYSELF!!!".

So Pat did his best Forest
Gump impression and made it to the gate. I warned him that after customs, it's a mammoth walk/run to the gate. Dubai airport is pretty much a logistical nightmare. The new terminals are being built in preparation for the badly delayed A380s and there are more than 40 gates! It can be a 20 minute walk to some of the gates and if you're the last passenger and you've just been told to run for that far off gate, the pressure is on!

Luckily he made it, although I am a little sad he couldn't stay for longer. It's been a year since we've spent so much time together and I really have missed him. I may have to read up on "gangsta" cars and such things for his next visit, so I've got some idea what he's talking about and he doesn't think I'm the most uncool person in the world.

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