I never thought I would feel the love for lemon sherbet popcorn, but stranger things have happened when you are stranded at an airport.
A few hours earlier, I had checked in and was having a coffee with friends before going through to the departure lounge at Exeter Airport. We had spent a full-on weekend together and they were reluctant to leave me as we knew a blanket of fog had lovingly wrapped itself around the island that I have come to know and love as home, Jersey.
“If your flight is cancelled, we’ll take you home with us.”
My friends reiterated when a gate number seductively flashed at us from the departures board. So I said my emotional farewells, stripped off to go through security, then found a nice comfy chair to sit on to await my instruction to board.
I had barely sat down when a hesitant voice came over the tannoy to announce that my flight was cancelled. By this time, my friends were well on the way to their cosy sitting room and thinking about pouring a glass of wine.
Sixty minutes post-cancellation and back in the check-in area; I was beginning to get a little tetchy. I was also peckish. Peckish and techy is a bad combination. I had viewed what was on offer at the café several times and hadn’t seen anything I fancied. The sandwiches had long since run out, but there was a healthy supply of a local delicacy, sherbet lemon popcorn, which was not something that excited my taste buds.
Stranded at Exeter Airport on a beautiful day, is not all bad. There are wost airports in the world to be delayed. It wasn’t the airline’s fault. Nothing had fallen off our ATR prop job, its instruments hadn’t gone techie. It was tantalisingly parked just outside on the tarmac, gleaming in the Devon sunshine.
Hanging around, waiting to hear what the airline has planned for our nocturnal comfort, the minutes began to feel like hours.
Three hours post-cancellation, I was getting annoyed. Why was it taking so long for the airline to sort out transportation to take us to one of the nearby hotels for the night?
Pumped by the blitz spirit solidarity shared with my fellow strandees, who I had got to know remarkably well during the last three hours, I started throwing my weight around. Making myself unpopular with the airport staff, who were doing their best, given that there were other passengers still hanging around whose flights had been cancelled before ours.
Then, a little excitement. All strandees were given a goodie bag. Inside there was a bottle of water, a very recently prepared and delicious sandwich, plus a bag of the sherbet lemon popcorn I had scoffed at a few hours before, which turned out to be mouth-wateringly wonderful!
Shortly after our spirit-lifting snack, a coach arrived to whisk us away to an oasis of comfortable Devon hospitality. Hot running water, a comfy bed to sink in to.
Dinner, bed and breakfast all on the airline’s tab. Okay, I had to pay for the wine, but it was a very small price to pay for being pampered due to adverse weather conditions.