As we touched down at about a quarter past ten local time in Brisbane, there was already a bit of an excitement in the air for passengers on our aircraft.
I probably wasn’t the only one who was booked on a Qantas flight, but who needed to find an alternative, as Qantas management chose this weekend to shut down all of their operations.
The plan, without precedent according to the trade union movement, was designed by Qantas management to force the unions to stop their industrial action. Still, as I watched television throughout the day, it seemed as though a lot of people thought it was the union taking industrial action, not a move by Qantas management.
Anyway, moving on, I was feeling pretty happy to have secured a flight to Brisbane, thanks to quick action when I heard the news of the shutdown on Saturday. Nonetheless, it was a late flight, and by about 9.45 Sydney time when I boarded the Jetstar flight, I was already beginning to feel tired.
When we arrived at Brisbane, however, we were told we were unable to leave the aircraft due to a rather heavy thunderstorm which was passing over Brisbane Airport, and which prevented any of the ground staff from coming across the tarmac.
In all, we had to stay on the aircraft about ninety minutes. Most people were pretty good humoured about it all, thanks largely to the way the bloke in charge of cabin crew handled things. He was firm, fair and honest in all of his dealings, and I thanked him on the way out. He also showed good humour when he announced we would receive a complimentary drink or meal… but not alcohol… sorry…
A lot of people passed the time by reading and using Facebook, while I chatted briefly to the Swedish woman sitting in the window seat. “Ar ni Svensk?”, I asked her pointing to the admittedly crap-looking Swedish pulp fiction on her lap.
Things got a little worse when we got off the aircraft only to discover there were no cabs at Brisbane airport. Yes seriously. A few phone calls, and about thirty minutes later a few cabs started to turn up. At first, we saw maxi-taxis who were just taking one passenger at a time. Finally, someone had the common sense to begin a cab-sharing system.
I finally made it to bed at about 1.15am. I slept like a log.