Isn’t it amazing how fate throws people together and from that into conversation?
Today, I found myself standing in front of the flight departure monitors at Gatwick airport (I had actually managed to drop my bottle of fizzy drink and was waiting on the cleaning bloke to mop it up…which he did and then left a yellow sign with a slippery surface logo on it…)
Anyway, I digress: a gentleman walked up to me and asked “Do you know where gate 18 is?” Part of me just wanted to say “yes”, but that would have been rude, albeit somewhat
French/Parisien in its humour content (Sorry Alex!). But, before I could tell him that it was “over there, follow the big yellow signs”, he walked off…leaving me in eye contact with another gentleman who saw and heard the whole thing happen! Some humour about the situation followed…and we exchanged the usual pleasantries that one does with fellow airline passengers.
As it happens we ended up walking down to gate, briefly chatting on the way. Gate 10 wasn’t far away, it’s marked as a 10-15 minute walk I think, but it really only takes 5-6 minutes. We arrived at gate 10, along with a few others, only to be told that the Edinburgh flight wasn’t departing from gate 10, the Shannon flight was. Of course, the lady on the security desk was positive (and nice about it too) and made a telephone call on our behalf. Long story, cut short, we were departing from gate 12 instead. Now, being a frequent flyer, and one who listens to the safety briefing at the start of each flight (!), I figured that there was a delay. The time it would take us to get from gate 10 to gate 12 was roughly 10 minutes, more if you were a member of the original 10-15 minute fraternity…this would buy the airline some time! Now, easyJet have been very good, flights have been on time, etc. so neither of us were particularly worried about the faffing about.
Anyway, it turns out that this gentleman with whom I exchanged plesantaries owns and publishes a number of magazines: Spain Magazine and a couple of others (I know the names, but can’t find a web-site just yet). And he’s an actor: remember the parrot in the Scotch (now 3M) TV commercial? He did the yawn…and yes, apparently parrots don’t yawn, but that’s showbiz!
We landed on time at 2025…20 minutes into the flight the first officer announced that they’d made a couple of “left turns” and shaved 10 minutes off the delay…amazing 🙂
Oh, and Rt Hon the Lord Steel of Aikwood KT KBE DL was only a couple of rows behind us…sadly the first things that came to my mind and that of my travelling companion was the Spitting Image sketch where the two Davids (Owen and Steel) discussed the merger of their two parties (Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Party), to form the Lib Dems. The name change change wasn’t much for David Owen, but for David Steel’s party, it was! Anyway, it was funny at the time 🙂