My whole traumatic flight experience!
What a traumatic experience! Flight from hell! Already my dad was sceptical about my choice to travel with Air Blue and this whole incident happens! He went to Dubai with my siblings using Emirates. I was like no, I want to come to Dubai using Air Blue. OH MY GOSH! I don't want to go to Pakistan in at least 3 4 years! I am just saying that, I am going again at the end of September, because my Canadian cousin is getting married.
Anyhoo. Lots of things happened. Before I go on to type them, see this. Iftar box given by Air Blue at check-in counter.
I was so excited until it was 9:15 PM and the boarding call had not been announced. I told mum something is going on, we were supposed to board but I don't see any activity. She is like no it is fine. Then suddenly we saw all kinds of security personnel gather, and discuss things in front of us in hushed tones. People started running around. The Air Blue ground staff seemed nervous too. The women were fidgeting and I knew something was up. I heard the dude say "threat" and I thought he was saying security threat.
By 9:30 PM some people had gotten out of their chairs, tired of waiting, and had gone to the boarding counter near Gate 24 from which you usually board the Air Blue plane. The women tried to explain to them that the matter was not in their hands and the men are shouting at them. I got so pissed off. Jahil gawar loog who don't even know how to talk to ladies. I understood from the way they were behaving that they were going to Dubai for the first time in their life and later on I was right. Anyway, more about that later.
So then there was this senior Air Blue ground staff lady with a walkie talkie and she came running from behind, and ran past me and she said something in her walkie talkie which sounded something like "boarding delay ho gayi hai, shayed 11 o clock tak boarding ho". I got so shocked and mum's like what happened? I was like that lady said boarding is going to be at 11 o clock! Every person who had heard me suddenly went quiet and looked at me. There was this girl sitting next to me and she is like "EXCUSE ME, WHAT DO YOU MEAN 11 O CLOCK?!" I was like yeh that's what the lady said, I think there is some bomb threat! Everyone got alert. Lots more people stood up and started going towards the boarding counter to ask questions but they wouldn't say anything.
Around 10 o clock, we all are fed up. People around me, even women, were sleeping or half asleep. I could sense that people were tense but tired at the same time. Then SUDDENLY out of the blue, the whole electricity of the airport went. It was pitch black. It stayed like that for around 5 something minutes and after that I guess because of Generator or UPS only minimal lighting was brought back on. It was crazy. Everyone jumped up and became awake and then a lot of panic started. I was gathering news from my cousins etc who were watching the updates on telly. My khala called my mum and she is like we saw on telly that Lahore Airport is dark and everything is in lock down, where are you guys? ARE YOU GUYS OKAY? There are reports of a bomb threat. My mum told me that and I shouted "YES I TOLD YOU THERE WAS A BOMB THREAT!!! I KNEW THERE WAS A BOMB THREAT!!"
My mum went to the Air Blue ladies for confirmation and told them that our families and relatives are getting worried and so many stories are floating about, stories about bomb threats and stuff. Is it true? They were like yes the stories are true to most extent. Bomb threat howi hai. The aeroplanes etc are being checked and stuff. My mum came back and told me this. Is wakt tak bohat tension pehl gayi thi. People running etc.
Then suddenly, people with medical equipment (stretchers, gurneys, room dividers, doctors in scrubs *not equipment though*) ran past us to gate 25 and went down from there. Everyone became quiet once again. I was so scared, I was on the verge of tears. I went to the Air Blue lady who seemed like a head honcho and asked her what were the updates and she is like Air Blue plane has been cleared, boarding will be in 10 minutes.
Around 12 o clock midnight, they told us all to stand in line in front of Gate 25 from where people went outside from the airport to transfer buses. We stood there and security people surrounded us. They checked my boarding pass (I was lucky to have seat 3B which is literally right in front of the plane) and then I had four things in my hand (camera bag, laptop bag, hand carry, and handbag) and the security guard first asked me what was inside all of them and I told him. Later he confirmed that I was telling the truth by checking all 4. The Air Blue lady is like "apna boarding pass apne haath mai rakhein, bus par warna nahi charne deinge, aur jahaz par bhi".
I went down the concrete spiral ramp which lead down to the Air Blue bus. I boarded the bus and then stood there but the driver is like beta bhet jao, jahaz kaafi door khara hai. We sat in the bus, and it took us 1 hour to reach the aeroplane. 2 buses followed our plane. We waited at the edge of the runway waiting for a security vehicle to kick start the follow me procedure. WE CROSSED A FREAKING RUNWAY! In the dark! In a bus!
The security vehicle which the 3 buses followed to cross the runway and go to the plane. You can see the 2 security personnel in front of our bus. (I was sitting right in front of the bus next to the driver)
and this is inside the bus. It was crowded and cramped plus we had 4 security people inside the bus with us.
I wanted to make a video of us crossing the runway but the security dude was like "Excuse me Miss, video matt banaye" so I had to stop recording.
We finally managed to reach the aeroplane by 12:45 AM. We got off in groups of 4 and then we had to tell the security people which ones are our suitcases. They had taken out all baggage and had placed it in rows. Identify your baggage otherwise it won't go on the plane. My mum went and told the people about our 3 suitcases and personally oversaw them putting it in the baggage car. Then we went to the ramp and before stepping on the ramp to go up to the plane door, our boarding passes were checked and passports. We went up to the aeroplane door and again our boarding passes were checked. We sat down finally!
I was getting very ill. Was not feeling well. Suddenly mean looking people with torches entered the plane after every passenger had been seated and were running about the place. 2 passengers were even called off the plane. We got very scared when that happened. The security person just led them by the arm out of the plane! Then I saw fire trucks surrounding the plane from the sides. I got really scared at that time and started crying. Finally the plane started moving and the fire trucks were moving with us until we reached the straight stretch of runway from where the plane halts for a moment and then the engine produces extreme thrust and speed for take off. The fire trucks moved a bit back and slowed down. The plane took off and I was still crying. I was crying because I was thinking to Allah that I don't want to die. I was so stressed. I put my head on mum's shoulder and went to sleep.
Woke up around the time when food was being distributed. I heard mum saying "usko nahi chahiye, woh sou rahi hai". I opened my eyes and suddenly I am like par mujhe chahiye! Mujhe bhook laggi hai! The stewardess smiled at me and handed me the roll and pack of Lays French Cheese. Then she brought 7up for me too with baraf lol. My legs were hurting like anything. I had my food but I was still feeling weird and sick. I went to the loo and vomited. Came back and fell asleep again. Woke up around the time when the announcement was made that we are about to land in Dubai, fasten your seatbelts. I was looking out of the window and I knew I was going to be all right when I saw my Dubai glittering in the night, full of life and light.
We landed and I stepped on to the Air Conditioned bus and went to the airport. Went to Passport Control, handed the nice Emirati local my passport, he saw my Residence Visa, asked me "Aisha Suhail?" I was like "Ehh ana Aisha Sahail" (I am Aisha Suhail) in Arabic and he smiled and immediately stamped an entry in to my passport and let me go. Dubai Dubai Aye. I was loving it even more since the whole traumatic experience I went through at Lahore Airport. My mum followed with my sister and we grabbed our suitcases and stuff. Went through baggage scan at customs and they didn't even stop us because of my sword. Went outside and saw dad and his car. Ran to him and hugged him and said Asslamaualaikum papa! He gave my my fav chocolate! Went home and fell asleep.
I am so glad to be back home (Dubai).