I travel a lot for work, mainly between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia but for some reason, I can’t seem to get used to the turbulence, it keeps scaring the hell out of me.
Last night, I had a flight from Dammam to Beirut @ 8:20 PM.
I got on the plane at about 8:00 PM. A couple of minutes later the electricity went out… I’m not very superstitious, but I don’t think the lights going out is a very good sign! It was funny coz some of the passengers started joking “n2ata3et el kahraba? Wselna 3a lebnen bi hal ser3a??” (Electricty cut? We’re already in Lebanon?)
The lights came back on about 10 seconds later. The boarding was completed and the captain asked the flight attendants to “arm doors and cross check”. As we started pulling away from the gate, the lights in the cabin were still flickering… It didn’t look very good
We had just started to taxi when all of a sudden the engines shut down! The captain then said “Cabin crew, disarm doors and cross check”. He then said that we were facing a small technical problem and that it will be resolved ASAP.
All of a sudden an ambulance and a firetruck parked right outside the aircraft.
Without electricity, the AC wasn’t working. Seeing as it was a cool 35 degrees with humidity, everyone was complaining about the heat. A weird looking truck parked right under the plane and started to pump in cool air. I had no idea such a truck existed to be honest.
And as we all know, all Lebanese people think they are knowledgeable in just about any topic. So a bunch of passengers walked to the front of the plane to share their experience and advice with the flight attendants… These are some of the comments I overheard:
- “Eh, ana sayra ma3e kaza marra, mesh awwal marra… walaw!” (This has happened to me so many times before.. come on…)
- “Hal meshkle akid khassa bel landing gear, ana 7assayt awwal ma tle3et 3al tiyyara enno fi shi ghalat..” (I’m sure this has to do something with the landing gear, I felt it the second I stepped on board)
About an hour and a half later, the “minor problem” was fixed (BTW, they didn’t tell us what the issue was). During that time, a couple of passengers stood up, gathered their stuff and asked to disembark. They were let out, but they had luggage checked in. So we waited for another hour for their bags to be located and removed from the plane
So we finally took off at about 10:45 PM. The flight was horrible to be honest, very turbulent, but after 4 glasses of Black Label, I felt like I was on a roller coaster and almost passed out