I’m writing this in response to a question posted by one of my blog readers, tokmoh (I’m very sure he’s reading this now with a big grin on his face).
He asked ‘Don’t mind sharing what happened in ur twitter status: “Stuck in a Boeing 747 on the KLIA tarmac. 2 hours already! I’m gonna miss all my connecting flights… demmit.” Long haul… KLIA… Boeing 747… Malaysia Airlines, nope?’.
Well, that flight really was one of the worst I’ve ever had. Everything about it was poor and unsatisfactory, right down to the food (not that airline food is ever fantastic). Anyhoo, it started with me not getting an aisle seat. And anyone who travels over 10 hours is bound to want an aisle seat! For obvious reasons…
As we were about to leave, the aircraft stopped and returned to the gate. Apparently there was a minor failure to one of the motors which controlled the landing gear and this resulted in the aircraft not being able to turn. Hohum, I thought. But this is a Lufthansa flight! Aren’t the Germans always one step ahead in making sure technical faults are identified before hand? And isn’t Lufthansa one of the more reliable airlines? This particular glitch took 2 hours to fix… and we were not allowed to leave the aircraft!
Then, after we were assure everything was fine and dandy, and that we are cleared for take off something else happened. As we taxied to the main runway, the pilot powered the engines and readied everyone for take off. At maximum rev the engines roared, the planed slowly picked up speed and… and… he killed the engines! Literally powered it down until the plane stopped abruptly on the runway.
As we taxied back to the gate (again) the Captain said there was a MAJOR alarm in the cockpit which does not allow aircraft take off. It seems the earlier problem triggered another problem in which the landing gears won’t retract after take off. WTH?! And so we were at the mercy of the engineers as they tried to fix the fault. And they finally did, 2.5 hours later! It’s worth noting that again we were not allowed to leave the cabin.
So there you have it, my longest ordeal aboard an airplane doing nothing but wait, wait and wait (but I did manage to FB and Tweet). Obviously I missed all my connecting flights, had to reschedule all my meetings and was terribly exhausted upon reaching my destination 20 hours later.