Ideally, when you think of travelling in a plane, you would like to think you are heading off to some incredible location, unfortunately for us netty girls, our travel equates to fleeting visits to a different state or across the Tasman, with the occasional visit to England or Jamaica if you are lucky. These trips are far from a holiday and what I always find interesting is that they are never without some sort of drama!
Last weekend the Firebirds were off to Invercargill for our match against the Steel. Except for the early airport arrival, the two flights to our destination were relatively pain free… the way back, however was a completely different story. The way back resulted in 3 flights (I’m going to be working in QLD time here), waking up at 5.30am to pack the bus to the airport. It was then a flight from Invercargill to Christchurch and then a mad rush through the airport to catch our connecting flight to Auckland. So far, so good! After a bite to eat and some duty free shopping (of course!) it was time to board the plane.. Destination: BRISBANE! Or so at least we thought! About an hour and a half in to the flight the pilot’s voice came over the loud speaker and saying we were heading back to Auckland – Something to do with “mechanical”, and “failure”.. I’m not exactly sure what he was talking about but assuming im not as dumb as I look, it didn’t sound great! So back to Auckland it was. Originally we were meant to arrive in Brisbane at 5.50pm, but this little bump in our plans saw us arriving at midnight, making for a rather LONG day by the time we hit our heads on our pillows! The funny thing is, it that these delays or unexpected events are not at all uncommon….
There was the volcanic ash that caused the Diamonds to be stuck in New Zealand last year for several days post tour. There was the tour to Jamaica a few years back when on our return to Australia; the pilot hit his head under the plane when doing a routine inspection! He split his head open and was unable to fly the plane resulting in an extended stay. Luckily for myself & Nat vonBertouch, our manager got us on the next flight out so we wouldn’t miss Laura vonBertouch’s wedding.. the things you do for family! There was the MASSIVE delay back from India following the Commonwealth Games and then the redirection to Canberra instead of Sydney. With our coach, Norma Plummer pumping her fists in the air thinking she was able to get off, we were then informed everyone would need sit on the plane on the tarmac for around 2 hours before it was back to Sydney where we would then catch our connecting flights back to our home states. Expectedly, we all missed our connecting flights resulting in an even longer wait til we were back home.. after 5weeks on tour, any delay is just hard to process.
What makes me wonder though, is why do these delays always happen when we are trying to make it back home?? Why don’t they happen on our way over and delay our arrival into camp – I don’t think there’d be too many of the girls complaining about missing a training session! At the end of the day, as much as I love netball and travelling around, there really is nothing like home!