My trip back from Cape Town, South Africa

My flight from Cape Town to Jo’berg was uneventful.  But, I did had delay, on top of delay, from Jo’burg – on to the States that caused me to miss my connection at JFK.  

The first delay was because a person on board the plane was sick and needed to be evaluated for travel, so we had to wait until someone on board our plane volunteer their qualifications as a medical doctor and evaluate the ill passenger to determine their travel worthiness.  When it was determined that they couldn’t travel, the baggage handlers had to then go into the cargo hold to retrieve their bags. That took about 45 minutes. 

Then while that was transpiring this guy on the plane (he looked Nigerian or West African) started acting weird…walking around the plane sitting in different seats…wondering thru Business Class…and then he started wearing a plastic bag on his head…the bag that your headset for music and movie listening comes in.  I knew this wasn’t good…I knew this would be trouble! 

So the pilot noticed this behavior as he was tending to the ill passenger and after interviewing a few people and his staff, decided that it was too much of a risk to have this guy on the plane, so FAA officials attempted to remove him from the plane.  The guy wasn’t too happy about this (who would be?) and when he finally cooperated and stormed off the plane, he left without his bags (this was another 20 minutes of delay). 

 So because he left without his bags we had to all reclaim our overhead luggage so the security team could scour the whole plane and remove any unclaimed bags…never know if he left a bomb on the plane…but how would he have gotten it past all those incoming security checks?????  So this took another 30 minutes to clear all our bags in the overhead compartments.

I assumed the pilot would make up the time in the air on our way to Dakar, Senegal.

Upon arriving into JFK the fog was as thick as thieves so we had to fly a pattern for 30 minutes to determine whether or not we were going to have to land in Boston!!!!!  Although Boston is my hometown and my family is still there….I was ready to be home…NOW!!!!

After about 30 minutes, we finally were able to land in JFK.  Not sure how the pilot could see anything.  The fog was very low lying and as we descended we could see the top floors of all the skyscrapers poking out!  I’ve made it back to the US!  But of course I missed my flight by 10 to 15 minutes to SFO.  United was able to put me on another direct flight that left two hours later.  

Sorry the story isn’t over.  

Normally I’m falling asleep by the time we take off and was just nodding off when the plane accelerated down the runway to take off…just before it was to lift off the ground the pilot slams on the brakes and we all get thrown forward in our seats and smoke was pouring in throughout the cabin!  The pilot apparently saw smoke as we were taking off and aborted take off.  The cabin was filled with smoke, but it wasn’t the kind to thick smoke that would choke you…but was obviously an indication that something was wrong…very wrong!  We were then told we had to sit still one the runway while the emergency staff checked out our plane for possible immediate evacuation.  After a few moments we were told that we were heading back to the gate to investigate the smoke and we were escorted by 7 emergency vehicles on the left of us and about 5 to 7 vehicles on the right of us — Fire engines, ambulances, bomb squad, police cars…all flashing their emergency lights and doing a good job of parading us back down the runway–as well as scaring the shit out of us all!

We were told to wait a few hours to see what the deal was with our plane and that we may have to be put up in hotels for the night because all remaining flights where booked.

Six hours later they fixed and tested the plane and they began the boarding process again…”so are we really taking the same plane again???…hmmmmmmmm!!!!”

I was due in at SFO at noon on Saturday and got there around 8:30 p.m.

That was my trip home!

Explore posts in the same categories: Journal Entry

2 Comments on “My trip back from Cape Town, South Africa”

  1. robert Says:

    omg wow D thanks for the story that helps a lot with my plan issues lol, well whatever doesnt kill ya makes you stronger 🙂

  2. Haya Naser Says:

    I can not believe this is terrible!!! That must be hard time for you! I am so Happy that you are Safe and Okay!!!! Thank God!!!!

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