While I’ve had my share of long waits, I’ve thankfully never been one of those passengers held hostage for hours on end on a plane waiting to take off or deliver passengers at an airport
So, last night, when the captain of my Lufthansa flight on a small plane heading from Munich Airport to Geneva – a one hour trip – announced we’d be sitting on the ground for at least an hour because snow removal had closed two runways, I thought “OK, now it’s my turn to be stuck on an airport for ten hours.”
I wasn’t prepared. Neither my cell phone nor my laptop was fully charged. For food, I had a bag of licorice I’d bought as a gift. And my book was in the carry-on suitcase I’d stuffed into the overhead bin.
I stole a look at my seatmate and at the people around me. Were there kids or babies bound to start crying; who was likely to be traveling with good food or snacks; and were these going to be interesting people to be held hostage with on an airplane?
Luckily, I didn’t have to find out.
Within minutes of the pilot announcing our delay, flight attendants appeared with water and juice and trays of white cloth bags, each with a jolly embroidered Santa Claus on the front.
Inside each bag was a mandarin orange, a cheese sandwich on dark bread, a package of good cookies and a tiny chocolate Santa.
“Classy,” I thought. “Definitely not the bag of pretzels passengers would be getting if they were stuck on an airplane in the U.S.”
I immediately ate the chocolate Santa and half the sandwich. Then, already thinking like an airplane hostage, I carefully re-packaged my snacks for later.
I didn’t end up having to swap that orange for a sweater, something to read or the use of a charged cell phone to call my family or the hotel. After about an hour and a half of sitting out there in the snow, we were indeed on our way.
Good job, Lufthansa and Munich Airport. And thank-you, Santa!