Friend­ships flour­ish in ad­verse sit­u­a­tions

Guardian Express - - OPINION -

WHEN a bud­get air­line can­celled a sched­uled flight to Sin­ga­pore re­cently, I ex­pected all hell to break loose at Perth Air­port. But it didn’t. Per­son­ally, my own com­po­sure even sur­prised me.

There were fam­i­lies with kids, trav­ellers who had con­nect­ing flights and busi­ness peo­ple who had meet­ings to get back for.

In­stead of watch­ing peo­ple tear down staff or raise their voices, I watched a plane full of dis­placed peo­ple in­ter­act with strangers.

We shared sto­ries of why we were fly­ing to Sin­ga­pore, what we might do now, shared snacks and held each other’s spot in lines so we could go to the bath­room.

I had plenty of time to ob­serve peo­ple that night and in the early hours of the morn­ing.

Sure, a few peo­ple ex­pressed their dis­plea­sure with the sit­u­a­tion to ground staff. One girl was in tears. I sus­pect she had missed a con­nect­ing flight.

John had been in Perth for work and had to be home in Sin­ga­pore for a 10am meet­ing the next morn­ing.

He was never go­ing to make it.

But when he re­alised he got the fi­nal seat on a 6am flight the next morn­ing (I got the sec­ond last seat), he made a point of rac­ing up to tell me.

By the time a group of us boarded the next flight out of Perth, we were smil­ing know­ingly at those peo­ple we had met in the long queues.

Sure, the flight can­cel­la­tion dis­rupted travel plans that week­end but we made un­likely short-term friend­ships.

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