Friendships flourish in adverse situations
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.