While my plane wasn’t scheduled to fly until late evening, I was too fidgety to stay at the hostel or wander around town.
I decided I’d go to the airport after checkout.
I’d had a restless night’s sleep, waking up every couple of hours to obsessively check whether there had been any changes along the flight path.
There actually had been but I viewed the UK’s directive for travellers to come home as helpful.
Plus it was useful to see the state of play on lockdown in the UK. My housesitter messaged to ask if I’d actually be able to go back now.
Good question. I’m hoping so as the Foreign Office have told us to.
My friend who is in Bangkok messaged to tell me he had a flight and asked me not to be annoyed. He’s paying £500 and I’m paying £3,000.
However, he’s waiting until Friday and given my ability to catastrophise, it’s probably just as well I’m going now.
Please note, my catastrophising doesn’t paralyse me. I work out plans for every eventuality. It just means I don’t get a lot of sleep.
I headed for the metro/tube/subway where everyone is being asked to wear facemasks.
Videos were being screened to show what the network is doing to protect people though it wasn’t until I changed networks for a train to the airport that my temperature was taken.
35.9°C for those of you who are interested. Wouldn’t it have been Murphy’s Law if I’d developed a temperature at this point?
I have to confess that I HAD been a little concerned about that possibility.
At the station there were also social distancing markers to guide people in querying for the ticket machines. I wasn’t sure the distance was quite sufficient but it’s good to see this happening to give people some clarity.
Everyone was keeping their distance – no friendly camaraderie between backpackers on the way to the airport and people staring fixedly at their phones.
We’ve clearly been in training for this for some time; staring at your phone is hardly new.
Most flights were cancelled. To a certain extent, it seemed they were scrolling through an old timetable. An updated version minus the cancellations would have been more reassuring.
The departure gates were dark from crowded and dark from busy. Physical distance was easy to maintain.
The elevator had been marked out for distance too.
Not everyone wore masks though, for me, the greatest annoyance was people who sneezed and coughed without covering their mouths and noses.
I actually did get up and move away.
Several market research people were wandering around and asking waiting passengers about brand recognition and perceptions of the country. Thailand is so reliant on tourism. Its people are going to struggle over the coming weeks and months.
While I was waiting, I overheard a German couple discussing their dilemma with a member of staff. They had just gone to check in for their flight home and been refused because it connects in Abu-Dhabi.
I could definitely sympathise.
As the afternoon wore on, I entertained myself by noting the more extreme lengths people are going to for protection – raincoat and overalls.
I continued to check for updates.
The flight was announced and I joined the queue to checkin and it was at this point I discovered the reason for the exorbitant cost.
The lady behind the counter looked puzzled.
“Miss, you do realise you’re in Business class don’t you?”
To say I was stunned was an understatement.
I guess that explained the price.
I’m not sure how this happened but I’m not complaining. If I have to end the trip, I might as well be comfortable.
Looking around I could see it was going to be a busy flight.
I’ve just never gone through the Fast Track or used the Business Lounge.
And of course, I was in full scruffy back-packer mode. Ah well. Not long until take off.
*Featured Photo: A guardian watching over travellers.