what to do when the plane is leaking jet fuel...

London Travel Blog

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People trying to clean up some fuel

So we were finally good and ready to leave or cozy lives of vetting in Maidstone behind, all ready for the great adventure to come – the exploration of unkown territory in the Aegean sea….at least unknown to us.

Poor Mambo.... swept off from his comfy sleep in the sofa, put in a box, and yet again driven away from his home. That`s the plight of being the cat of a couple who are forever bitten by the travelbug. .

The taxi ride to the airport went smoothly, we were there well in advance. Early enough to be able to enjoy a few pints in the airport bar. The thing I love about British airports is that stuff in the airport costs the same as stuff everywhere else.

cleaning is a bit messy
The pints were pretty much same price as any pub.
Where I come from the prices are often 2-3 times more in airports, even a bottle of water can be 4-5€.

Things were all going fine until we actually got into the plane. We were sat there for half an hour, then the captain informed us that there was some technical problem with the refueling that would take 5-10 minutes to fix. 2 hours later the plane was still standing in the same spot.
At one point I looked out of my window and saw hundreds of liters of jetfuel flooding out of the wing. I was thinking to myself “hmmm…that`s a  bit funny, is that supposed to happen…”. The answer was a big shrieking NO. Next minute there were lots of people scurrying around trying to clean it up with some fairly pathetic looking absorbable tissues.

firetruck is ready for worst case scenario
Then there was some great big fire trucks, lots of firemen, and a couple of police cars. At that point I was thinking “ Hmmm…I would love a beer right now”.
Some very loud and arrogant greek guys in front of me had obviously had the same idea as they were pestering this flight attendant for buying beer. Even as she informed them that it was illegal to sell beer when the flight was still grounded they kept pestering her, as their human right to have a beer in a time of distress had just been violated. Then they called her back a few minutes later. At this point they were actually asking her if the could go out to have smoke.
It never amazes me how stupid people can actually get. There are hundreds of liters of jet fuel, and the associated gas, just outside the flight ,and they want to go out and light up a smoke.
keep cleaning..


Eventually the managed to clean up the stuff , and the flight was on its way, 2,5 hours late.
The thought that was probably on many peoples`mind were  “ what if the wing starts leaking fuel again when we are mid-air !?”
Fortunately the flight was quite uneventful, except for our friendly greek neighbours who was well and drunk and creating a lot of noise. They failed miserably at charming the air hostess.
About one minute after the flight landed,when the airplane were still taxing full speed down the runway, they decided that it was time to go home, so the got up and started rummaging around in the overhead baggage compartment. That obviously did not go down well with the flight crew.
All in all a pretty poor impression of the greek locals.

approach to Athens
I had obviously herd lots about the typical greek cocky/arrogant womanizers, but were hoping to meet a different breed.
I know better then to generalize, and learned quickly how friendly and forthcoming the average greek can be.

When arriving at the airport all the luggages came on the conveyer belt. All, except for ours. Just what we needed, 2 hours late, and now stuck without our stuff. It was turning out to be a bad day indeed. Not made much better by the knowledge that the metro stop we would be arriving in is several kilometers from the hotel, and that we would have to pass through a very shady part of town in the middle of the night.

What made all of this even worse is the fact that we had both forgotten to renew our travel insurance, so if anyone were to rob us and leave us naked and alone in the streets of Athens we would have no support of any kind.

As it were everything turned out alright, the luggage eventually reappeared from one of the dark corners of the airport, and we survived the night time trek through shady town.
Finally we arrived to the cheapest hotel in town that despite having very low expectations still managed to surprise me (not in the positive sense of the word…see review…). 

Stigen says:
I just figuered that they wouldn't go if it was unsafe , put my life in their hands !
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011
TravChef says:
Well, I will definitely freak out if I saw that was happened with my plane. :)
Posted on: Oct 11, 2011
caymanjim says:
I agree with "Nyprne", great feature... I don't know if I would want to fly on a plane that had just been leaking fuel... safe travels, Jim
Posted on: Oct 02, 2011
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People trying to clean up some fuel
People trying to clean up some fuel
cleaning is a bit messy
cleaning is a bit messy
firetruck is ready for worst case …
firetruck is ready for worst case…
keep cleaning..
keep cleaning..
approach to Athens
approach to Athens
almost done
almost done
Athens from air
Athens from air
our nice room view
our nice room view
Breakfast with some very bad coffe
Breakfast with some very bad coffe
Lounge
Lounge
Bedroom
Bedroom
London
photo by: ulysses