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This is a question Airport Stories

Back when I was a moody teenager I took a cheap flight that involved changing planes and having to go through security again. My bags were pre-checked so, when I set off the metal detector, I honestly said to the security guy that I had no idea what had set it off.

Until, that is, he searched me and found the metal knife and fork stamped "KLM" I'd nicked off the previous flight.

Tell us your best airport stories.

(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:09)
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The Flying Doctor
Airports might be annoying, but you do miss them when they're not there.

Travelling in true wanky student hippy style round Cambodia in 2001, myself and a couple of mates hired mopeds. Muppet mate somehow manages to fall off whilst going about 5 mph on soft grass. The fall didn't look bad- it was practically in slow motion and everyone's first reaction was to laugh, including the muppet mate. When he instinctively tried to leap up, his laugh turned to a scream as he noticed his dislocated ankle. There was some debate about popping it back in again, which we luckily didn't attempt- it later turned out the leg was also broken in three places.


We got him back to the no-hospital village we were staying in. We'd originally got there by jeep as there weren't any roads, but he was in no condition to do the skull-rattling off-road bounce back to the capital city, where the nearest hospital was.

Enter the Flying Doctor.

The Flying Doctor was an Australian chap who sounded (and later turned out to look) like a cross between Rolf Harris and a serial killer. We contacted said medic via a primitive village telephone: "G'day. Yeah. No. His leg, eh? I see. Sure mate. Yeah. Siem Riep? I'll come and getcha. No problem, mate." He then rang off before we had a chance to explain what we'd assumed might be a hitch in his plan to fly out to us in a small plane and pilot us back to safety: the village had no airport.

Five hours later, with muppet mate going grey and passing out every so often, having had no painkillers apart from some paracetamol, we're beginning to despair. But all is not lost. The following memory is best soundtracked to the Ride Of The Valkyries- what's that on the horizon? A tiny speck, growing bigger and bigger... Can you guess what it is yet? Heaven praise the noble Flying Doctor, he's here to save us. But where will he land? He's getting closer, lower... There's no runway, he'll have to turn around and go back again! Woe. But no, the Cambodian villagers tending their crops must instead sprint for their lives as The Flying Doctor lands his aeroplane in their main rice field, scattering mud and crops and triangular hats everywhere. He rolls to a stop, having wrecked most of the field, then jumps out and runs up to us with a cheeky cackle, like he'd just done a slightly dodgy u-turn or something.

I'll add the guilt over excessive length to the daily weight of knowing I was partially responsible for depriving an entire Cambodian village of their livelihood.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 13:04, Reply)

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