When the aircraft was ready to head south the pilots noticed something wrong with the engine and decided to return to the gate. Finally, all passengers were deplaned and told that the new departure time would be 0145 as a spare part had to be flown in from Copenhagen.
At 2100 I was assigned to work the gate from just before midnight and prepared myself for what I could be facing. After a few stress free flights I took the “frog” out to gate 9 where I met up with J. and together we started updating ourselves on the situation and taking care of the people who had questions and concerns. Stage number 2 was to sort out blankets for all passengers as it was quite chilly in the terminal and people were trying to catch some sleep. After a few phone calls and a small “theft” we managed to source cover for everyone who wanted. As the clock came closer to departure time we were worried that we would have to delay the flight further but then we obtained an ok sign from the “tech team” and to everyones content we could start the boarding aided by R. and the Apollo representative and also SGS colleague C.
After some small calculation problems and finding the last boarding cards J. retracted the bridge at 0153 and we could complete the last of the paperwork before heading back to the office to sign out. I arrived back home at 0247 just to have the morning newspaper delivered right in my hand.
Looking back at this episode it shows that the key to good results is teamwork with a dialogue between crew, tech staff and gate and keeping the passengers informed. The last point is valid even if there is nothing to inform about as you show you know as much as them and you’re not trying to hide anything from them. Then do it all with a smile and no one can blame you for not having done your best.
To J,R,C, the techies, the crew and anyone else involved, I would like to say GOOD WORK!
A late or early arrival home from work?