Day 2 – Inverness Airport; going nowhere!
I had a reasonably early flight from Inverness to Shetland and based on a past experience when I’m been late for a flight, I was keen to get to the airport in good time. So I was down to breakfast as soon as they opened at 6.30am and after some cereal flowed by bacon, eggs sausage, mushrooms and tomato, I had checked out of the hotel by 7.15am and on my way to the airport just around 10 miles away.
Traffic was light through Inverness itself and I made good time. I had to fill up with fuel (if returned with less than a full tank, there is a hefty refuelling charge) and I knew that there was a garage at Tesco around 3 miles from the airport. I have to say that I was tempted not to refuel the car as the gauge still showed full (I’d only done around 41 miles at this point) but my integrity would not allow me to do that.
I was not able to hand the car over in person and I’m always mindful of huge charges bing applied for “damage” to the a vehicle but Avis is a reputable company so I did not have too many concerns. In any case, around an hour later, I had an email invoice from them showing there was no unexpected charges.
I was early at the airport as the check-in was not open but within a few minutes, someone turned up and sprung into action. I always had checked in online several days earlier so had my “boarding card” on my phone but I was given a physical card in any case. Unlike BA at Heathrow, I did have to show photo ID (I’m still puzzled why this was not required at Heathrow).
I was still too early for Security so had a cup of coffee landslide. Shortly after, we are called through Security and this was all trouble free.
Our aircraft arrived and its passengers disembarked. Then a man in van arrived followed by two fire engines and he opened up the covers on the port engine. Apparently thee was no sign of a fire so the engines were stood down. Then the inevitable announcement came apologising for the delay and saying that a further announcement would be made at 30 minutes.
That announcement again apologised for the delay and saying that the delay was due to “technical issues” and saying at a further announcement would be made at an hour alter at 11am.
At 11am, there was some hope; the airline announced an estimated departure time of 11.30am and provided free refreshment vouchers for “light refreshments”. The voucher was for £3.50 ; unfortunately, a cup of coffee and a packet of two shortbread fingers came to £4.65!
At 11.30am, another announcement; “..due to ongoing technical issues, there is a further delay to the flight.. the next announcement will be at 12.30pm”.
Suddenly, just after 12.30pm, the flight was called! Once on board we learnt that this plane had been on the Dundee – Stansted route and the crew had got teh call when at Stansted than once they had flown back ti Dundee there were to head off to Inverness and fly us to Sumburgh. Refreshments were served on the leg to Orkney – tea and a Stoats flapjack for me.
A brief touchdown at Kirkwall on Orkney to drop off two passengers and pick up three new ones and we were off again for the twenty five minute flight to Sumburgh.
I thought we were still in the air when were touched down as I could see nothing out of the window; it was very misty and quite different to the weather even on Orkney.