My Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York had to make an emergency landing at Gander Airport, Canada. As one would expect from the industry that health care often looks to for inspiration on safety, the pilot handled the whole thing with admirable calm. One moment there was an announcement that there was a “technical problem”, the next we’d landed. At no point was the flying or the staff visibly panicked.
After that, though, things started to go wrong.
At first, it was said it’d likely take a couple of hours to fix. Then, we were told a fix would not be possible so a new aeroplane would have to be sent – from London, some five hours away. Then we were told they were trying to find a crew for the new aeroplane so it would take even longer and that we should probably wait in the airport. We disembarked.