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Hours of Fun in Bahrain Airport

An Extended Stopover in Bahrain – January 1999
This follows on from To South India; our aeroplane stopped off in Bahrain airport to refuel and for the package tourists to buy more booze, and upon taking off again developed a fault and had to turn and re-land. Our trip was delayed by a day in Bahrain, but this turned out to have some intriguing moments.
The cabin crew had announced that we would be stopping at Bahrain, and we then saw a video showing us all the delightful things we could buy in the transit lounge there: essentially yet more booze.
We all therefore dutifully got off at Bahrain, dutifully for the duty-free, but we personally did not buy anything, unlike others of our fellow travellers whom we saw carrying yet more plastic bags containing bottles in boxes.
We sat and watched the great diversity of people in the airport lounge: men in jellabiyas; splendid-looking Arab men with white tunics and head-dresses; women dressed all in black; men with red and white tea-towels on their heads; plus Indians in saris and people in various forms of Western dress from suits to T-shirts.
We didn’t buy any duty-free and were soon called back to the aeroplane for the four-and-a-half hour flight to Trivandrum.
The plane had reached cruising height and people were being served yet another gin and tonic, when we seemed to hit some serious turbulence and the captain told the crew to stow the trolleys.
A few minutes passed and then the captain announced that he had had to drop swiftly to 12,000 feet because the cabin had depressurised; the auxiliary had cut in so it didn’t feel any different to us, but anyway we couldn’t go to Trivandrum like that so we were going back to Bahrain.
Monarch Airlines Cabin Crew
The Monarch Airlines crew were very easygoing and relaxed. The pilots sounded like insurance salesmen more than ex-RAF and the cabin crew couldn’t have got into BA because the women were too dumpy or, in the case of one of them, her ears stuck out so dramatically that we could have used her to land the plane in an emergency (another emergency). The men were mostly camp and Irish.
The story of our extended stay in Bahrain airport continues with There’s a Signage Fault.


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