It all started so well, after a quick hop across the channel I was in Spain – no problems!
I should have known things were going too well. At Madrid the flight to caracas was delayed by 2 hours! They didn’t tell us this until we were on the plane though!?
After sitting for 2 hours in a cramped seat between two huge Venezuelans we eventually took off!!…15 mins after take off the pilot said the plane had a problem and we have to go back and land in Madrid!
No one knew what was going on or for how long we’d be there. Eventually after another 2.5 hour delay we boarded the plane again.
Iberia´s new planes have a camera fitted to the tail of the so that you can see the aeroplane on the screens in the cabin as it takes off, flies and lands. Not sure why its all a bit strange…. Anyway we finally start our acceleration and everyone is watching on the screens as we start to thunder down the runway. Just as we are about to leave the ground and take off there is a loud bang the pilot slams on his brakes and there is smoke and flames coming out from under the wing / tyres (this is why it is not a good idea to have live video footage of the plane on the internal screens!)
People are screaming and crying, people want to get off. One man starts shouting and the steward jumps across four passengers and gets him in a head lock. Every male on the plane then stands up shouting!…its like being in a street fight in Bangkok not Madrid. At this point I seriously considered cancelling my trip and returning home.
We eventually arrived in Caracas at 10pm 3 am London time 8 hours after the scheduled time!…Never fly Iberia!
On the flight I sat next to a really interesting plastic surgeon who told me all about Venezuela! Apparently 80% of Venezuelans have plastic surgery, most common is face or boob job. The Canary islands are known as the 5th Venezuelan Island. Apparently the people on the Canary Islands were so fed up with the Spanish dictatorship that they adopted all things Venezuelan – food, plants and their Carnival.
He also told me not to leave the hotel as Caracas is so dangerous! Apparently he has a surgery in Caracas but he moved his family to Cologne as he got fed up with all the violence and having to continously stitch people up from knife and gun fire wounds. He was a really interesting guy and I´m glad I met him on the flight as it certainly helped to pass the time.