Home via Singapore and Dubai
The hotel room is lovely with comfortable bed and an extra bed brought up for Marcus. Although I am absolutely exhausted I am unable to sleep as I am terrified our flights will be cancelled. I toss and turn, checking my emails and flight announcements continuously, whilst Mark and Marcus sleep like babies.
Eventually, I decide to get up and make my way down to the terminal to check on flights and find out where we need to go to catch our plane to Singapore. Dressing quietly I then make my way down to reception to catch the buggy down to the departure lounge. Everything is eerily quiet for an airport hotel with very few people around.
The departure lounge is quiet with some people wandering aimlessly around. I look up at the departure boards to see flight after flight has been cancelled, which is really worrying. This is the international terminal and our flight is from the domestic terminal so there is no information available for this. As I wait at the information desk a number of travellers from the UK are desperate as they have now had their flights home cancelled three times in the last 24 hours. I am informed that our flight is still scheduled at the moment and that there is a train to the other terminal from downstairs, so I make my way back to the hotel.
Mark is up and in the shower when I return to the room and although the flight is not until the afternoon there seems little point in hanging about the hotel fretting. Once packed we wake Marcus and call room service to collect the luggage. Checking out we make our way to the golf buggy and our ride to the departure lounge. A lift takes us down to the connecting train which we catch with seconds to spare.
The domestic departure lounge is much busier than the international lounge and flights are taking off still. We are unable to see our flight on the departure board as it is still some way off from departure so make our way to Airasia's desk. Yes! the flight is on its way so that looks promising, however, there are worries over the luggage as the flight is not straight through and some passengers on other flights have been advised they will not be allowed to fly with luggage. We agree that if the worst comes to the worst we will just dump our luggage, desperate times call for desperate actions!
The wait in the departures for the desk to open is interminable and I am extremely anxious. All the food outlets are still selling drinks and food but there is nowhere to sit in the airport as all seats have been removed. Soldiers are patrolling and the atmosphere is really quite claustrophobic and intimidating. I even join Marcus and Mark outside on the smokers deck to pass time.
Eventually check-in opens and we are told that as our flight is a code share with Emirates there will be no problems with our luggage. We will need to take our baggage checks to the Emirates desk in the Singapore terminal and they will sort it all out. Once through passport control I feel easy enough to have a sandwich and a drink but we are all desperate to embark onto the plane and head off for Singapore.
Whilst waiting in the departure lounge we see some weird and wonderful sights as people try to protect themselves from this new corona virus. Plastic macs and snorkeling masks being amongst them. Others are wearing face mask and many look nervous and anxious.
At last we are sat on the plane which is half empty. We are able to spread out and the short flight takes place without incident. We are on our way home, but to what, and there are a few hurdles more until we reach Manchester. We know Singapore airport is still open for transit passengers but we are not sure what might await us in Dubai. Once the plane touches down we disembark and feel a sense of relief to be back on Singapore soil.
The airport is very busy and we have to walk a fair way until we reach the terminal centre. There are temperature stations everywhere which pick up your temp as you walk past and sanitisers are set up everywhere. We catch the monorail which takes us to the terminal our next flight goes from.
We make our way to the Emirates desk with our luggage chits in our hands, not sure if this will really work. I can imagine our luggage going round and round on a carousel somewhere forever more. Much to our surprise the staff take it all in their stride informing us that left luggage is taken to a storage area after an hour and it will be picked up from there are put on our next plane.
That sorted we make our way to a bar for food and a drink, which is much needed. What a relief to just sit and relax (as much as is possible). Mark and Marcus make a trip to duty free and we buy Durian sweets wondering if they will taste as bad as the fruit smells.
Eventually it's time to embark on the next step of our journey home. Our temperature is checked before entering the plane and we are just hopeful they won't be too high as we will be refused entry. Thank goodness everything is OK and we are able to make our way to our seats. The flight is relatively full and we settle back hoping to get some sleep once food and drinks have been served.
We all manage to grab some shut eye but it is pretty restless and every time someone coughs or sneezes there is a feeling of dread. Although the journey is stressful in many ways it is just so comforting to be going home.
We land in Dubai in the middle of the night and are marched straight through the airport to a departure gate not being allowed to stop anywhere on route. We sit and wait for our flight to embark and I just cannot wait to get out of this place. This plane is much bigger than the last one but there are some free seats. Marcus is able to find a seat on his own which also give Mark and I a little more space.
We sleep for some of the journey and then are served breakfast towards the end of the flight. We hear many stories of people scrambling to get home from all over the far east, Australia and New Zealand. Some have payed way over the odds and we feel quite lucky at managing to get home for less than £1000 for all three of us.
At last the plane starts to descend and I feel a huge sense of relief at being back in the UK where I feel safe. I would rather be here than anywhere else.