i almost missed my plane in Doha

7:52 AM

I almost got left behind in Doha.

Early morning at the Doha International Airport

My estimated time of departure (ETD) from Doha to Manila was 08:30.  That meant I had three hours to kill. With free WiFi at the airport, I plop down onto one of the seats to answer emails and download stuff. 

At 08:00, I got up and start heading for my gate.


But what greeted me was a gate empty of people - no queue, not a single passenger. Frightened, I dashed to the gate prepared to beg anyone to get me on that plane. 


The thing is, the Doha terminal is a temporary one. They ferry people from the plane to the terminal then back again to their respective planes parked on the tarmac. Because they had to circle around the airport, the ride takes several minutes. 


A little out of breath and scared of being left behind, I shoved my passport and boarding pass to the attendant. He glanced at it, smiled, and simply said 'Tejada. From Rome'.  All I could think of was, am I the last passenger to board?!  How did he know where I came from?! 


Though I might have been late, I certainly wasn't the last passenger to board. There was a family of four and three other people on the bus.

Now, the thing is... this wasn't the first time I almost missed my flight.


I was flying home from Melbourne and my connecting flight was in Kuala Lumpur. So there I was in a bookshop, waiting for boarding. I started browsing and the moment I looked up from a page, the entire pre-departure hall was empty! There wasn't a single person in sight. I believe that was one of the few moments in my life I  experienced real fear.  I didn't have enough money left to buy myself a ticket, so I didn't know how will I get home.  Apparently, they were paging for me but I didn't hear it. I was too engrossed in a book which title I now forget!


I dashed out of the terminal to the tarmac. I didn't know where I was going that the ground crew had to save me from being run down by a plane. Like some runaway, they escorted me to the airbus. I believe I delayed the flight for a couple of minutes.

But hey, don't think I'm such a scatterbrain because I am not! It's just that sometimes I am so into something that, well, everything fades into oblivion. 


But the next time I'll have to kill several hours at an airport, I am certainly going to be more mindful of the minutes. 

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