Air Traffic Conditions

Coming Into the final approach to Manila, I was idly looking out the window at the city and wondering how long a taxi would take to get me to my hotel, when all of a sudden the pilot put his foot down and took the plane back up again, before banking us into a slow circle around the city
This is the third time I can remember this has happened to me. The first time was when I flew into Munich for the Oktoberfest back in 2007, and just before we almost landed on top of another plane, the pilot took us up for another go around. Early in March of this year, I was on a plane descending into heavy cloud above SFO, and at the last moment they decided it was better to go up than down. So although this is unwanted, it’s not totally exotic behaviour.

After a few minutes, I guess the flight crew felt they better fess up to something, and we were told that due to "air traffic conditions" we were going to vector and land ten minutes later. Well, thanks a bunch, flyby. I’m sure you using technical terms totally soothes my nerves and doesn’t make me feel concerned that you were about to park us into the rump of a 747.

Mind you, I’m not so concerned, but I think that’s because jet lag is kicking in again and I don’t have the energy to be terrified. It’s just a big metal tube full of aviation fuel, floating in thin air. What’s there to worry about?

Second time around we made it back to terra firma, and then all I had between me and my hotel room was 15 minutes in the immigration line, and then a 20 minute ride in a SUV where the driver was listening to Christmas songs and deep-voiced Filipinos on a talk radio show. It’s a start.

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