“Could you go to the airport and pick up the band that is returning tonight please” asked my boss one morning
“Of Course” said I. It sounded like an easy run and I could use one of those.
Well it turned out to be a very interesting run.
Myself and two other coaches drove out to the airport and went to a small part of it that i did not know existed. A small private terminal out at the end of the main runway. We pulled up just by a gate in the fence and walked into the, very expensive looking, small reception area. The smell of coffee drew us all over to find a fresh pot in the process of brewing and a friendly looking gentleman in a very expensive looking coat. He introduced himself as the manager of that section of the airport and explained to us what was going to happen.
“We are going to have you drive out onto the apron here and wait. Once the plane lands we will guide you into position and load the bags on your coach for you and if you could stand by the door to your coach and identify which one you are (we were numbered one and two) that would be great. Once everyone has gotten on we will escort you off the apron and back landside”
Yeah, we were going out on the tarmac where the plane was going to be and wait for it to arrive. This was something totally new to me and I had only ever seen it in movies and here I was about to do it!
We were guided out by a guy driving one of the baggage trucks and carefully parked away from where the plane would stop. After waiting a short time the plane arrived and taxied around to its parking area and we were waved up. I had to learn the arm signals very fast so I did not hit anything I was not supposed to, like the wing, and once stopped I jumped off and opened the baggage doors and went to help load the bags. I found out very quickly that I was not needed as the guys had already started to unload the plane and load my bus. I went back to the door and waited for my passengers. They got off the plane looking a little disorientated and confused having been up for a very long time and almost everyone asked where each bus was so they got on the right one. By the time the last person was on the bus the bags were loaded and the doors closed and we were escorted through the security gate again and back onto the road.
It was a very efficient operation and was amazing to see close up how these things happen.