Flying Melbourne to Denpasar a few weeks ago with Garuda and the pilot advises us we are about to land. We notice another large plane to our right and not far off that also seems to be descending. “Strange” me thinks. After a few minutes we do a bit of a left turn, then another left and then I realise we are going around in circles. Silence from the cockpit, blank stares from the flight attendants. After a while we see a plane come from our right and go underneath us then our plane straightens up and begins a slow climb and I look out the window and notice the island of Bali is disappearing behind us. Finally an incomprehensible announcement is made and the FA then explains that Denpasar is closed and we have to fly to Surabaya where we will sit on the tarmac and wait until Denpasar is open again. When we land at Surabaya we are number 8 in what turns out to be a line of 9 diverted flights. What could be the reason for the airport closing, flood, fire, plane crash, terrorists, we wonder? Nope, the Indonesian President is flying in to plant a tree with the footballer player Renaldo so 9 plane loads of tourists get shunted off to another island. Is this sort of thing common?
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