A small group of teenagers sits together on a table, four of them with beers, two of them nursing glasses of whiskey between their tired hands. They’re not local – you can tell from the way their mouths contort strangely around foreign sounds. Luckily for them, this country speaks English just as well as any other, so they can at least get to where they need to go.
One of them keeps chancing glances up at the oblong screens to their left, the ones with scrolling names and times. Their flight hasn’t been given a gate yet, and it departs in an hour. One of them, a young man with a face almost hidden with facial hair, remarks on the three flights whose status has been marked as ‘Cancelled’. One of the girls glares at him, telling him to shut up in no minced words. The one staring at the screen bites her lip nervously. Her eyes are shining brightly, hoping that they won’t be stuck for another day.
The taller one, his hands circling the rim of his empty beer glass, whispers something to her, and she started to laugh. They strike up conversation again easily, but they all still keep turning to the screen. They know how windy it is out there – the rain is falling horizontally, practically; the last plane they saw land was like a nervous, erratic bird on its first flight.
The intercom says something about another flight – this one going to Cardiff – being cancelled because of extreme weather conditions. The one who spoke first scratches his beard and hopes aloud that if they’re stuck in the city for one more night, they’ll at least get free accommodation.
When the gate number flashes on the screen, they flash into action quicker than expected. The interface says that they’ll be delayed by fifteen minutes, but as they leave the airport lounge-slash-bar, one of the girls says that it’s better than being stuck, anyway.