January 22, 2009

England in West Indies 2008-09

England cause flight detour

George Binoy





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Travelling on the same flight as an international cricket team might be exciting for fans but it could also be a nuisance to those passengers hoping to arrive at their destination on time. Virgin Air passengers to Barbados had to endure the most unusual of detours: some of their fellow passengers – read the England cricket team – had to get off at St Kitts.

The passengers apparently had no clue about the detour, and the flight crew did not know its purpose until the pre-flight briefing. "It's very exciting isn't it – the England players on board and all that?" one of the crew told the Guardian. "It reminds me of the time we had the James Bond lot on board and we went to Panama."

To mollify the passengers for the two-hour delay, they were given England-branded cuff-links and an autographed picture of the Test squad that played the home series against South Africa in 2008. Not everyone was happy. "I think it's a bloody cheek, I do," said one passenger. "I found out last week that we were going via St Kitts, and then only because I phoned Virgin to confirm my flight. They didn't phone me. I would rather give up the cuff-links and arrive on time."

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George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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