When I was younger, my dad worked for Aer Lingus and we used to fly places on standby. This was always an exciting proposition, because you were never quite sure if and when you were going to get away. Many's the boring hour I spent sitting in airports, waiting for the next flight, because there would be enough seats on that for us all. A couple of times, when flying on my own at peak times, I didn't get away on the day I wanted and had to go home or back to my accommodation having sat in the airport all day long, just to come back and sit in the airport all day long the next day. I swore when I got older that I would never take for granted the fact that I could afford to pay for a ticket and just get on a plane when I was supposed to.
It didn't quite work in Belfast this time. We were delayed by 24 hours on the way out to Halifax, which immediately gave me The Fear because I was convinced that we were going to end up like those people in Newark who were supposed to be flying to Knock. The airline strung them along for five days or something, and then finally cancelled the flight. I think a bunch of them are still trying to get their money back.
However, things work better with Zoom, it seems. They waited till everyone had checked in, then bussed us all over to the Belfast Hilton, fed us dinner and put us up there for the night, then bussed us back to the hotel next day at lunchtime to wait for the flight to be ready. They fed us lunch that day too, right before bringing us over to check in. It was all handled very well. Well done the Zoom. And John Hume was on our flight and may or may not have been trying to skip the lunch queue on the second day.