For me this was no ordinary flight, besides leaving Mozambique, I was actually moving for good back to Portugal.
After canceled flights and pushing the Portuguese consulate along with 300 other people that needed to come home we finally got a flight on 27th June.
I consider myself lucky because it was going to be an 11-hour flight so I and my husband got 1st class tickets to get at least more comfortable to handle this flight after previous days of exasperation putting away all we wanted from our life in Mozambique which actually came down to 4 pieces 32kg bags and 4 pieces 16kg carry luggage.
We arrive the Mozambique International airport and only my mother went to say goodbye, we entered the fast track of the check-in and off went our bags to be loaded in the plane, we waved goodbye to my mom and no contact whatsoever. At this point, we had face shields, because both I and my husband have asthma and we honestly thought it was ok, but it was not.
After the bags, we went to the lounge, or what we thought we were going to. Passing the halls in the airport no shop or duty-free items available, everything closed… the lounge as well, so we went straight to the smoker’s corner (really weird that everything was closed except a small coffee shop and the smoker’s room, taking into account it was an international airport with everything closed).
Our flight was delayed by 2 hours on departure but we were not angry, we were just happy to leave even if it meant leaving our 8-year life behind and start a new chapter.
Finally, we started to board and we were in the line to be priority boarding so off we went to the airplane. We entered the aircraft and headed to first-class seats, put our luggage on the compartments, and sat down to relax a bit in the seats. All accessories closed and sealed as sanitized but there was a big issue, the head of the team from the airline came to us and told us we had to use masks for the whole flight and that these should be changed every 4 hours… I started to enter panic mode but rules are rules and this was to protect us and the others inside the plane.
For those who don’t know first-class has some extra perks that I and my husband can’t leave without, so I thought to myself “I can handle the mask if I just ask for a glass of wine and sleep all the trip”, I was so very wrong!!! This flight as cabin crew explained, no extras would be available, we were not allowed to drink except during mealtime and we had no option of the meal to chose from because it was for everyone the same unless it was stated prior to flight special meal(vegan, vegetarian, kosher, halal, lactose-free or gluten-free).
Needless to say, it was a horrible experience and the rudeness of the head cabin lady was rocking on my nerves. this was around 1 pm and I really was considering becoming an alcoholic as soon as the food was served.
10 hours passed and we arrived safely at Lisbon airport, there was temperature control everywhere but no lines at all, it was like the whole airport was ours, and apparently was.
Our bags since they were priority were already on the baggage collection treadmill when we reached it so we loaded them into the trolley’s and went to meet our driver who was the description of kindness and was feeling so sorry for us that allowed us to breath for 30 minutes before we made our way to the hotel.
We were safe and not actually ready for the new normal rules but we arrived safely and that is what matters, also that this pandemic made us all the same, all the rules apply to everyone, money or not, status or not.
This was a lesson that I have now coming to terms with, something that in Mozambique, now to think of it, I was spoiled and my life was above everyone else’s and it took an 11-hour flight to be like anyone else to put life into perspective.