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21 April 2010, 09:59
An air passenger from Portsmouth told how she spent two days in Delhi airport's transit lounge sleeping on magazines laid on the floor.
Lorna Buckley, 36, spent her time staring at the walls and reading a book, the aptly titled Beyond the Sky and the Earth, by Jamie Zeppa.
Speaking after arrival at Heathrow's Terminal Five, she said she had not showered for three days. She found herself in the Indian airport after transiting from Nepal where she had spent two weeks trekking.
The IBM finance manager said: "It was getting home that was the challenge.'' Asked about conditions at Delhi airport she said: "Actually it's not too awful. It was better than you would expect. I just slept on the floor in my clothes. It wasn't very comfortable. I put magazines underneath because it was cold. Luckily I had enough stuff.''
She said there were not many people in the departure lounge, as most of the passengers in a similar situation were given temporary visas. British Airways were trying to arrange one for her but there were no other passengers on her transit from Nepal.
Ms Buckley continued: "There weren't loads of people as most of the airlines were getting people out but there was another British lady and it was quite a good atmosphere. It wasn't ideal but it was OK.'' Her situation was reminiscent of The Terminal, the Hollywood film starring Tom Hanks. But she also drew comparisons with the book she was reading, about a woman who travels to Bhutan. She said: "I stared at the walls and finished my only remaining book. It was quite fitting seeing as I was sat in Delhi airport with no mod cons.''
Ms Buckley did not think she was going to make it home after the flight put down in Brussels. But the passengers were told to sit tight and the plane took off again for Heathrow. "We were pretty lucky. If we had got off the plane we might have got stuck in Brussels.''