So I had a great lesson in confidence last Sunday morning while waiting for the Emirates 2:30am flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur at 1am. Feeling slightly blurry, I could see what looked like a red light party out at the end of the runway, there seemed to be hundreds of red flashing lights out in the dark.
So what were they? It turns out they were 6 Fire Appliances (trucks) waiting for the next plane to land (the one I was supposed to leave on!). Fortunately for everyone the Emirates Boeing 777-300 landed quite safely and taxied straight up to the terminal accompanied by this gaggle of fire trucks.
The firemen then clambered out of their trucks and started wandering around under the plane. You can see a fireman checking the underwing on the right. The rest are under the plane at left (out of sight).
While the airport workers all stood patiently to the side, this inspection went for some time, while all of us sat wondering if we were going to fly to Malaysia that day.
Eventually the fire trucks packed up and left. The plane was unloaded and everything started to look normal again. The lounge attendant got on the PA to inform us the cause of the commotion was a burning smell, isolated to the hold, the cause of which was not made public, but that everything was considered safe.
So…. confidence was… high???
There is a leaping off point in aviation, as in IT, when you have to decide… are you confident? Do you have faith in your vendor? Have they done everything they possibly could to protect you? Well the good news is that they obviously had. Much as you would expect airports to have fire trucks on-hand, the fact that there were 6 of them available at 1am on a Monday morning was very reassuring.
In the end if you lose confidence with your airline you just don’t get on the plane. What do you do when you lose confidence with your IT vendor? Have they ever failed to send the fire trucks when you could smell something was wrong?