Sally Becker, Chris Hixon and daughter Summer wait for a flight out of Coffs. PHOTO: TREVOR VEALE
Sally Becker, Chris Hixon and daughter Summer wait for a flight out of Coffs. PHOTO: TREVOR VEALE

Three-day wait for flight as airport closed to arrivals

THREE-month-old Summer Hixon won't remember her first plane flight, however her mother Sally Becker certainly will.

The Korora pair was scheduled to fly to Sydney on Sunday when torrential rain and airport closures turned their flight into a three-day marathon.

With Coffs Harbour airport closed to incoming flights for safety reasons, the mother and daughter were forced to wait until late yesterday afternoon to finally make the trip south.

"I haven't experienced anything like this before," Ms Becker said.

"We were at the airport watching the planes circling around waiting for clearance to land before being told that they couldn't.

"I was very nervous taking Summer on the plane for the first time, so having to wait was definitely an added stress."

While admitting the delayed flights were frustrating, Ms Becker said her main concern was ensuring Summer and she got to their destination safely.

"As a mother your main concern is the safety of your children, so in the big scheme of things it was better we waited and had a safe flight."

"The only downside now is we will have only a brief stay in Sydney."

Partner Chris Hixon praised Virgin Airlines and Coffs Harbour airport staff for their assistance through the ordeal.

"Virgin airlines were really great," Mr Hixon said.

"The just carried our flights over to the next available without any hassle.

"In a situation like this the last thing you want to worry about is any other dramas, so it was great to see.

"Coffs Harbour Airport staff were also really helpful in what I imagine has been a busy few days for them."

The pair said they already have tickets for their return flight with Qantas and were hoping the airline would allow them to change the return journey to a later flight.

Coffs Harbour Airport was bustling with other stories of delayed flights yesterday as services to Sydney resumed.

One Sydney flight that wasn't delayed was the Virgin plane carrying the entire Sydney Swans squad which flew into Coffs Harbour for a three-day training camp in the region.

The closure of the Pacific Hwy also resulted in numerous travellers determined to make it to Brisbane left waiting until tomorrow's Brindabella flight.



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