The sign at the Cairo airport from the Tourism Bureau stated the following .. "Egypt - an experience you will never forget". Truer words were never stated so eloquently. Flying in from Abu Simbal at Friday noon on Air Memphis, our tour group was met by Waleed the local Viking representative. Due to the issues of security, we were sheltered at the airport between 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. before the tour bus was allowed to leave the airport proper. Checking into the InterContinental City Stars was relatively easy, scanners, x rays of the luggage, and the sniffer dogs, it was great to be sheltered away from the city centre. The telephone call of 10 30 p.m. advising us to stay away from the windows and to darken the room gave us some degree of concern; and we followed the directions. Sleep came easily; with an early a.m. call to put out the luggage, eat a quick breakfast and board the buses for the short trip to the airport; where a long day started. The early morning flight to Amman, Jordan was cancelled; due to the Cairo unrest; and was rescheduled to 5:00 p.m. later in the day. Viking took us to the Departures Hall .. realizing it was crowded beyond belief, we were moved to the Arrivals Hall where we spent much of the day, as their were few incoming flights to Cairo. Royal Jordanian brought in an Airbus 320-500 for the afternoon flight to Amman. We experienced lots of pushing, shoving, elbowing, you name the physical contact, and we experienced same, as we were checked into the Royal Jordanian ticket counter, amdist approximately 10,000 passengers, with only one interest in their minds .. get out of Cairo as quickly as possible. In the crown were passengers with bandaged and bloody head wounds, many with facial injuries from having been beaten, and others who were simply scared. The 5:00 p.m. flight to Amman was boarded at 6:30 p.m. with the aircraft lifting off at 7:30 p.m. for the flight to Amman, Jordan and escape from the madness at Cairo International Airport. Kudos to Viking for makeing the exodus from Cairo bearable.
We have all looked at TV footage of crowds wishing to exit and airport city for many reasons. Until you are a part of the crowd wanting "out", you have no idea what it is like.
The arrival at Amman, Jordan was greeted with cheers and clapping as the wheels of the Airbus touched down at Queen Alia International Airport. We were welcomed to Jordan, and then resumed the tail end of our 21 day mid-East holiday.