Confusion over flight plans caused chaos in both Saudi Arabia and France this morning, with protestors currently surrounding Mecca Airport. The angry Muslim clerics arrived en-masse after being tipped off that there were a group of middle-aged Irish Catholics in the terminal. Due to an unfortunate air-traffic error, the pilgrims had been forced to land at the Arab airport instead of in France, as originally intended. The inconvenience was compounded by a large percentage of the group being wheelchair users. The group, mostly women, have been confined to a cafeteria in the airport for their own protection, after several instances of being hit on the leg with sticks; told to cover up; and called unclean. “Why should I cover my hair?” asked Susan Farrell from Ardrath, County Kerry. “Haven’t I just been to the hairdressers for a wash and set?” In another corner of the café, Fr Michael Flatley had set a large statue of the Virgin Mary on a table and was proposing to lead 15 decades of the rosary to enthusiastic agreement. The stoic band seem happy enough to continue waiting while the mix-up is sorted out, planning a few renditions of Faith of our Fathers when the rosary is completed, but catering manager Abdul Al Faid confessed that he had almost run out of tea, “and then the shit will really hit the fan,” he prophesised to our reporter.
Pilgrim Air, the airline responsible for the mix-up, have apologised profusely for the inconvenience and promised to pay full compensation. “We don’t know how it happened, but we intend to carry out a full investigation, after which several of our cleaning staff will be sacked,” a representative told us.
Meanwhile, in France, Police had to be called to the shrine at Lourdes to calm the furious group of followers of Mohammed, who had been causing disruption at the holy site by spitting at the devoted. “They are praying to a woman. It’s obscene.,” declared a recently-arrested bearded man who refused to be named. “Stoning’s too good for them.”
It is hoped that both flights can be rescheduled later today so that the intrepid travellers may continue on their respective pilgrimages unhindered.
In related news, Ryan Air announced plans to start charging for seats today. The low-cost airline intends to install a sort of cattle pen at the back of the plane for those too poor, or too cheap, to pay extra.