Photos at bottom
Update Week 2
A few of my friends are fascinated by airplanes and airports, and one of them told me to take as many photos of airplanes as I could for the blog. Taking him up on his request, here as some of the photos of airplanes and the airports I saw on my way from Nassau, Bahamas to London Gatwick, via Charlotte Douglas Airport, North Carolina. I saw the rocking chairs in Charlotte that a reader had commented earlier about. I love watching planes land and take off, so it was cool to sit back in the chairs and watch the show.
Trip’s first annoyance
I also thought I’d share with you an annoying issue that I hope you never experience when traveling internationally.
I arrived at Charlotte about two hours before my connecting flight left for the UK and I got some food from a bagel/sandwich joint. I detest paying for airport food because it’s always overpriced. When the boarding call begun, I thought to use my VISA signature card to take advantage of the priority boarding mentioned in an earlier post. To my surprise, and to the vast majority of the other passengers, we weren’t cleared to board with the regular check-in we had done. Instead, we needed our passports checked and our tickets stamped before we could board the plane. Well, I don’t like lines, and the knowledge of this procedure 3 minutes before the plane should have taken off resulted in a very long and very agitated line. So, I called a friend to chat and sat nearby for about 20 minutes (I never understood why people wait in lines; lines that aren’t really moving and in which your seat at the end has already been guaranteed anyway).
The plane took off beautifully and I was able to track its progress along the northeastern seaboard with the GPS displays embedded in the back of each seat. I’m not one to be frightened during flights, but being that high up in the air for such a long time, with constant warning of turbulence blaring from the pilot’s speaker did very little to preserve my regular calm. I was happy I brought the neck pillow, because it encouraged me to sleep. I found that after a while, especially in the darkness, I forgot that we were thousands of miles above the ground (except when the floor tossed back and forth from wind of course).
Memorable things and tips from travel day 8:
- Always check at the airline desk near the boarding gate to enquire if you will need to complete anything before boarding the plane.
- Always take a neck pillow
- Always take extra snacks (although there will be food on the plane, you would want to have eaten something right before you head out into the brand new world).
- If you’re taking only one bag with you, do a simple weight test at home by standing on a scale twice: once with the bag and one without. It is important that it be less than 50 pounds, as wont have extra bags to spread the weight around.