Just thought it'd be nice, if we called all share our warmest memory's of flying (as a passenger).
Mine would have to be, the second time i went to Portugal. I had been before but was too young to remember, i was scared of flying and wasn't looking forward to the flight.
The year was 1994, the date, 23rd June. I couldn't sleep the night before, i was really looking forward to going on holiday. 2:30am i was woken by my parents, everyone was getting ready, everything was a little surreal. My grandparents were with us, and we all had breakfast watching some crappy tv program (i think it was something to do with people dressed up in banana suits, game show?!?!). at 3am the Taxi arrived, we all got our bags and packed them in the back (it was more of a minibus).
The roads were very quiet, we were all very excited, but too tired to talk. Driving over the Avonmouth bridge was weird, no traffic, i think thats the quickest i have ever driven over it. We turned off, and down the winding B roads that lead through the forests to the south of Bristol. One vivid memory was seeing an owl fly in front of the minibus down a straight road covered over by draping trees (that road looks exactly the same today).
It was still dark when we got to the airport, at 3:45am, i can't remember checking in the bags, but we went straight to the restaurant before going through to the departure lounge. There all i can remember is looking out of the window and seeing the radar spinning round in the fog.
We walked through to departures, and sat down. It felt like forever, the longest i can remember spending in a departure lounge. While we sat there the sun began to creep over the horizon. When our flight was finally called i had alot of butterflies in my stomach!!! We sat down in our seats, i was very shivery, the Air conditioning made it very cold in the cabin. The weather wasn't too good, very overcast, but not wet.
After we had sat on the tarmac for ages, we eventually pushed back, seeing the airport move made my stomach fill even more with Butterflies!! We taxied to the holding point, and held there forever (it was 6am, no traffic and still the pilot did this). So i was getting slightly pissed off, finally we taxied onto rwy 27. Held there for about another 5 minutes. Finally we started rolling, i looked down at my feet, the loud roar of the A320's engines filled the cabin, we sped down the runway, the wheels left the ground and we became airborne.
we spent a few seconds in the cloud, before we were met by the sun rising gracefully into the sky. I looked with excitement, but then i was struck by fear, it felt as if we were loosing altitude and the engines dyed down. No-one else was frightened, and the feeling left after a couple of seconds. As we crossed the English Channel the clouds broke, the flight attendents came around with a hot breakfast, the best food i have ever had. I can remember looking out of the window, seeing a tiny bit of frost around the airhole in the window (the outer window
). The skin of the wing was a dark colour, and the Air2000 logo stood out on the small winglet.
I flicked through the inflight magazine, paying most attention to the Stats and figures of the A320 and 757 (this before my love of Aviation, and the only AMM fleet members at the time), the "countdown to takeoff" feature and the "Things that go Bump" Article. We flew across miles and miles of blue ocean.
1 1/2 hours into the flight we were met by the Portuguese North Coastline, shortly afterwards the pilot alerted us of our descent into Faro Airport (FAO). The Flight Attendants passed around Sweets to suck on, very tasty
. As we approached FAO, we flew back over the airport to begin our approach. Every part of the journey was smooth, the Ice on the window now was just water running in the direction of the stiff wind outside.
As we neared the airport, water was replaced by mud flats. The undercarriage now fully retracted, the passengers buckled into their seats and the flight attendants in theirs. The aircraft passed the threshold of the runway, and touched down without the slightest vibration onto the warm tarmac. The roar of the engines filled the cabin once more, this time in reverse, and the aircraft came to a stop. As we taxied to the terminal, people gathered their coats and bags. We came to a stop, the crew wished us a pleasant stay in the Algarve, and we left the aircraft. The one thing that i remember most is leaving the cool air conditioned cabin, and being met by hot air, we stepped onto foreign earth and made our way to the terminal. Collected our bags and spent ages trying to find our rental car. We left the terminal and made our way to our Villa for 2 weeks.
It was undoubtedly the best flight i have ever had, and one which i will never forget.
Please share your experiences!