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Segunda-feira, 1 de Outubro de 2001
British Airways Boeing 747-400 from Manila to London: my first flight



BA32
British Airways

Date: 01 October 2001
Dep: Manila (MNL)
Gate: G15
Boarding Time: 1856
Dep Time: 1930
Load: 30%
Seat: 44K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: Hong Kong Internatinal (HKG)

Dep: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Load: 86%
Seat: 44K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: London Heathrow (LHR)

BA456
British Airways

Date: 02 October 2001
Dep: London Heathrow (LHR)
Boarding Time: 0725
Dep Time: 0800
Load: 95%
Seat: 21F
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 757
Arr: Madrid Barajas (MAD)


My first time to travel abroad. My first time to fly. And alone at that. No, definitely nothing wrong with flying alone nor traveling alone.

I have always dreamed of traveling to other countries and experiencing other cultures and seeing new faces.

This will be my first flight ever! One thing to note though. I have fear of heights. And though my interest in aviation has kept me glued to this goal of flying (even if it's only at a passenger level, lol). the truth is, this fear of heights made me delay this exciting experience. Enough said.

Anyway, I went to the airport with mixed feelings: sad and happy and excited. The check-in process was OK and then I went to the immigration counter to pay the departure fee which was 550 pesos at that time and had my passport stamped on the next counter. My bad, I forgot where I had my pen because of the anxiety of flying so I had to borrow one from the immigration officer and she said in Tagalog: "Ano ba yan, nagbibiyahe ng walang bolpen!".

As I approach the gate, I felt nervous but excited too when I saw the huge British Airways B747-400 (British Airways does not fly to Manila anymore) waiting for us passengers. When I went in to the aircraft I was overwhelmed. Sure I've seen pictures (and on TV) of the interior of an aircraft (I actually collect them) especially the B747 so I wasn't really clueless of what it's going to be like, lol. I requested for a window seat. It was a 3-4-3 configuration and the flight was not that full. The flight would take us to Hong Kong and then continue on to London.

Take off

When the door was closed and there were no more passengers coming in, the guy seated at the aisle went to another empty row so I got the 3 seats for myself. The economy class seat pitch was OK and I did not have any problem with the space. Anyway, my father told me not to worry because flying is safe that you'd feel like inside a house when in cruising altitude. OK, I took his words for it and tried to relax myself as we pushed back from the gate on-time and began our taxi to our runway for take off. During the taxi, the captain made a few announcements about the flying time and all information about the flight. Although the excitement was eternally present, I was freaking nervous and my being alone in my row did not help that much. I had nobody to share my fear with, lol. Before takeoff, the engines were routinely run up at high power and I was wondering if we were already about to take off. Not yet. I said maybe they're checking the engines. And suddenly, the "roar" of the engine became louder and we started to be pressed against our seats as the aircraft pulled to the end of the runway with the afterburner turned on and the aircraft raced across the ground with full force. The take off was exhilarating! Seconds after rotation, I looked out of the window and saw Manila with all its bright city lights. I did not know where I got that courage from to peek out of the window as I was really afraid and my fear of height was practically all over me. I felt like I wanted to tell the flight crew that I wouldn't be flying anymore and I'd want to go back to the ground right there. Anyway, I did not do that......

As the plane was climbing up, I looked at the other passengers and they seemed so relaxed and others were reading newspapers and doing their own stuff. And then the flight attendants started to go around metal tube. That's when I felt relieved somehow and told myself come on it's cool to fly. After some minutes, the flight attendants (FA) fed us with things of which I don't remember now. Two hours later, I could see the lights of the Hong Kong peninsula. When the plane landed, one of the passengers shouted: "Welcome to the First World!"

The flight form Hong Kong to London was uneventful and nothing to write home about. It was thrilling to see the Big Ben from the air when the aircraft was about to land. I ahd nothing to do at the London airport but wait for my flight to Madrid. Ahhh, nice gesture from a bristish Airways ground stewardess when she said "Salamat" when she returned my passport after checking my name and boarding pass!

The descent to Madrid airport though was exciting too.....it would be my home airport for the duration of my studies........one thing I noticed though and I mentioned it to the taxi driver: Tierra seca, eh?



publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 16:53
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