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Flying to Tampa with British Airways - Part 2
Part 2 Why do I always set off the alarms?
Retail therapy completed, we make our way to the gate. It’s a fairly long walk but we get there in the end and are surprised that the departure lounge is not as full as usual. At the entrance we are stopped again and I am selected for further checks. Oh no, not again! It’s the same lady who checked me in Security! She smiles and comments that we have already met, and then opens my loaded hand luggage. Once again my laptop comes out, my camera is examined and my handbag rummaged around in. I am quite embarrassed at how much is in there, but she carefully prods and pokes it around and finally gives me the all clear. Thank goodness for that! My husband is waiting patiently and we find a seat near the door.
I pick up a newspaper and a couple of magazines and we are surprised to see that it is nearly time to board. Our British Airways aeroplane to Tampa, Florida is standing at the ready, and boarding begins. I can’t tell you how excited I am when I step foot inside an aircraft. It’s strange really as I used to be one of the most anxious fliers on the earth (or in the sky! ). I refused point blank to fly anywhere in the first years of our marriage and it was only 15 years ago that I decided I had to overcome my fear for the sake of our children. I did not want them to suffer the same anxiety as me. So we booked our first holiday in Florida and I have never looked back. Having to think about the children helped me to overcome my terror, and now I love flying. Where once it was a white knuckle ride, with me locked in my seat for fear that if I moved an inch the plane would plummet towards the earth, now I watch the take off intently, and gaze in wonder at the puffy cloud formations outside the window. I don’t think I shall ever get over that feeling of awe as the ‘plane taxis along towards the runway, turns and speeds off, engines thrusting us forwards and upwards. How on earth can anything so unwieldy and heavy soar like a bird into the air?
We are greeted by friendly staff at the door and make our way to our seats. We have two of the three seats, and I am sitting by the window. We keep our fingers crossed that nobody sits with us. Luggage stowed – oh my goodness, I hadn’t realised how heavy my hand luggage was, but the laptop weighs a ton – and my new book, magazines, quiz book and pen are stowed (together with that bar of choccy! ) and I sit back and glance through the film guide as the other passengers board. I rarely get time to go to the cinema so it is a joy to me to be able to watch several films on the flight. I am delighted to see some titles which I had been hoping to see.
We are pleased to see that the aeroplane is half empty with complete rows of seats unoccupied. We watch the passengers move past our row and as the final groups take their seats and the doors are closed we are relieved to find that we have the row to ourselves. My husband likes an aisle seat, and I like a window so we have a free seat in between which gives us extra room. Brilliant!
The aircraft pulls back bang on time, and we are quickly taxiing towards the runway. I grasp my husband’s hand as we turn onto the concrete runway and immediately the huge engines power up and we shoot along at speed. The wheels lift off the ground, the ‘plane inclines, and we are airborne, the houses and fields becoming smaller as we climb into the clouds. It is a lovely sunny day and the sun is shining brightly. We are on our way!
America, here we come!
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