airlines. late check-ins. half marathons and more

The Travel by Air Manual


All those travelling by air shall remember that whilst 2 of the "lower cost" airlines make more of a *humming* noise whilst flying, 1 of the others makes more of a *growling* sound.  Important to remember if you are uncomfortable with a teeny bit extra movement under the seat whilst flying.


If you hire a car and return it to CT airport and catch the outgoing flight from there, please ensure that you add an additional 45 minutes on to your original "arrive to check-in" time.  It is quick to drive to the Car Rental returns spot.  And relatively quick to have them check that you have not totalled their vehicle.  What is not short, or quick however is the distance you have to walk from that spot to the Terminal.  Also important to bear in mind that when you push the trolley with the 35kgs of luggage (yes us 2 had that much), downhill to the underground parking to cross to the terminal, you better be able to hang onto that weight as well as the weight of the trolley as it careers downhill.  We were quite a sight.


When, as a result of number 2 above, you reach the check-in desk and discover that the flight check-in closes 45 minutes and not 30 minutes before the flight, ensure that you smile brightly, shed gentle movie-style tears (sliding down your cheeks) and if necessary remind them that you have to be at work at 10am (which is why you are on the 530am flight) and they should please not leave you at the mercy of your boss.  Drumroll ....... Oscar winning performance ...... they will quickly check you in at a side desk.  The smile and tears were real.  As was having to be at work by 10am.  My boss however is not a tyrant.


When the airline desk says you need to "run" to boarding gate 12, they mean it.  Do not be discouraged when you see the board showing the times to reach all the boarding gates and for number 12 they have eight minutes.  You can do it.  Yes I know that running is hard when you have a handbag, 2 free newspapers, a Coke for airsickness, a book and that extra 20kgs you have been trying to lose since your 21st.  Almost 3 decades ago.  But give it your best shot.


The size of the airline belt is not designed to in any way make you feel bad.  Just because during the onboard safety "show" they say "clip the buckle in till you hear the click and then pull tight" and then they pull about 50cm of belt across.  Who did they practice on?  Barbie?.  So yes, don't worry, you will not be the only one on board who hears the click and then finds you only have 1cm of belt available to pull.  Us chubby people are cute too.


When the plane lands, breathe, whilst it is taxing to park you do not have to whip out your phone, switch on your data and get online immediately.  Unless you are racing to a court case or are a cardiothoracic surgeon on call, your friends can wait ..... really ...... you will be in the terminal in a short while.  I promise.  You also do not have to jump up, grab your bags and leap into the aisle ..... it is a Jumbo Jet ....... riding on the tarmac ....... to its allocated parking ..... where the hell are you going to?


When you eventually get to the arrivals area and that cute little circular thing returning your bags to you - please ensure that by the time you get a trolley, go to the loo, talk to someone and look up which carousel it is, that everyone has not taken their bags - all the carousels have stopped, and there are your 2 bags, along with 3 airport security peeps in their little yellow jackets waiting to see if it is unclaimed baggage and they should call a code Red.  I had splashed my whole tshirt with water, it was drying under the dryer.  But thank you for taking such good care of the cases.  And yes, I felt like a real idiot.

Airports and travel .... gotta love it.  But High 5 to Safair on brilliantly friendly staff who actually looked like they enjoyed their jobs - on time flights and understanding ground staff.  And I dunno (Low 5?) to Jacksons OR Tambo who clearly don't know the difference between a beef breakfast sausage and a moerse piece of Boerewors.  Which I did not feel like at 730am after being up since 3am.

till soon
c'est la vie xxx

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