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DJDingo's First Flight

I've never flown before but finally got the chance when my job sent me to Norfolk, VA for training and they flew me down. Here's my story about flying.

Day One
I got to the airport an hour and a half ahead of time. I figured this would give me enough time to get through security. I had to wait a bit to get my tickets from the front desk. They took my checked bag and I was off to my gate. This is the first time I've ever flown. I knew the airport pretty well, we used to go up there a lot when we were kids and look at the airplanes.

I got up to security and asked the girl what I needed to do since it was my first time flying. There was kind of a conveyor belt and some gray trays. I had to grab a tray, put my laptop in it along with my shoes and push it down the belt to the x-ray machine, and also push my carry-on bag the same way. Then I waited my turn and walked through the metal detector with no shoes. On the other side, I grabbed my stuff and walked over to an empty seat to put my laptop away and my shoes back on. Here's what I have to say about this heightened "security"...

The only reason we have to do this is because of the retard that tried putting a bomb in his shoe. I wouldn't even call this guy a terrorist. He never succeeded in his plans and it was a weak attempt. I guess he had some kind of fuse hanging from his shoe and he got caught trying to light it with a cigarette lighter. Because of all this, everyone's shoes must be x-rayed and there are NO lighters allowed on the plane. What a joke. I was thinking, all it will take is for a terrorist to hide a stick of dynamite up his ass then all of us will have to walk through security naked and get full cavity searches. When will it end?

Anyways, once I got through security, I met up with my co-worker at our gate. We had about an hour to kill for time.

The time came and our plane was being loaded. I got in line and handed the guy my ticket, he ripped the end of the ticket off and I walked out a door directly outside onto the runway. It was loud, windy and starting to rain. We all hurried outside and up the stairs onto the plane. Our seats were in the first row. Lucky me because there is a LOT of leg room in the first row. The seats were tight as hell though. I had an aisle seat but a guy got on the plane with an infant, so I had to switch seats. I still got to be in the front row but on the other side next to the window. Awesome, a window seat. Once everyone was loaded the plane was pushed backwards and we slowly moved along into position at the end of the runway.

It is kind of loud in a plane, you always hear the rushing of the wind through the jet engines. As we moved into position at the end of the runway, my face was glued to the window. This was the exciting part! The engines got louder and we started moving down the runway. Looking out the window you could see the ground move by faster and faster and still even faster. At the fastest moment, it felt like we were doing 150mph. The noise from the engines was really loud and suddenly you could feel the front end pick up then the back end pick up and the ground drops out from under you. We are now in flight! As the plane shoots straight up gaining altitude, you can feel your stomach bottom out, kind of an uncomfortable feeling. We keep moving up and up till the people disappear and then cars disappear and houses are dots and finally we are above the clouds.

Wow. This was pretty cool. I'm finally flying. Looking out the window was great. Seeing everything down below. You could see as far as you could see. I wasn't afraid of the height, I really don't see how anyone could be. You're protected in the plane and say if by chance you DID fall out or something happened, you'd be dead. Falling that far would definitely kill you. Why bother being scared? Anyways, I stared out the window the whole time, had some pop and cookies and before you knew it, we landed in Cincinnati.

We walked from that gate to our departure gate. Since it was across the airport, we had to walk outside onto a bus. It was mostly standing, but you could sit if you found a seat. It reminded me of the bus from the movie Speed. It was pretty neat while on that thing. It was out in the middle of the airport driving around. There were lines painted on the ground along with painted stop signs. While we were driving along, there were also planes driving in the area along with the speedy baggage cars zipping along. All of those cars zipping along the same area as us without us being in danger. Kind of felt like a protective bubble.

I have some problems with my head sinuses or whatever it is, especially when it comes to altitudes. When I went to Denver, and drove around in the mountains, my ears popped all the time. While in flight it was the same only worse. I noticed they would pop on their own while we went up. This wasn't so bad, didn't hurt as much but sometimes it felt like I was underwater, had a hard time hearing clearly. Coming back down though, was a different story. When we started our descent, the pressure would get stronger and stronger in my head. It got to a point when it felt like my head was going to explode. I could pop my left ear by holding my nose and pushing but for the life of me I could not pop my right ear. At one point, it felt like it was being stabbed by a screwdriver. When we landed in Norfolk, my right ear was killing me. It wasn't until about half way through the airport when my right ear finally popped on its own. It was loud too, I'm surprised that no one heard it, if they could of.

Two things sucked was getting off the plane in Norfolk. I was about halfway back on the plane and all of us starting getting off the plane, starting with the people in front of me. Slow starting, but it got to my section and I got up and started backing towards the front of the plane. About 3 people in front of us was this old guy. When we got up to the door, he stuck his head in the pilot's area and started talking to them. Because of this none of us could get past him off the plane. The flight attendant was right there with an annoyed look on her face. You could hear this old guy go on and on..."This plane sounded pretty loud in the air...I've been on a lot of planes in my time...You should hear the noises it made." The pilots even looked at him wondering what his deal was. The flight attendant asked the guy to move up so all of us could get by, he didn't hear her of course. We all had to squeeze by this guy just to get off the plane. I hate it when old people do shit like that. No one wants to hear your story nor your opinion! Just get off the plane so the rest of us can get on with our lives! Geesh! The other thing was this...Since my laptop bag was a little big, it wouldn't fit in the overheads in these smaller jets so I had to stow it below. When I picked it up I noticed the heavy duty handle on the top of my brand new bag was gone. Somehow it got broken off. Great, I just had this bag for one day and it's now junk. Thanks Delta.

Day Five
I spend all week in training and it was the day to go home. Had to do the same shoe thing in Norfolk. I was at the end of the conveyor line just taking off my shoes and there was an alarm that went off. A guard asked all of us to step away from the belt. It got really quiet quick. We all stepped away from the belt and everyone's attention went to the guard that was watching the items go through the x-ray machine. He looked closely at the screen then he said everything was ok. Must of been a suspicious looking shoe! While waiting for my flight, there was a young couple with two kids. Their little boy, who must of been around 3 years old, was just screaming his eyes out. This kid screamed for about 30 minutes SOLID. Everyone was looking at the dad in desperation. I knew it was going to be a bad flight because this snot-nosed brat was going to be on it! Luckily, this plane was the biggest of all the ones I rode on, was 5 seats wide. That screaming kid was right behind first class and we were far enough back that you had to really listen just to hear him crying. It was great. Take that first classers! The flight landed and I was in Atlanta.

Atlanta airport is HUGE. Once out of the plane, I walked down the hall to the middle and then downstairs to get on the tram. It was like a subway that drove around from each row, A, B, C, D, E. Once it stopped at the right one, I went back upstairs and down the hall again to the gate.

I did see something I've never seen before while at Atlanta airport. A real life midget. In fact, it was a family of midgets. I just got a quick look of them as I was walking through everyone to my gate.

This day was destined to be bad and anything that could go wrong did. For some reason an alarm next to the door went off. It was a loud, non-stop, blaring siren that would not let off. It went on for about 5 minutes solid then stopped. The attendants at the gate didn't know why it went off nor could they control it. Then it went off again. Later stopped again. Then it went off again for about 15 minutes solid. It started getting unbearable. My flight was leaving about 5 minutes before the flight to Maine. This is where Delta dropped the ball.

Some woman gets on the horn and has all the Maine people get on the plane. Us Des Moines people all got confused because our flight was supposed to leave first. We could see all the Maine people waiting outside then eventually getting on the plane. About 5 minutes later, the same woman gets on the horn again saying they made a mistake and those people are coming back and the Des Moines people need to get on the plane. WTF. Des Moines was scheduled to leave before the Maine flight, why have Maine board first? How do you mess that up? We all get in line, and get on the plane.

While we're waiting to finally leave, Delta messes up again.
Somehow they registered THREE people for seat 4A. Three people for one seat! That took about 15 minutes to clear up too. I just wanted to get home. Finally we got going. But let's not forget about the baby on this plane. In fact, this baby was in the row in front of me. The baby that cried about half of the flight. This ABOUT pushed me over the edge. Being crammed in a small enough space that is just past the limit of comfortable and to have a baby screaming and your head just pounding, it really got to me. This brings me to my next gripe, babies on planes...

I think they should be a law passed saying no babies are allowed on planes. There are a few reasons why this should be. One, they are too small and must be held by a parent the whole time. This is not safe for the parent nor the child. Can you take a baby on a rollercoaster ride if you hold it the whole time? No, why should a baby be different. I'd say once they are old enough to be strapped in the seat by themselves, any younger age should not be allowed. My second reason is this. Any baby that gets on a plane will cry. It's inevitable. Probably because of the strange people, the air pressure, or the sound of the big scary jets that scare them. But when you have 30+ people crammed in a small tube with wings on it accompanied by a screaming baby, it pisses EVERYONE off. Everyone. It will completely ruin any flight. The parents know it too. Sure they are TRYING to keep the baby quiet, but they never win. A screaming baby and there's nothing you can do about it. It's situations like this that make me want to not have kids.

Anyways, finally landed, my head wanted to explode again. Cool thing was while we were circling into the airport, we flew almost over my house. I saw my house from the airplane. It was dark out, but I could make out my neighborhood in the dark next to the lake. It was cool.

Conclusion
Would I fly again? Probably not. If I could get away with driving, I would drive. The thing about flying is that you don't get to see where you are going, you just get to look out the side. That was kind of awkward to me. When I go on car trips, I have the map out and I know EXACTLY where I am. As soon as we left the airport, I was lost and had no sense of direction while in the air. The other thing is that they cram people in the seats. There is no room for relaxation. I'm a tall guy, 6'3", and sitting in a cramped space is not fun. And don't forget about all the problems I had with my ears on the flight too. If I was going somewhere overseas, I'd have to fly, but if it were a few states away, I'd rather drive.

Copyright 2005 djdingo All Rig

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My First Flight