1 EAGLETON NOTES: The First Leg

.

.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The First Leg

Everything went so well until the last half hour before I left.  Then everything caught up with me. 

My main case had been packed since Friday.  No problems.  It only weighed 18.4k even with my 'Glasgow' stuff in it. That's 2 k lighter than when I went to France a few months ago.  By the time I leave for NZ my case will probably only weigh about 16k.  Bizarre.  It is accounted for by the fact that I'm not going on holiday (where I have difficulty travelling sans kitchen sink), I'm changing houses (both of which have a kitchen sink).

Stornoway Airport security staff had become notorious on the Island for their officious and unpleasant attitude and the fact that getting through security there was a worse ordeal even than a trip through Los Angeles Airport (voted worst airport in the world by most travellers I know).  My case has been packed with precision and care given that it contains a computer (not my Apple laptop I have to add, camera equipment and so on) and the thought of having to unpack it (at Stornoway there are random searches of hold luggage because there is no x-ray there for large cases) was the stuff of nightmares.  Figuring that the earlier I arrived at the airport the greater the chance of my case being chosen, I arrived just before close of check-in.  It worked!  A few years ago when I travelled out through the airport 9 times in 9 consecutive weeks my hand luggage was gone through on 8 of those 9 occasions.  This time I got through without challenge at all.  Not only that but there had been, I think, a complete change of staff since I last went through earlier this year.  Better still, the lady putting things through the x-ray actually said 'Hello'.  Amazing.

The gales that has swept up the Island for a few hours had abated and the flight was very calm.  I was lost in though as we came in to land in Glasgow and actually got quite a surprise when we hit the ground - in an perfect landing.

If the rest of the journey goes that well I'll be in for a very pleasant time.

15 comments:

  1. At least they didn't do a victory roll once you were up there,

    Bon Voyage,

    SP

    ReplyDelete
  2. So... all went well, and I do not understand what you mean by "...then everything caught up with me"? Maybe I didn't get enough sleep last night and am a bit dim-witted today (or maybe I slept too much). Who knows!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have a good flight. I would hate to have to make a huge flight like that twice a year, although I'm sure you get used to it. Or perhaps you actually like the experience of flying? I did meet a woman once whose late husband had been an airline pilot and after his death she got free travel for life with this airline - a US domestic one. She spent almost her whole life flying from one city to another, spending a night in a hotel, and flying on. I was left musing on the fact that it is just as well we are all different....

    ReplyDelete
  4. I too am confused about the "everything caught up with me".

    Have a safe journey to your other home, xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I share the confusion with Librarian and Helen about what 'everything' it was that caught up with you. Can't have been too bad since obviously things did go well at the airport and on the flight. For which I'm glad; and I do hope the rest of the journey will go as smoothly.

    How long does the flight from Stornoway to Glasgow take?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sorry, all I can remember from this is the lady at the x-ray saying "hello" to you. If that happens at the Atlanta airport...well, just forget I said that, it will NEVER HAPPEN!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know if LAX is the worst airport for travel snafus -- but if so, Seattle-Tacoma, the one nearest my home town, is a close second. When you arrive on an international flight, you go through passport control, wait by a carousel for your bags to arrive, pick up your bags, go through customs, put your bags on a subway train (nope, you're not allowed to carry them into the main terminal yourself). Then you get on a different subway train which takes you to the main terminal where you get to wait -- again-- for your bags to reappear on the second carousel. Then -- and only then -- are you allowed to go. Even Elvis wouldn't be able to leave the building without going through the proper hoops. Please, peeps, there's gotta be a better way!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gosh. I never realised that an unconsidered phrase would elicit such comment. When I said 'Then everything caught up with me' I was alluding to the fact that all the things that I should have done but which I hadn't done had caught up with me. I'd forgotten, for example, to re-set the central heating timer and I'd not done quite a few things which I always leave to the last minute but not, perhaps, the last second! And I ran out of minutes and seconds.

    Monica, the Stornoway to Glasgow flight takes between 50 and 60 minutes depending on the wind speed and direction. Of course it always takes longer going the other way because it's up hill.

    I don't mind flying, Jenny, but I don't do it from choice. I do it because it's the only practical way of getting between the UK and NZ. If I'm going to France from the UK for example I'd rather have my car with me.

    Hi Kay. Welcome. It was a rare enough occurrence in Stornoway to warrant comment. 'Twas not ever thus. When security first started to be an issue years ago very regular travellers like me who were also personally known to the few staff would be nodded through without any bag search at all. Those were the days.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Canadian Chickadee. Welcome. You were commenting as I was responding. I've never been to Seattle-Tacoma but it sounds like an airport I'd rather not visit. The problem is that that now applies to a great many airports in the West. Hopwever I love Hong Kong International and the New Zealand airports are wonderful. Air travel is no longer a particularly pleasurable pastime though.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excuse me. Just a detail, not very important, but... "Of course it always takes longer going the other way because it's up hill." Up hill? How is Stornoway up hill from Glasgow? Maybe I'm being daft here - and I admit I have not been in an airplane since the 1970s! - but doesn't the plane have to rise to the same height from any side of a mountain to be able to fly over it?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've visited (though not by plane) to know how notoriuous the airport is - it was even being discussed in the hairdressers when I had a haircut! It will be a great relief to the Islanders if it has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm so sorry Monica. It has always been a joke (obviously rather a feeble one) of mine that when one travels from south to north in Britain one is going uphill simply because of the conventional Mercator atlas view that we have of the world with the North Pole at the top. I can be very silly sometimes behind this boring conventional facade that I present to the world.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You don't say! I never could have guessed... LOL - Please don't get me started arguing against the 'boring' again... ;) Just a little bit tricky to KNOW sometimes if your being ironic vs deadly serious... (I kinda like the guessing though so you just continue to keep me entertained!)
    Wish you a nice and quick downhill flight to New Zeland, then!

    ReplyDelete