First Plane Ride of My Entire Life… Alone + Across the Entire Pond: Check.

My Airplane at Gate A19 in Terminal A of Logan Airport

Well, here I am. Sitting in Terminal A of Boston’s Logan International Airport. I am sitting in a moderately comfortable black chaise filled with many other interesting people. We share one fate; two actually: we are waiting for our flight, and we will BE on an aero plane, flying across the gargantuan Atlantic. Nothing but 30,000 feet of air will be below our fuselage. While I wait, my imagination ignites with wonder.

 . . . 

This will be the first airline ride I have ever taken in my life. I expect it to be a bit like a calming rollercoaster ride at a theme park. As the plane launches down the runaway (like on Superman: The Ride), we angle up towards the sky’s invisible rails.  After the plane further clacks on up, we bank to and fro on imaginary helixes. It’s a dizzying scene in front of me, but it’s so marvelous. I’m confronted with a gorgeous sapphire sky filled with puffy marshmallow clouds that wisp around and caress the plane like a silk scarf on one’s bosom. The plane then starts to hurdle down a hill, trying to maintain its horizontal position in the stratosphere. Speed is what drives the plane, and the thrusting and roaring engines gravitate the plane on our elevated track of 30,000 feet. It’s such a calming and peaceful experience, but it is also so exhilarating!

As the plane applies its brakes,  it’s continuing  momentum propels it down the ramp from the sky onto the damp asphalt below. What a ride!

I take my seat belt off and see the stewardess give me an exciting look, like she was trying to convey “how was that ride?” as operators do when a roller coaster train cruises back to its station.

. . . 

But… That’s just my imagination talking. 🙂

My mind races back to reality. It’s time to board. I quickly collect my things, put my backpack on, and wheel my spinner suitcase into the bathroom to take care of some business before the long journey ahead.

As I get my ticket checked, I walk with fellow passengers through a “tunnel of mystery.” It’s very cramped and winds around like I’m in line for some sort of ride at Disney World. I then make my way through the plane door, find my seat, sit down, and relax.

About 30 minutes of cruising on the Logan tarmac later, the plane’s engines begin to roar to life. For a second I think I am in a race car. The plane starts to lurch forward… And we are off. Faster and faster and faster we go. We are the rock being slung from the catapult, and when finally we have enough momentum, the plane starts to ascend. I immediately feel the G’s of being pushed upward. It IS like a ride! We emerge from the overcast sky, and streams of glorious sunshine fill the cabin as we stride above white fluffy clouds. From what was once real life buildings on the Tarmac, to miniature roads and houses while we were ascending, I can now see a blanket of what looks like snow underneath the plane wing. The whooshing of air all around us is omnipresent, while we float through a clear sky like a boat silently sailing through a calm, clear pond.

About halfway through the flight, after sailing over Greenland, the plane jerks a little bit on rough patches of turbulent atmosphere like a railroad car would clack around its uneven rails. Our average speed is 551 miles per hour, and we are cruising at an altitude of about 35,000 feet over a grand total of 3,256 miles! [I am aware of this information, because there is an LCD screen on the seat in front of me that lets me watch movies, listen to music, play games, and be able to get information on the plane (ie: speed, altitude, how many hours / miles away from London we are… And a little virtual map that tracks the plane in real time! Pretty cool!)]

Dinner on the plane consists of a super meal: a fresh tossed salad with green lettuce and large slices of tomatoes, topped with shredded cheese; A roll with butter; Keebler club crackers with cheddar jack cheese; and a chicken dinner with gravy, mashed potatoes, and broccoli, Absolutely delicious! I was impressed at how much food was offered, and I was so hungry that I ate every morsel! I concluded with a miniature brownie and a small cup of tea with milk and sugar! How English of me! 🙂

Before I knew it, the cabin was dark and I fell asleep. It was sort of an in-between-conscious-and-unconscoius-reality “hyper” sleep when your body is conscious of sounds and movement, but your eyes are closed and your mind is drifting. Before I knew it, I woke up to dawn streaking in through the tiny port-hole windows while being served a muffin, banana, and orange juice for breakfast. We are only about an hour away.

All of a sudden, there’s jolting, shaking, and a plummeting-to-the-Earth feeling. We start to descend, and it’s extremely anxiety provoking. I have just ate breakfast and now feeling nauseous. Although the whole plane ride could be comparable to just being on a train… this constant bobbing motion while landing in London’s infamous rain clouds is very scary to say the least.

The plane finally reaches Terra Firma (Thankfully), and I collect my belongings to de-board. I was in Terminal 4 of Heathrow Airport, and by itself, is probably bigger than Logan Airport. It is absolutely massive. It takes me almost ten minutes to walk what was probably a half mile from my plane through winding alleys and tunnels to the Immigration Station, then to collect my bag, and, finally, to Customs where I could see windows to the outside world. Terminal 4 really isn’t anything that extravagant and modern like I was hoping to expect in Europe… it’s just a boring terminal. Anyway… what a crazy and long day. I can’t believe I’m in ENGLAND! It’s finally a reality. I’m here!

Nota Bene: The only thing that drove me nuts during the flight was having numb buttocks along with an annoying and defective touch screen on the seat in front of me. You think they would just install iPads on airplanes to watch movies and entertain yourself, but nope… Cheap screens that barely respond to your finger and lag five seconds every time you tap something is all that’s available in economy class!


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