Florida Guide > Travelling
Flying to Florida with US Airways – Part 9
Our flight across the Atlantic is over, and we are waiting for our domestic flight to Fort Lauderdale. We have flown with US Airways on our way to pick up a cruise to celebrate my birthday.
Friday, September 3rd, 15. 45 Local
After the heat of the gantry, where we have been waiting for a few minutes, the interior of the aircraft feels welcomingly cool. It is a 3/3 configuration and our seats are over the wings. I have a window seat and Paul has the middle seat, and we are soon joined by a third passenger. The seats are leather and quite comfortable, but we are astonished at the huge amount of hand luggage that passengers bring on with them. The overhead lockers are bulging at the seams as passengers push and shove their large suitcases into the spaces. As the flight is full they have already announced that anyone who is willing to check in their hand luggage may do so free, to expedite a speedy boarding, but it seems that few have taken up the offer, and we wonder how on earth everything will fit.
But it does, and the attendants are soon checking seatbelts and slamming the lockers shut. It' s time to pull back, and the captain welcomes us to the flight and orders the attendants to get ready for take off. As the plane reverses slowly back, moving past the various gates, the sun is still shining. We taxi along for some distance and wait in the queue for our slot to be released. Then, suddenly we turn 90 degrees onto the long, long runway which shimmers in the distance, the engines throttle up and we begin to move down the runway, slowly at first, then as the power increases we begin to hurtle along at speed. Like a huge albatross the wings tilt and the nose comes up as we leave the ground behind. I am always amazed that such a ponderous and unwieldy object can soar into the air so gracefully.
The ‘plane levels out and immediately the drinks trolley arrives. The flight is actually very short, and by the time our drinks are finished the attendants are beside us collecting all the empty glasses. I look out of the window and can see that we are still above the clouds, but we soon drift through the puffy white layers and below us I can see houses and roads. The Captain informs us that the weather in Fort Lauderdale is sunny and hot, and that we are now on final approach.
We glide slowly down, closer and closer to the trees, the wheels are locked and the airport perimeter comes into view as we land softly on the runway. The engines scream, the flaps lift up vertically and we lose speed rapidly. The plane continues to slow and makes a rapid right turn towards the terminal. We have arrived at last, after a long journey, but our excitement at being back in Florida lifts our spirits and takes away all the exhaustion. We just can’t wait to step on Florida soil again.
The gate appears and slowly, slowly this silver bird aligns itself. The gantry is moved out towards the ‘plane door and as the captain turns off the seat belt sign the clatter of opening buckles is a welcoming chorus. Standing in the aisle we attempt to remove our hand luggage from the bins, and are grateful when a young man comes to our aid. This is when we wish we had our 6ft son with us!
The line moves rapidly forward and we step into the tunnel which leads to the main terminal. As we have already completed the formalities of Immigration and Customs we can collect our luggage and go. That is a bonus as we are getting quite tired.
We have arrived at last, and all we need to do now is collect our hire car and drive to our hotel.
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Page added on: 13 March 2011
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