Unexpected Happenings

When I first started to travel by airplane I was just a baby—not even able to walk yet. The flights were always to Belgium where we visited family. But when that family moved to Portugal when I was eight years old, these trips ended, and so the memory of my early air travel faded.

But three years ago, I got my life of air travel was revived—I got the chance to vacation in Ibiza at my father’s house. The trip was scheduled for departure at 7 a.m., with a stopover in Madrid at 9 a.m., and an arrival in Ibiza at almost 10 a.m.

The night before the flight, the idea of not having flown in eight years and having to fly alone unnerved me. I began to think of the what-ifs: “What if I get lost in the airport? What if the plane crashes!”

I woke up very early in the morning, and got to the airport two hours in advance. Because I was underage, my mother took me to the airport. At check-in, I had to have written authorizations from my mother as well as my father...but my father was in Ibiza, where I was going, and the authorizations had to be notarized.

An hour and half would not be enough to take care of all the bureaucracy. After calling my father, having his signature notarized and faxed, it was too late—the plane took off without me. No big deal really, as I was re-booked on the same flight for the next day.

I again went to the airport two hours in advance, and this time I got on board. All the passengers were seated, but then the plane couldn’t take-off due to technical problems. Repeatedly, a warning was sent over the intercom: “Please turn off your electronic devices.” And this message continued for 30 minutes after the airplane finally took-off. I was once again getting nervous: What if I don’t arrive on time in Madrid to change airplanes? Why is this happening to me? It’s the first time I fly all by myself...at least it could go calmly with no unexpected situations.

Indeed, the flight to Madrid went well—the airplane didn’t crash, and I was still alive!

I arrived in Ibiza and met my father. We went to the treadmill of baggage claim. Five minutes…10 minutes…nothing…15 minutes…nothing.... Because of the earlier airplane delay our baggages had not been transferred properly. So the next day, we had to go back to the airport to claim my bags.

In the end everything went well. I enjoyed a good week in Ibiza, and I came back home safely. And now, once I finish my college degree, I am even considering a career as a flight attendant.

Category: Airports

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