Another flight today with my lovely husband and the girls. We didn’t get off to a very good start as the girls kept me awake for most of the night and then we had to get up early to be on the 9am flight to San Francisco. Once at the airport, the check in process foxed us again – we had checked in online but the queue for baggage drop was longer and the process took far longer than the queue and process for those who hadn’t checked in online. Very strange…
Safely through security and then on the plane towards the front of the queue, so that was good. Lucky for us too, as the ground staff let on more customers than there were spaces for. No idea how they did that but it seems to be common practice – it happened on the flight to Denver too. I’d have been pretty miffed if that had been us being asked to get off the plane, having been told we could board and then found there were no seats.
The rest of the flight was fine and with about 40 minutes to go the first officer made an announcement telling us that it would be about 40 minutes until we landed, 20 minutes late due to taking off 20 minutes late. Fair enough. 10 minutes later the captain came on to say that the plane would be landing in 10 minutes, unexpectedly. This seemed a bit odd – how could we be landing so soon when there should still be 30 minutes to go?
The cabin crew immediately took their seats and announced that if there was an emergency landing we were to adopt the brace position. The announcement was made pretty quietly and there was a lot of passenger noise as everyone tried to pack their bags away and take their seats quickly, so nobody else seemed to hear this bit. I asked my lovely husband and he said he hadn’t heard it. I had the Little One sitting next to me, fast asleep with her head on my lap. I couldn’t wake her up so I sat her up as best I could and braced my arm across her chest, just in case. The next 2 minutes were the longest of my life as I waited for something awful to happen. My lovely husband and the Big One were sat across the aisle from me and all I could think of was that I couldn’t kiss the Big One.
As I got more agitated, my lovely husband asked the person sitting next to the Big One about the announcement and he said it was a normal announcement coming in to San Francisco, but only with United. None of the other carriers make the announcement and United only do it sometimes. Despite being told this, I didn’t really relax until we were on the ground and off the plane. The coincidence of the two things – hurried and unexpected landing plus the emergency landing announcement were enough to put me off flying for a long time (and I’ve never been a nervous flyer before).
Unfortunately we do have to fly back home at the end of the holiday and then fly back to the UK shortly after that…
But at least it’s sunny in San Francisco, and our limited walk about this afternoon and a lovely lunch (including a medicinally large glass of Californian wine) have made me feel better. Let’s hope the rest of the holiday is a little bit more relaxing!