Idle in Arizona Mar 25, 2013 21:03:40 GMT
Post by htmb on Mar 25, 2013 21:03:40 GMT
When I travel I like to be able to take off and land at an airport close to home. The alternative is to drive two hours to Tampa or Orlando, or to the smaller airport in Jacksonville. I fly out of the small airport in Gainesville instead. However, I may need to rethink this plan.
Flying out of the Gainesville Regional Airport can be a smooth and simple experience, or it can be an hour and twenty minute roller coaster ride, such as my recent experience. Our flight left at 5:20 AM, so not only was it pitch black outside, it was also stormy. It's bad enough flying through a storm in a larger plane, but the little regional jets feel like tossing, tinker toys to me.
I knew we were in trouble when the man in front of me proceeded to vomit masterfully into a barf bag, before we had even taken off. I'm not sure if he was sick from food poisoning, the flu, or just hung over, but it was quite unpleasant for the rest of us to say the least.
Next, we took off into the dark with all the cabin lights turned off. This made the lightening flashes outside seem even brighter. The cabin attendant was able to briefly serve beverages before he received a call from the cockpit. He hung up the phone, buckled himself into his jumps seat, and then the pitching and rolling began. Ugh.
We landed in Charlotte and I had a two hour layover to relax and recover. I was optimistic the next flight would be better since I would be on a larger plane. Looking at the Weather Channel I could see that the whole southeastern United States down to North Florida was one massive storm system. I should have flown out of Tampa.
The rain in Charlotte got worse as we prepared to leave, and it was bumpy for the first hour or so. Did I mention I also had a lousy bit of bronchitis and was feeling pretty rotten. This was to be a very long day.
Once we finally got past the storms the flight smoothed out and I was able to sleep a bit. Later, opening my window shade somewhere over Kansas or Oklahoma, I was awed by the beauty of the snow-covered Midwest from above.
After awhile, the plane seemed to turn a bit to the south and we flew over what I believe to be Northern New Mexico.