Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Fear and First Time Flyers;

I've been to on some pretty exciting school trips in my time. France, Belgium, Italy... And yet, not once had I set foot in an airport. All these trips were done by coach and boat. So when my buddy Claire and I decided we fancied a little trip to Paris last month and it turned out that flying was cheaper and more convenient than the euro tunnel, we went ahead and booked it.

I definitely fell under the category of 'nervous first time flyer', but from here to Paris wasn't too lengthy a flight. Perfect for a first time flyer like myself. Claire had been on a plane a few times before, so knew what to expect. But the combination of confusing hand luggage guidelines, a friend who absolutely hates flying and that Criminal Minds episode about plane crashes just before I went had me nearly booking a seat on the megabus and telling Claire i'd meet her there!

Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport  <<source>>

The airline we traveled with was Flybe! Our tickets included online check-in for the outbound journey, which was really easy to follow. After that we just showed up at the airport where the Flybe bag drop was more or less in front of our noses. It was rather quiet on our day of travel, so the lines for security we're pretty short. That made is about two hours to early to board our flight. Plenty of time for me to get ridiculously nervous.

I'm pretty pleased to report that the outbound flight was smooth and easygoing. You know aside from my ears threatening to pop way more than I'd like in an hour, not liking take off, touch down or turning... Once the plane is in the air (and not making any turns) it's actually rather pleasant. We were sat by the front of the plane so I could usually see at least one member of the cabin crew going about their business. It was a short flight and we didn't have drinks or snacks ourselves so we didn't have much interaction with the crew. But they all seemed friendly, attentive, and very professional. Plus they gave us chocolates when we arrived at our destination. (I haven't eaten that yet actually...)

The flight back a week later, actually wasn't as smooth, although i'm positive it went faster? There were a few wobbles along the way. I'm not sure if anyone would class it is turbulance, as i'm pretty sure i've got body parts that wobble more than the plane did. I'd quite stupidly left my phone in my bag in the overhead lockers so didn't get any snaps of the world glittering below me on the flight home. A mistake i'm certainly not going to make the next time! Either way, overall it was quite a pleasant experience and I enjoyed flying with Flybe, so i'd definitely wouldn't mind travelling with them again.

Clouds. Clouds everywhere.

Here are some things I picked up for flying that I thought i'd share! Mainly for short flights, but I suppose a few could also work for longer journeys.
‣Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off as you go through security. I wore my giant strappy Cat boots to save space and weight in my suitcase. Bad plan! (Although they looked fab. You can get some here on sale!)
‣If you need help with knowing if you can pack something, tweet the airline! I asked flybe by twitter if I could take my contact lenses in my carry on because I couldn't find it in any of the guidelines. They confirmed within minutes that I could!
‣ If you don't want your ears to pop or cause you any bother, take some ear plugs. I absolutely hate my ears popping, and I found sticking my fingers in my ears worked a charm.
‣I set my watch to the local time of the destination as soon as the plane was in the air, I don't know if this helped at all, I wonder if that will be more useful on long haul flights.
‣Looking out of the window is really quite fun, and both day and night offer completely different gazing experiences.
‣Don't panic about your hand luggage size if using a holdall that measures a tiny bit too big. As long as you don't overstuff it, it will be fine. They smush quite nicely into the baggage sizer.
‣A tip I picked up online before I went but found it to be really useful. Tie a brightly coloured scarf around your suitcases handle. I had a galaxy print scarf and really made my little black suitcase stand out. (And match my hand luggage, bonus!)
‣See how many members of airline cabin crews you can spot around the airport. We saw lots in Paris. The Korean Airlines crew looked great, walking through the airport like immaculate pastel jacket wearing rockstars.

Have you got any travel tips for long haul flights for me? We're planning a few more trips that require a bit longer in the air. Eeep!

Catch up with me;

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