Yesterday, as I was leaving town to come visit my parents, I actually got stuck in traffic near the Lisbon Airport. For those of you who know me, you know that every time I see a plane, I stop and stare for a bit. That’s my “skip a beat” thing.
So, obviously, being stuck for about 20 minutes near an airport is quite exciting for me. I got to see a plane lift off right above my car, and that’s a feeling that only plane-lovers feel.
Travelling for me means, as for most people, getting to know new places, new people and having new experiences. But, geeky as I am when it comes to travelling, one of the best parts is the plane ride and the whole airport bound time. =) I love it.
I’ve flown with 5 companies so far (Spanair, TAP, SATA, United Airlines and Continental Airlines) and I got to know 6 airports (Ponta Delgada/Azores, Madrid and Gijón/Spain, Newark and Albany/New York, and Bradley/Connecticut). I’m really picky when it comes to the treatment that the airport staff and flight attendants give to the passengers and I’ve got to say that Continental Airlines and Newark Airport are the best ones in my opinion, at least so far. The photo below is actually one I took the first time I left Newark to come home to Portugal.
Continental Airlines recently merged with United Airlines (which we really didn’t have in Portugal before this merge) and it was the first company that convinced me to enroll in a mileage account. First of all, it was the only company that had good prices to fly to Albany, and as I said in yesterday’s post, I have family in Massachusetts, so having good prices is a must have. Second, they have the best website and apps that I’ve seen. When I fly, I like to always be aware of any changes, delays, etc, so I need my apps. Third, I have never been mistreated by any Continental employee, either on the phone or at the airport. I’ve been stuck in Newark several times due to bad weather and they are really the best when it comes to handle with these kind of situations.
But, rest assured, this is only my opinion. If you ask my parents, for example, they wouldn’t agree. They’ve had some pretty nasty things happening to them while on the plane, so, I guess I’m just lucky =)
When it comes to the airport experience, I’m pretty stressed out until we pass all security check points. I’m always, ALWAYS, worried I’m gonna miss the plane, even if I’m 4 hours early. Which I never am. But, as soon as I get inside the airport, oh my! There’s a sense of urgency, stress and happiness that, with all the noises and smells, oddly makes me feel at home. Don’t know why, can’t explain it, just does.
I love, particularly in american airports, to browse the airports shops. The best ones are the duty free and the newspaper/bookstores. I absolutely adore to see all those magazines and books that we see on tv or on the internet. And the newspapers! Oh my god, goosebumps! =)
And, when on the plane, I’m that geek that’s taking pictures of everything, even the food tray or the media center, as you can see lol…
One of my favorite times to be on a plane is at dusk or dawn, preferably if we’re above the ocean. That feeling of humbleness when we’re that high in the sky is overwhelming. It always make me think. And what better time to think than when we’re looking at something like that?
I really don’t know why I love airports and planes so much. I do. But don’t think I’m not human and that I don’t have some negative to point out. Airports, so far in my life, have been the most bitter-sweet places to be. I had to say good bye to my sister at an airport when she left Portugal to go live in the USA. I had to say goodbye to my sister and brother in law in airports for three times so far, without knowing when I would see them and hug them the next time. But even with these heart breaking experiences – and believe me, they are – I still love it! And I’ve cried so much in airports! =)
There’s a saying that it doesn’t matter the destination, what matters is the journey. Yes, I believe that’s accurate for me =)
Side note: I will have some other posts on travelling destinations, don’t worry. 😉