View Single Post
Old 12 Jul 15, 11:54 AM  
Link to this Post
Gill H
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
Join Date: Jan 08
Location: London

theDIBB Guidebook
Guidebook Photos: 86
Guidebook Reviews: 24
After our meal we go to see whether our gate has been called, but there is a message on the board saying ‘please wait’. Uh oh. Please don’t say we’ve been delayed? We go downstairs anyway, and a few minutes later our gate is called. Unfortunately it’s in section C, which means we have to use what they call ‘the transit’. Now I thought transit was something Gok Wan talked about in yoghurt adverts, but here they mean the little shuttle that takes you from A to B, or indeed to C. We power-walk over there, because time is now pushing, and we find a huge crowd ahead of us. We almost don’t get on to the transit, and we have to use our finely-honed London commuter skills and sharpen our elbows to withstand the pushing and shoving from the harassed throng all trying to force themselves on. We just about manage to squeeze into the carriage, and fortunately it’s only a minute or so before we are getting off at section C and power-walking again round to our gate. Despite the fact that we left ourselves plenty of time to get here, we’re slightly worried to see people boarding already! It turns out these are the ‘priority boarding’ people, though, and the ‘economy’ types like us still have a few minutes before the queue opens.

We’re soon through and walking the incredibly long passageways to the plane. Seriously, it feels like we’re half way to Amsterdam before we even get on. Then there’s a long wait at the plane entrance, while a woman with a huge piece of carry-on luggage attempts to manoeuvre it down the aisle and into the overhead locker. But eventually we’re in the plane – hooray! As we go in, I ask a steward for an extender seatbelt as I usually do, and he reaches into a small locker and hands me one straight away. For those of us whose bodies are less Baywatch and more Baymax, it’s nice to know that airlines usually deal with this with no fuss at all.

We’re soon settled in our seats, 20 E and F. We chose these because the third seat hadn’t been taken, so there was a chance we’d have all three. But no such luck – someone’s in the seat next to me. It’s no problem though – the seats are nicely roomy, and in fact they feel much more comfortable than our last long-haul flight.

Before long, the safety video is shown – yes, the one where the kid drops the toy rabbit, and everyone has impossibly skinny arms and legs. But then we seem to sit on the tarmac for absolutely ages. Eventually there’s an announcement that we have been given a different departure slot, and meanwhile they’re going to power the engines down while we wait.

I don’t know if you’ve ever used one of these new fizzy drink vending machines they have at some shopping centres now – the ones which make a series of ‘wooh … woooh … WOOOH!’ noises as they get your drink for you. Well, that’s exactly what the engines sound like powering down. We have to wonder whether the crew are all getting themselves a Coke …!

Eventually they start up the engines again and we taxi over to somewhere right the other end of the airport. And finally we take off, a good 40 minutes after our scheduled flight time.

Ah well, at least our flight is smooth, and the flight map is quite cool to watch. They have some whizzy graphics showing the plane turning round on a big yellow circle, gliding up a white strip, and then along it and down the other side. It looks like the world’s strangest Total Wipeout obstacle.

About 20 minutes into the flight, the crew start bringing round some cans of drink and bags of snacks, and no sooner have we been given these than the pilot announces that soon we’ll be preparing to land! The flight itself has been less than 45 minutes. It’s hard to believe we’re in another country already.

However, getting off the plane takes almost as long as our flight did. Firstly we have to wait ages for them to attach the tunnel to the plane, and then Mrs Big-Luggage is causing hold-ups again. Meanwhile I take my phone off airplane mode, because I need to contact our taxi driver. The hotel have arranged for him to meet us at the airport, and said he will know if the flight is delayed, but we need to contact him as soon as we land. Well, as it turns out there is a text from him on the phone already! His name is Leon and he says to call him as soon as we are coming out of the airport.

As usual, the walk through the airport to baggage claim and passport control seems to take forever. I sometimes wonder whether it’s a cunning ploy to reduce the risk of DVT by giving us vigorous exercise after the flight! The queue to get through passport control is huge, but eventually we’re through and our suitcase soon appears. Once we’re through customs I call Leon, who explains that he’s across the road outside the Sheraton in a black Mercedes (wow, taxi driving is obviously a lucrative career here!) We soon find him, and it turns out he does all the driving for the hotel, and knows pretty much everyone who’s stayed there. His English is flawless, with a vaguely American accent, which we will soon discover seems to be the norm here.

As we journey, Leon points out some interesting sights and chats with us a little. All goes smoothly, until we’re almost in reach of our hotel, but then we find ourselves stuck behind a car which is being towed away for parking illegally. They evidently don’t mess about here with dishing out fines. Instead they come along with a truck, pick the car up and put it on the truck to take it away. Leon tells us that he can tell by the number plate that the owner is local, and should have known better than to block such a narrow space.
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
Gill H is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List