I am on my way to Singapore and I can hardly believe it! It is the furtherest I have ever travel and it will be the most different in terms of culture and people that I have visited. I must admit I was extremely anxious about taking this trip. I worked myself up into such a frenzy my stomach began to feel queasy and my heart was racing in my chest. But after some calming words from dear friends, some of the anxiety dissapated.
From the onset this trip has been a new and different experience. First of all I had to go to a different terminal than I was accostomed - Terminal 4 at JFK. So many airlines depart from this terminal and I had some difficulty to find Emirates Airline - a middle eastern airline. Finally, I found it and the check-in desk was corded off allowing only ticketed passengers. What if i wanted an extended long embrace with a boyfriend before I went through security? There were not even seating for prolonged goodbyes.
So I go to gate A6 and there is just a mass of people, more than I'd ever seen board one plane. I was soon to find out why. I was going to be boarding one of the largest planes in the industry the A380 airbus. I was surprised when I entered the final security check down the walkway to the plane to find a fork in my path. Depending on our seat number, we were directed to the right or left. So this aircraft used 2 gates to board the plane. Finally I made it on board and was just wowed. The aircraft features 2 floors, lounge and bar on the 2nd floor, 1st floor had 10 seats across (3seats on either side of the aircraft and 4 seats in the middle), satellite phone, individual digital screens with thousands of channels. Economy included menus with tasty meal choices, warm damp cloth before meals, snacks such as pizza or soup between meals. Service was impeccable. I was showered with, "Certainly ma'am", "my pleasure, ma'am", "please", "thank you". After years of flying american airlines, it was a welcomed experience to see what customer service should look like. I also did not note any unattractive or 40 and over flight attendants. Let me just tell it like it was, the flight attendants were all gorgeous!!
So I found my window seat in row K and 2 hindi gentleman were already seated in that row. I squeeze my way over to the window when I was hit with a smell of something akin to a dead rat, garlic and cow dung. What could it be? I turned around and caught my seat mate in a big yawn. Oh dear, it's going to be a long 12 hour flight. But aside from bad breath old man hindu reaching across me and opening the blind and letting in a blinding light into my eye, waking me from a beautiful slumber filled with pleasant dreams, the flight was fabulous.
So I busied myself with getting comfortable and acclamating myself to the ammenities available to me and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could continue to use my cell phone during flight. Additionally wifi was available during the flight. I hurriedly located the network but to my disappointment, while it was available, it was not free. Since I am not an addict to these devices, I thought it was perfectly ok to not be connected for 12 hours and wrapped myself up in my blanket preparing for the dreaded take off. To my surprise, the plane was already in the air and I had felt nothing. This is my new favorite plane! I did not have time to be anxious during bumpy takeoffs and landings because this plane is as smooth as butter.