Adventures in Flight I

Trip Start Jun 17, 2008
Trip End Jul 05, 2008

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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Monday, June 23, 2008

I am thoroughly enjoying our short little flights in tiny airports here.  It's refreshing to see how things can be done differently than the super-high security and formality of NA. 

Today our passports were checked at the road before even getting to the airport, but for some reason they had no need to see our tickets...Then again when we approached the building.  They seem to look at our passport for the allotted amount of time, but I don't think they are reading anything as they do not speak English. 

This is a tiny little one room airport which only has a few flights a day, so everyone who is there is going on the same flight.  Because of this, there is no need for there to be staff at the counter all of the time - just when they're ready.  I forgot to empty my nalgine of water.  Even though they saw it, I was not asked to empty it (water is too precious).  The weigh scale for our luggage did not work, and it took about 5 guys standing around doing nothing to help the machine continue not working.  Finally they just let it pass.  

When we received our boarding passes, it was with much delight to see that they were completely blank!  I'm sure they recycle them from flight to flight. 

While waiting for the plane it was entertaining to notice that there were no lights on (not that they were needed).  Also, it wouldn't have done any good since the light bulbs had actually been removed. I was trying to tell the time, but it never seemed to move from 6:30 (the hands had fallen due to no electricity) and other clocks were completely blocked off.  No wonder the flights are always on time - lol!

Finally it was time to walk out to our little Focker 50.  I was amazed at how quickly the boarding process went when all you have to do is hand over a blank boarding pass and not worry about assigned seating.  We also got to take off right away since there were no lengthy seat belt demonstrations and safetly procedures to go over.  Just an audio recording that played while we were lifting off.  Amazingly, we all survived (please note the sarcasm).  Only 1 runway, so it was a matter of taxing all the way to one end to take off in the other.  A short stop-over only took 2 minutes - the exiting passengers were still walking across the tarmac while we took off again!

Upon arrival, disembarking the plane was just as quick as boarding.   We watched as they unloaded the bags to shuttle them 50 m to where we were standing.  Seems as though we could have saved everyone a lot of effort by just grabbing our own bags off the plane.  No fancy luggage here.  Carry ons were recycled plastic bags, and checked where cardboard boxes. 
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