9/11 - 10th Year Anniversary.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, September 11, 2011

Who takes to the skies on the 10th anniversary of 9/11?

We did!

The airports were much, much quieter than usual and our Emirates plane from Dubai to Paris was not full. It was an excellent flight as we had the first seats just behind business class, with no-one in front to push their chairs back and all that extra leg room. It is to be our last Emirates flight on this trip which is sad as they do everything so well. Food is outstanding, movies by choice, and service second to none.

This flight was the first of 3 long flights over 3 long days to take us to Anchorage in Alsaka. With many time zone changes all turning the clock back, each day had many more than 24 hours! 

Arriving in Paris, on the evening of 9/11, the airport was eerily quiet. Even most of the shops and food outlets were closed. We remembered how 10 years earlier we had flown several days after 9/11 had shocked the world and transited through an almost empty Singapore airport.

10 years on, we found some chairs with adjacent floor space in the very quiet airport and settled down for the night. Our 2nd flight was not until mid morning the next day, but the airport hotels near the Paris airport were $200+ and the airport a long way from the city, so it made sense to tough it out overnight in the airport. We alternated from lying on the floor and sitting in chairs. Airports vary considerably in their comfort but the best has to be Dubai which has chairs that are like a sun lounge, where you can put your feet up and sleep quite comfortably.  

The middle of the 3 flights taking us to Dallas Fort Worth in Texas, was a trial to say the least. 11 & 1/2 hours in length with American Airlines - definitely not one of the best carriers. The flight attendants were all between 50 and 60 in age for starters! There are no individual movie screens but an overhead old TV type screen, impossible to see properly and cheap earphones that also didn't work properly. Lucky we had good books and crossword puzzles to while away the hours!

Arriving at Dallas Fort Worth in the late afternoon we caught a shuttle to a hotel close by. The Days Inn Hotel was only $57 including transport back and forth and breakfast. A brief walk around before dark took us to a nearby service station, where we bought some food for tea and experienced the ever so polite southern drawl of the local Texans. We discovered they were in the middle of a extended heat wave of more than a month of over 100 degrees F in temperature.

After a good night sleep and a hotel supplied continental breakfast, we whiled away several more hours in the comfort and cool of the hotel using the Internet for planning and blogging.

Our final flight, American Airlines again, taking us to Anchorage in Alaska, was decidedly horrible. We should have been feeling able to cope, given we had been refreshed by a night's sleep, but we both found it a trial. Firstly, people were in our allocated seats so that had to be dealt with (how hard is it to read the seat numbers and check it off against your ticket?!) then we found the flight to be full of overly excited Americans who talked loudly every moment of the flight. I know that sounds like we are a bit jaded or exajerating - but this truly was an amazing amount of noise! The constant noise of a 100 or so Americans in full flight (pun intended!) did our heads in. The 7 hour flight seemed an eternity. 

We had been advised by the PA system before we boarded that you had to take your own food and drink (or buy with credit card only - not cash)  on board. So we bought expensive airport priced drinks and food only to be offered drinks free of charge????! 

Eventually we landed at Anchorage airport and the nightmare was over. Outside the airport we breathed in the crisp cold Alaskan air, as we waited for the shuttle bus to take us to the hotel we had booked. We were so glad to have these three days of flying behind us and looking forward to exploring Anchorage over the next few days. 
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