Flying out (and back) of Dulles
"June 9, 2009"
When I was planning the trip, I found that it was quite a bit cheaper to fly round trip rather than into one city and out of another one. The closest airport that I could find that had a round tip to Copenhagen was Dulles. This would not have been my preferred airport.
I think I'm packed. My suitcase is very heavy because I have soap and bleach for the laundry in it, but it is still under 50 pounds. Thinking that maybe I will switch those two items to my granddaughter's bag but she says she has no room. With nothing in it my bag is under the 62" that is allowed. I hope it has not bulged over the limit. She does not have a money belt or anything like that, and I can't find the one I had for my grandson to use. The thumb drives that I ordered have not come, so I will have to use the one that I have.
Bob has practiced turning on the computers and accessing email. It has turned hot and sticky. I hope thundershowers don't delay us like they did with her brother's flight. I still don't have our cabin number, but if they do like they did in Barcelona with the Jade, they had people at the curb telling people what their cabin numbers are so they don't have to carry all their luggage on.
We left from home about noon June 9th, and it took us about 1:45 to drive to Dulles. Bob unloaded us at section 3, and we straggled inside with our bags. Most of the SAS counters were closed. I suspect that this is the only SAS flight there is from that airport. But very shortly a lady appeared and checked us in and gave us our boarding passes. A man, took our bags (didn't ask me to make a name label but this is a non-stop flight) and said mine was 21 kilos. I later asked Bob how many kilos to a pound and the said 2.4 which would be 50.4 pounds, but when I looked it up later 23 kilos was the maximum weight. That would be more like 2.2 kilos to the pound or 46 lbs plus.
The lady told us to sit on the seat by the window (which looks like an A/C vent) and she would send us a wheelchair. Which she did. My carryon is also very heavy. After we stopped for my granddaughter to use the bathroom, we went through security, and the wheelchair guy got us onto the people mover and out to the gate - well in advance of the flight. I tipped him about $2.00
There were several people with small children including a pregnant lady traveling by herself with a small child. One of the children spent a lot of
time shrieking. My granddaughter bought a soft pretzel and blue ice.
We boarded with the group of people needing assistance. We were in 35
G-H which was a window and an aisle. I thought my granddaughter would like to see out the window, so I let her have the window seat. But she said not, so next time I will take the window which I really prefer because I found I can't sleep in an aisle seat and she was curled up to try to sleep in a way that would have worked just as well in an aisle seat and such a position would not be available to me.
SAS gave us big bottles of water at each seat. My granddaughter brought hers off the plane with her, but I had another bottle and my SAS one was empty so I left it. We didn't originally have earphones at our seat, but I saw some in the seat ahead and took them before those people had boarded.
As usual in June, the flight was delayed by lightening storms from 5:15 to about 8:45. We sat on the taxi-way with the engines off for most of that time
At one point I went up to the bathroom and said I was hungry, so they gave us some cracker type snacks. We finally got dinner about 10 pm
SAS does not give you any choice of food. There was no - beef or chicken question. For dinner we had chicken and potatoes, a salad, two whole wheat rolls and butter, two crackers, a slice of cheese, and a cheesecake. They don't give you hot towels or eye masks or anything like that but they do have a free drink with the meal, even in economy. No rum though - the lady across from us asked. The people in front of us were (as we found out when landing) going to be on the same ship as ours, and the girls across from us were going on some kind of Methodist missionary thing to the Baltic states from NC
A lot of the announcements were in other languages first - must have been Swedish, Norse and Danish because I couldn't understand them and they took twice or three times as long as the English ones.
Although there is no choice of dinner, they do have the TV screens in the seatbacks which has a forward camera and a camera that shows what is below you. They also have a choice of movies (my granddaughter watched the Pink Panther), games and audio tapes or to watch the moving plane. With the engines off on the taxi-way, most of the options are not available. I tried to listen to the comedy channel and was told to chose another one. Eventually I did get to it, and it was Victor Borge.
Their moving plane has all north up displays except one which is course up which at first was confusing until I realized what it was. The games were not available for very long in the flight - you had to run them with a controller which was in the seat arm attached by a cord. I played backgammon and then I tried tetris, but the instructions for what keys to push didn't really work for me. After awhile, all the games returned you to the main screen as they had been turned off.
The in-flight magazine had none of the options I'm used to with AA. No crossword - no airport maps. They did have a selection of other magazines and papers available and for awhile I looked at Boat Sales magazine.
I changed the camera time, but absolutely could not change my watch time no matter how hard I tried. That would be why a watch for my granddaughter would be a good idea. Just a cheap Timex triathlon watch is what I have.
I just did not sleep as well as I usually do. There was no foot rest, and I dozed but didn't sleep.
Normally if I get some sleep on the airplane, when I get to somewhere, I can keep going until after dinner of that day and then crash. This time not. And my granddaughter didn't sleep much either. The boys were much more resilient about sleep. My ribs hurt and kept me from sleeping, and I couldn't keep my head steady so it would fall forward or sideways and wake me up. Having an aisle seat was good in that I could get up and use the bathroom easily and the bathrooms were near us.
I did eventually get my watch set so that it is the correct time here, but for some reason the information screens on the flight kept saying (like they did on my grandson's flight) that the time at our destination was 5 hours different. I finally asked the flight attendant and he confirmed that it was 6 hours difference.
They gave us breakfast which was a ham and cheese sandwich, a thing of yogurt, OJ (I gave my OJ to my granddaughter) and tea or coffee. I had tea, and she had coffee. They came around and asked me if I needed wheelchair assistance and I said yes. She asked me how the flight was, and I said it was very smooth. She told me that there were seven of us on the plane who had requested wheelchairs, and I should be sure to identify myself to the wheelchair people.
"June 28, 2009"
When I got off the plane they asked me if I had a wheelchair and I said I did but they couldn't figure out if my name was on the list. However the lady from the airline directing traffic said that they could not hold up people disembarking to look for names, so she sent us off. The person pushing my wheelchair was a little black lady with accented English. Anyway, we went through immigration, found our bags (granddaughter pushed the luggage cart), and went through customs (I had made out the customs form for both of us assuming we were family, although my granddaughter was somewhat obstructive about telling me what she spent - it wasn't as if I cared personally really - I just wanted to know how to fill out the form.)
As soon as we walked out of the secure area, there was Bob waiting. He got there about 2:15 and parked and came in. Parking cost him $8.00. I tipped the wheelchair person $3.00 and Bob took my suitcases and we walked to the car. I think we were home about 5. We went up to town for dinner, and my grandson and daughter-in-law got in about 2000.
Bob said I should NEVER fly our of Dulles again.