Sunday, February 20, 2011

Worst plane rides EVER

What do you do if a lady starts screaming “the plane is on fire, the plane is on fire”…?
What do you do when the pilot says, “Only half an hour left till we touchdown in Amsterdam, but hang on we might have some mild turbulence”…?
What do you do when at the end of a flight the police is waiting in the front of the plane to escort you out of the plane…?

You hang on, and ask yourself why it was again that you needed to go on this particular flight!?

Normally I love flying. I don’t mind the turbulence, the “I haven’t showered in 5 days” people sitting next to you, the grandma’s and grandpa’s who tell you their whole life story or the cute boys you meet while traveling by yourself. Three of the over 97 flights I made from 1995 to 2005 I remember like it was yesterday. And NOT because I loved them so much, no it is because it was scared to no end…

What do you do if a lady starts screaming “the plane is on fire, the plane is on fire”?
It was on my flight back from Australia. We had a wonderful time there and I was still in the zone of the beautiful country replaying everything that we had done in my head. I boarded the plane and when we were at the right altitude, all the way over on the other side in the plane, but still in my section I hear some rumors and a lady talking agitated about something… I didn’t pay much attention and put on my headphones to watch the movie. After a bit I get distracted because there are SEVERAL stewards and stewardesses rushing to the lady, while she is pointing outside to the wing!?

Ok, so I put my headphones down and I hear her talking, as in screaming, about the motor of the right wing of the plane being on fire…. OH SH*T!

Of course because all of this commotion there is a group of people who get up out of their seats and stand to have a look, one of those guys was my neighbor who had even more experience flying that I had. He sat down, looked at my pale face and told me not to worry. I was thinking, that is going to be a problem, because my heart rate is up to 300 and were going down….

He calmed me down and told me the engines/motors of a plane are not actually on fire the “smoke” is there because of the wind flow true the motor/engine. I have no idea till this day if this is correct or if he just told me that to calm me down, I just know it worked, we didn’t fall out of the sky and eventually the stewards calmed the lady down…. But my gosh that was a scary 18 ours back home…

What do you do when the pilot says, “Only half an hour left till we touchdown in Amsterdam, but hang on we might have some mild turbulence”…?
It was on a short flight back from Rome and the pilot just mentioned that we were almost back at Schiphol, the Amsterdam airport. We had our snack and one drink and we buckled back up to start landing. But instead of landing (where the nose of the plane tilts slightly upwards) this plane’s nose went almost straight vertical upwards! That was not like it should be, and at the same moment I realize that we were in a strange position for landing, the plane starts to shake… and not shaking like normal turbulence, no shaking from left to right up and down and vibrating ALL OVER constantly! Everybody and I mean everybody didn’t say a word and I started wondering why the pilot didn’t say anything to us about going down, because I was sure that that would happen any time soon. He probably didn’t say anything because he was too busy trying to keep us in the air.

It really didn’t take more than half an hour but I had never been on a plane that did whatever it was that this plane did and NEVER was it so quite during landing. No babies crying, no stewards or stewardesses taking, no gossip between the two ladies in the front of you, NOTHING…

The pilot said sorry for the rough (rough…?) landing and welcomed us to Amsterdam, and everybody in the plane started clapping and cheering, which was one of the best feelings ever! I didn’t have my life flash before me all I could think about was, “wonder how long it takes before we hit the earth”.

What do you do when at the end of a flight the police is waiting in the front of the plane to escort you out of the plane…?
Usually I would fly to my desired destination from Amsterdam. It gives me a good feeling because I been there before, they have lots of security and I know my way around the airport. For this trip I was going to see my friends in Palermo, Sicily. But instead of flying from Amsterdam I went from Brussels, Belgium.
It was going to be two sort flights, Brussels to Rome, Rome to Palermo. Nothing to it!

Brussels to Rome flight was nice and didn’t take more than 3 hours, got off the plane strutted true the airport in Rome feeling on top of the word. Being a blond, 1.75 cm tall AND wearing 13 cm heels, I felt like a super model and I was rocking it. I waited for a bit, enjoying all the male attention of the short but very good looking Italian men, and boarded the plane to Palermo.

Everything was going well and I would see my friends soon.

We landed in Palermo and like always everybody gets up and starts unloading their carry-on’s. The steward said something in Italian, but my Italian wasn’t good enough to understand what he was saying.
It went something like “blalalalalalabla blablabla leontien van de laar blab la blablablablabla”… OH!? Was that my name……???
“blalalalalalabla blablabla leontien van de laar blab la blablablablabla!!!” sounding a bit more angry.
Hmmm, what to do, I could see the steward, but there was no way for me to get there because of all the people in the aisle. I figured it would just be best to wait.

And then the door of the plane opened, and the two cops came in.

I started sweating in places that I had never sweated before. And I knew in that instance that they were going to throw me in jail, and I would never see my parents or friends again. Because Sicilian jails aren’t like Dutch jails….. Nooooo, they are like the ones in the movies!

Apparently the steward told everybody to sit, because slowly I saw the aisle clearing and so this would be the best time to walk up to the front and got to the men who were about to cuff me. But I just sat.

After the steward called my name for the 3th time and looking even more angry I got the guts to get up and walk to the front of the plane. Really not understanding what they wanted or saying I gave them my passport. I figured that was what they were asking for. They started yelling TICKET, TICKET in my face (well actually it was to my boobs, because they were short Sicilian men and I had my heels on). I gave them my ticket and one of the policemen opened it and ripped out a part. The part they should have ripped out in BRUSSELS! So instead of finding cocaine or other criminating things the only thing they needed what my ticket…. I will never travel from Brussels airport again…

Oh my gosh, I’m not going to jail, my life isn’t over and I don’t have to wear a orange jumper for the rest of my life…

They said thank you, I think, and I was the first one leaving the plane. I walked straight to my friends, without waiting or picking up my luggage and started to cry.

Believe me you NEVER want to get in a situation where the police is waiting for you in the front of a plane after landing.


Megan said...

Oh my! I've had some rough flights but NOTHING like your experiences! I once watched a stewardess reach out and grab the door handle that kept wanting to come unlatched and looked around me and NONE of the businessmen around me seemed concerned. But I was!

texwisgirl said...

Oh my goodness! Sounds like you have lots of interesting stories to share! Thanks for finding my blog! Looking forward to more adventures from you!

Jent said...

I love your story's!

Cris said...

Wow! Who knew you were such an air criminal? Thank heavens you didn't lose your ticket! That had to have been so scary!

Leah @ Beyer Beware said...

Great post! Very memorable flights. Maybe we should call you our "Crazy Dutch" friend!

BigD said...

I'm still converting 13 cm heals...

Anyway, that's funny story about the police.
I was actually on a plane that caught fire once.
I should blog about how stupid I was, even afterward when the local TV station interviewed me after we landed (safely) and I gave the quote of all quotes "it was no big deal". EVERYONE I know saw it and made so much fun of me!
This is why I don't care to fly!

crystal.cattle said...

Wow, I have also traveled a ton, but I don't think any of my stories compare to yours. You are quite a world traveler! By biggest adventure has been to Australia.

Dawn said...

Oh my. Just came across your blog through Run A Round Ranch...and you just cemented in my mind a few more reasons I DON'T want to fly.
Ever again:)

Love the pictures from the plane!
Pleased to meet ya!

CountryDreaming said...

Comparing your adventures to my life right now definitely helps put things in perspective. You teach a very good life lesson here about just doing your best and not worrying. Awesome post. And thanks for stopping by my blog to introduce yourself, I look forward to getting to know you better! :-)

Marybeth @ AlarmClockWars said...

Great stories! And, that's only 3% of all the flights you've been on... Not so bad! ;)