It was a little unusual going to Birmingham Airport with my sister – before this it was usually with friends that I’d travel abroad. Now we were setting off on the start of an adventure to New York City. Our journey started at 06:55, heading by train from South Wigston to Birmingham International. We then had to wait until 11:00 for our flight to Dublin, but managed to use a bit of time by looking around the airport shops and filling in our immigration cards.
We got into Dublin 20 minutes ahead of schedule and made our way to US preclearance. It’s a little odd as you go through security, then through security a second time, and then through passport control where you hand over a US immigration form. I’m not sure much could change between the first and second security check, but they do ask you to remove your shoes at the second.
We then had a further three hours until the flight was due to leave the gate. This seemed like forever, and despite it being sunny and warm outside it was cold in the lounge at the gate. It was a much smaller flight than I expected and there didn’t seem to be every many people at the gate – though the flight was in fact full.
My sister didn’t cope with the flight that well and was ill for most of it, not eating at all. To pass the time I watched 22 Jump Street on the in-flight entertainment system, and then after a chicken tikka dinner I watched Empire of the Sun. Before we landed they also gave out flapjacks.
We were going to land 30 minutes ahead of schedule, but only landed 15 minutes ahead when the pilot decided to avoid some bad weather. It was pretty good going though managing to get in early for the second flight running. The cabin staff were really good helping with my sister making sure she was comfortable. We landed at JFK in New York City at 18:00 though it took another 30 minutes to get to the gate.
The baggage collection was really quick, but it then took us an hour to wait for our transportation to the hotel as they weren’t there waiting for us. I took this chance to use the Wi-Fi at JFK to let my friend know we’d be late. It then took just over an hour to get us to the hotel, where James was already there waiting for us. By now we’d been up for not far off 24 hours and my sister was feeling far from great. We did however go for a walk and decided on eating at a bar called The Jolly Monk.
I went for a turkey burger and fries, and my sister went for just fries but she couldn’t stomach them. On the way back we stopped by a convenience store to get some water and something for breakfast for the next day. At last, back at the hotel we could then get some sleep ready for a long day of tourism.