Sunday, 12 February 2012

Into the Dark Continent

The 777-300ER which would take me to Dubai. On the other side of the airfield, just above the nose of the Boeing, you can make out the original terminal building. This reminded me of some of my early flights from Elmdon (as it was then known) some years ago.

Sunday 12th February 2012

Off again! So far I've made it as far as the Emirates Lounge at Birmingham International Airport. The journey to the airport via the M6 was painless and, although the terminal was teeming with passengers, Emirates check-in was prompt. I was told the inbound flight was about 15 minutes late and on my way to the lounge, I spotted the aircraft landing. There's an Express Lane leading to security but, oddly, one member of staff was dividing his time between checking boarding cards on the ordinary lane and the express lane. The Birmingham accent of this gentleman was very apparent as he declaimed in a loud voice "Ooh - Jo'burg. Very nice. And Up the Front all the way!".

Security was the usual unpleasant experience. Shoeless and less hat, scarf and jacket I passed through the arch of a metal detector whilst my possessions were separately X-rayed. A lady then gave me a very thorough 'frisking' before finishing off with a detailed check with a wand-type metal detector.

Once I'd finished getting dressed again, I had to run the gauntlet of duty free but eventually I came to the signs for the Emirates Lounge where I was warmly greeted. Armed with a cup of tea, I fired up the Notebook Computer to send this report.

I'm leaving on flight EK040 to Dubai, due to depart at 13:25 and scheduled into Dubai at a quarter past midnight. Then, I should take the EK761 onto O. R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg, due in 10:50 on Monday the 13th. I've planned to have a meeting with one of our suppliers in Johannesburg before overnighting at the Protea hotel near the airport. Then, on Tuesday morning, I'm booked to take the BA6291 leaving O. R. Tambo at 11:00 for Livingstone, where I spend a few nights at the Royal Livinstone Hotel. Well, let's hope all these arrangements work out. I'll send an update when I'm able.

There are a few pictures of Birmingham Airport here.