Homeward bound

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Like every trip or adventure, I always do my pre- checks, weather for any delays and select my seat before departure.  I decided to check-in early for my Caribbean Airlines ATR-72 flight between A.N.R Robinson International airport and Piarco International Airport, so I can select my window seat, try, and capture few last pictures while departing Tobago.  The weather dosen’t care how prepared I am and my flight was cancelled the day of due to bad weather in Raleigh, but I was re-booked on an earlier flight, which was awesome but we still had a ground delay.

I begin every flight the same way, by read the safety information card so I’m familiar with the ATR72-600 and exiting procedures in case of an emergency. As soon as I settled into my sea the stewardess announced a slight delay due to baggage and crew issues. We departed about 30 minutes late but with all that madness behind, I just sat back and relaxed on the flight to Port of Spain.  The flight was very smooth until we started descending over the northern range in Trinidad, there was a lot of turbulence, and the vectoring by ATC was very weird due to a diplomat departing the airport.  Once landed I was able to de board very quickly got my bags and headed to the American Airlines check-in counter where all my problems started.  There was no one at the counter and when someone did finally show up they were very slow checking in passengers.  Once I was finally able to get to the check-in counter there was a problem with my tickets and reservations and the person had to make a phone call to clarify it.  Which was good, and the good thing about all the waiting and slight fussing is that I was able to rebook unto an earlier flight to Raleigh-Durham instead of Sunday night getting in early Monday morning.

I knew I was going to spend at least one night in Miami but I figured getting a hotel at Miami International Airport wouldn’t be an issue. Particularly if they had a USO in the airport I would spend the night without spending any money which is good because it would be closer and would be easier to catch my 9:25am flight the next morning.  This flight was supposed to land at 11:34 meaning I should be home by 2pm the latest.  Well I must confess this was the smoothest boarding ever.  Flying out of Piarco International Airport using American Airlines, I was able to board with ease and as a bonus the flight wasn’t full which meant I got a middle row to myself.  The departure out of Piarco was very smooth no bumps while we climb to our cruising altitude to 34000ft/10361m.  I must confess this Airbus A321 is not that bad after all Is is very quiet and spacious, the overhead bins are quite large I was able to place my bags into them with no problems.  I don’t fly much with American Airlines but so far, I give them a thumbs up for making my journey pleasurable.

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So we descended rapidly, to avoid landing in the approaching thunder storm. It felt like we were on a jet fighter, with a rapid descent and steep banks.  While all capturing a wonderful south Florida sunset, which was magnificent.  I was ecstatic that I was able to get a few images.  Once landed, we had to wait for 15 minutes before our gate opened up and the mad exodus to Passport control.  One thing I do not like about Miami International Airport is the long walk to Passport Control, but now that everything is automated the process is at least much smoother.  Bag retrieval wasn’t as complicated and long as I thought it would be from previous experiences in Miami once I had collected my bags I headed to customs. I was searched by a customs agents, I’m not exactly sure why but probably had something to do with my point of origin   It was a weird experience, because it was the first time I’ve ever been searched coming back into the United States. Once I repacked my bags and was able to get a trolley, I proceeded to find a hotel. It was far more of a challenge than I expected since everything was either booked up or overpriced.  I made the decision not to sleep in the airport because I’ve been travelling all day and I just needed a good nights’ rest before I depart back to Raleigh.

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Its now 6:42am and here I am waiting at gate D44 for my departure flight, everything is on time as we speak no delays, hoping everything stays that way and I make a return back to North Carolina after the mega storm dropped a few inches of ice and sleet in the region.  Boarding was very smooth and we had an on time departure, as my excitement grew because I was happy be going home.  Come to find out we were the only the American Airlines flight into Raleigh and the flight was pretty full but I didn’t mind because I just want to be home in my own house.  Once we got to cruising altitude I actually passed out. I woke up as we started to descend into Raleigh it was a great feeling. I decided to do a little filming as we landed, it was great once we touched down it felt like we did not want to stop.  I actually panicked a little bit, but let’s just say we landed safely and this trip was finally over.  I must give a big shout out to American Airlines for doing their best to get me home safe, and to all the hard working agents that made this trip pleasurable.

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