Well I made it back safely after a brilliant holiday! The flight to Cuba from Manchester was 9.5 hours long and after sinking a few wines it went by very quickly. The weather was good and the flight was uneventful so I was pretty much relaxed the whole way there and the landing was perfect. The flight back however was more nerve wracking as we had to land in Varadero first to drop off and pick up more passengers before flying on to Manchester so it was an extra take off and landing I hadn't anticipated but it went ok. The flight was during the night so it made me feel nervous and claustrophobic knowing the ocean was beneath us and I couldn't see a thing outside. Then came the announcement from the captain to put our seat belts on as the weather ahead was very windy and we'd be experiencing turbulence and boy did we! I was very scared at this point and could feel the tears starting to well up but the turbulence probably only really lasted for 10 minutes but to me felt like a lifetime! We landed back safely in Manchester ahead of schedule with another good landing and to say it as a relief was an understatement. Looking back though it really wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated and we're already talking about booking another long haul for next year. One thing I did forget to mention which fueled my fear, as we were cleared for take off from Varadero, we were probably doing what felt like 100 miles an hour down the runway almost wheels up when the plane braked abruptly and we came to a standstill for around 5 minutes before the captain announced what had happened. Apparently a call was radioed through to the cabin that a passenger had not got on the plane so there was another 5 minute anxious wait to see if the passengers bag was on board and would we have to go back. Thankfully it wasn't and the passenger had just missed the flight so we could finally get on our way. The captain then announced that was the first time ever in his whole career that had happened where he'd received a call through about a missed passenger while he was about to take off that made the plane come to a complete standstill. All in all, I worried myself silly from when the holiday was booked last year and I really needn't have. I know I will always be nervous about flying but now I've done it I don't think I'll be anywhere near as nervous next time fingers crossed!
Just wanted to say a very WELL DONE. This anticipatory anxiety of ours is a nightmare isnt it??
I go to Australia to see my family on 9th December, I went for the first time in October last year (and was 'petrified') in the run up right to the point where i stepped on the first plane, but like you it wasnt as bad as I thought it was going to be although I was wrecked when I got there through lack of sleep...boy did I feel good. I was so proud of myself and the thought of spending Christmas with my daughter & 2 young grand children is spurring me on.
I am convinved it has made me feel more able to cope with this trip as your flight has showed you that you can 'feel the fear' and 'go for it' as our estimed Captain would say :)
We Did it Yippeeeeeeeeeee. Found Cuba a fascinating country- was not over impressed with Havana airport- and were you sprayed before leaving the 'plane ?
Congratulations- here is to your next flight and adventure, best wishes, Elizabeth