Flying to Florida with US Airways – Part 6

Florida Guide > Travelling

The first part of our flight to Florida with US Airways is nearly over, and we are about to land at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where we will pick up a domestic flight to Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.

September 3rd, 2010 Charlotte Douglas International Airport 13. 30 Local

My ears ‘pop’ - a sure fire sign that we are descending. I raise the blinds and can see that we are already close to the clouds. Wispy clouds below appear closer and closer until we are deep in their fluffy folds.

Suddenly we are below the clouds and it is possible to see roads and fields below, which look remarkably like our countryside in Hampshire. The flaps are lowered on the wings, and there is a bit of a shudder as the wheels are locked in place. The houses, no longer tiny dots appear larger and larger. We are over the airfield and with a slight thud we have landed, brakes squealing and flaps raised further to halt our progress. We have arrived at Charlotte Douglas airport in North Carolina, the home of aviation and the place where the Wright brothers first flew their aeroplanes. It is warm and sunny – 90 degrees the captain says, as we taxi towards the long low building.

We have made up time on the journey and arrive on time. Now we must go through Immigration, Customs, and pick up our luggage before we change ‘planes and fly down the coast. We are on our way to Fort Lauderdale, with US Airways. Our flight over the Atlantic has been smooth and uneventful, with very little turbulence, and now the doors are opened ready for a mass exodus into Charlotte Douglas Airport.

As the seat belt signs are turned off there is a cacophony of metal sounds as everyone releases their buckle. We stand and retrieve our hand luggage from the overhead bins and wait until the Business Class passengers have disembarked before we trundle through the door and along the gantry to the main airport. We walk quickly down the corridor and find ourselves at the Immigration Area. So far there are few people so we join a queue with just one party ahead of us. It only takes a minute or so before we are beckoned forwards.

The Immigration Officer greets us with a smile and we hand him our passports. We no longer have to fill in Green Forms, which seems strange. The new ESTA system seems to be working well and within a minute we are both asked to stand in front of the camera, ready for a photograph, and present our fingers for scanning. The passports are stamped and the Immigration Officer asks us where we are staying before smiling and wishing us a great holiday. We must collect our luggage and walk through Customs before catching our next flight to Fort Lauderdale.

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