Germany: Day One
At the moment we are waiting in the Charleston Air Force Base for an early flight to Germany. We are number 50-something on the list of people trying to get on a flight that only has room for 15. I do not think we will be leaving tonight but perhaps tomorrow night. I can not imagine what this terminal must be like during the summer or holidays. I had only heard a little about flying with Space-A before we planed this trip. Free flights to any location there is an Air Force base sounds like a deal but today seeing how popular the one flight is makes me reconsider my previous opinion on the whole process. Is it all that it is cracked up to be? Guess we will find out in the next 24 hours. They just announced that there are 25 seats available. The atmosphere is tense as some people are not sure if they are going to make the flight. I'm tense. Not many people make eye contact or friends with the people around them. They seem to prefer to quietly wait and hope everyone around them leaves. It almost feels like waiting in line in an Asian country where people politely shove themselves forward in line, this line determined by rank and leave instead of elbows, body mass and sheer will.
Right now they are roll calling people. There are lots of families here with kids and a few possibly retired couples.
Space-A flights are determined by order of rank/category and time of sign up. Category 1 is emergency leave, category 2 is environmental/morale leave, and we are in category 3, active duty or regular leave for military personnel. After us is families of active duty members, 4, and lastly in category 5, retires, reservists and midshipmen.
I was not expecting to get on this evenings flight. We saw the big cargo plane fly overhead as we left the base, headed to our hotel in North Charleston that was booked weeks ago. A neat little extended stay hotel that Priceline found for us, we have a full kitchen, fold out couch, desk, queen bed & TV. Quite spacious really. I wonder if I could live here for a little while?