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My First Flight: 'I Remember Being Unimpressed by the Size of the Plane'

September 14, 2010 at 10:40 AM | by | ()

Everybody has a story about their first time. The anticipation, the nerves, the worry...but then the pure wonder when you finally take off. Of course we're talking about your first flight—the first time you boarded an airplane and discovered the skyways. We're looking to tell those stories in a new series simply called "My First Flight" and we're starting it off with one of our own. Want to share your first flight story? We've love to have it! Send it along to us here.

It was an AirTran flight, this I remember because my mom had asked the flight attendant if they had wing pins to give away to kids, since—you see—it was my first flight, after all. The FA replied that they didn't have those things on AirTran. I was probably bummed for all of a few seconds however, since shortly after that, the plane surged forward for take-off and I felt that sweet force that pushes you back into your seat. Plus I had other things to think about, like the fact that I was heading to Walt Disney World on a Florida vacation.

This was back in the very early days of AirTran, and they definitely don't fly the route anymore, since it was direct from Northwest Ohio to Orlando, Florida. The trip was a package cruise deal; my family—one that typically spent a week of vacation every June driving to the Wisconsin Dells or Gatlinburg, TN (good and wholesome, old-timey family vacation spots)—were switching it up after I begged for a straight year to be taken on a cruise.

The flight route doesn't exist anymore and neither does the cruise line (and the ship!) that made for my second first of that trip: my first cruise. We sailed on the Oceanic, a liner-style ship painted with a bright red hull; she was the flagship of the small Big Red Boat fleet. These were the days before Disney made their own cruise line, so our whole vacation was a lump deal of four days at sea and four days at the theme park, where I even remember us staying at The Contemporary—the A-frame hotel through which the Disney World monorail passes.

But anyway, back to that flight. I recall being unimpressed by the size of the plane, and my memory seems to think it was a Boeing 717. We checked all of our bags and none were charged extra fees, and we even got lunches on the flight. Both of these things wouldn't be happening these days for free, especially on AirTran. I'm not even sure we had a computer with the internet at the time, though these days AirTran boasts fleet-wide WiFi.

The funny thing is, I don't remember the return flight after vacation. Perhaps I was cranky and tired as kids get? Or maybe it's just that the first flight is the one that stays with you best. Yeah, I think it's the latter.

Liked this story? Send us yours! Also, check out our similar series over at our sister site VegasChatter, where people are letting spill their Vegas Virgins tales.

[Photo: Wikimedia]

Archived Comments:

Big Red Boat!

I think I was on the Oceanic too, but I can't remember what year, but it was around Thanksgiving.

Nothing to do with my first flight I know, but I just had to share...

First Flight

My first flight was in the 1970s aboard the Ford Tri-Motor plane departing Port Clinton, OH to Put-In-Bay, OH on South Bass Island. Passenger capacity was approx 18. Upon looking out the window down to the cars on the roads, we were flying just a little faster than the cars were traveling. First major flight.....Detroit to Honolulu !

First flight (I remember)

My first flight memory I don't know what type of plane it was but we flew Vancouver to Auckland with Air New Zealand in 1979. I really remember security screening before the flight since my mom packed so many art/craft supplies forgetting that those rounded kids scissors are still scissors (they let us take them though). On the flight I remember the meals and the silverwear with the Air New Zealand logo engraved into the handle. I pocketed a spoon (I was 7 and thought we got to keep them).


I love these SO much. My first international flight was on a Continental 777 from Newark to Frankfurt. It was obviously also my first time in Europe. I remember the overhead bins seeming ginormous.

Airplane Virgins?

Love this! I can't remember my first domestic flight but according to my parents, it was to Puerto Rico, which I kept calling Peter Rico. First international would probs be on Aitalia. There was a smoking section in the back! Can you believe that?

No wing pins?

I was working at the ValuJet reservation center in early 1994 (they started service in October 1993), and decided that I ought to go on a flight somewhere so I can describe the experience to customers. We paid $10 per segment. Of course, being a budget carrier just starting out, they didn't pay us enough to do anything once we got there... My first flight was from Atlanta to Nashville. I turned the flight around - they had 20 minute turnaround times - and came home. It was a DC-9. I have certificates for being on ValuJet's first flights ever to Philadlelphia and Dallas, and I'm thinking we had the little plastic wings for the kids. I know I've got a bunch of old flight schedules, unaccompanied minor pins, and commemorative Coke bottles.

thank you, walt Disney!

It´s funny, because my first flight was also flying to see Mickey Mouse, but to Paris, when I was 12, 14 years ago!! I can´t even remember being scared!

the ship is still around

It is sailing in Japan these days http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Oceanic_(1963)

may I have a chance

it is so nice,but i feel a litter regret for i haven't fly yet.although i very want to be no air from young.