Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Airport Experiences

I don’t know when it started, but I developed a ritual of taking a photo of the plane I was about to embark on, just before boarding. It was a nice record and demarcation in my endless reams of google photos I would take when travelling to multiple countries.

After a while, this ritual became an obsession.

It was ridiculous.

Hong kong

I began to think that if I didn’t take that, by now, mandatory photo of the plane beforehand, I might have a troublesome flight. That was silly and totally illogical, but nevertheless, it did occupy my thoughts particularly when I was embarking on an aircraft at the departure gate and couldn’t see my plane through the window!

About to fly from Lapland south to Stockholm in Sweden

Worst Airport Landing

Flying into Narita, Japan from Europe, one year, I noticed the front landing camera on the plane showed the runaway we were about to land on, was way off to the left of the screen, far away from our forward trajectory.

I was thinking the pilots might have been going to circle around once more before landing, when the aircraft suddenly banked sharply twice, one way, then the other and landed in a huge thud on the runway, bouncing three times, up and down, bump-bump-bump, before safely taxiing to the terminal gate.

My digestive system baulked at these hijinks and I am sure I tasted eggs and bread roll for a second and third time over.

Once we were safely landed at the terminal, I turned to ask the French/Arabic-speaking passenger seated next to me if that had ever happened to him before, on a previous flight. His only response was an uncertain nod. He hadn’t understood a word I said.

Which left me wondering how often this kind of landing happens?

Pilots have reported they relished the chance to land at Kai Tak, the former Hong Kong airport.

The landing path for the planes at Kai Tak would make a sharp turn and fly perilously close to the high rise buildings; so close it was said that passengers could see Hong Kong residents in their apartments, eating their evening meal as the plane whipped past.

Here is some footage of Kai Tak – if you have no patience, scroll to the 3.15-minute mark for some real action

The Hong Kong airport moved to a new location in 1998, I believe.

This is how I found it in 2012. Quite safe.

Hong Kong Airport

Winter Flights

Flying in wintery countries like Scandinavia can be tricky. Flying into Iceland even more so. I was informed that only specially trained pilots are allowed to fly into Iceland, in winter. Taking off in Reykjavik in a heavy snowfall was daunting. At least my plane followed the Airport snowplough along the runway so the ice was removed and the airstrip nicely groomed ready for the plane’s takeoff.

In Helsinki, flying in summer might even be a little hairy. in 2016, I walked across the airport tarmac, being careful to dodge the FinnAir aeroplane taxiing just behind me. I hadn’t crossed the tarmac of a larger airport, on foot, since arriving at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport in the 1980s. It was fun and noisy!

Friendly Friday Challenge Prompt

What are some of the weird things you’ve seen or done in airports?

The obsessive bookworm asked that question in a recent post and it got me thinking this would make an excellent prompt for this fortnight’s challenge.

Passengers carrying sleeping bags as carry-ons, folks sleeping on the floor during airport layovers, children walking around in pyjamas on night flights, people washing their whole bodies in toilet washbasins? These sights are not all that unusual at airports.

I ‘m sure you can tell me of stranger occurrences.

Post a photo or write about Landing, or an unusual experience, at an airport.

Once you have constructed your post about Airport Experiences, tag your post-Friendly Friday and pingback to this post. For further instructions scroll down.

The Unexpected – A Sunflower Garden on the roof at Singapore Airport Terminal 2

Challenge Prompt Questions for Further Inspiration

What are some of your experiences at airports?

Have you had a rough or bumpy landing in an aircraft? What was your scariest landing? Have you ever overshot the runway?

Do you have a favourite airport? If so, why?

Longest airport layover?

I once did 22 hours layover at Singapore airport and if I can help it, won’t do that again. It was a good airport to spend time in, but it was far too long to be cooped up in the one place, not sleeping when you have come off a night flight, dragging around a tired child and hand luggage, desperately trying not to lose my backpack this time.

Photographic Tips – Capturing Fast-moving objects

Photo by Budgeron Bach on
amusement park ride

Some tips from a blogger for photographing fast-moving objects.

Sometimes your images will appear out of focus, but in reality what you see is motion blur from camera shake. As a rule of thumb, make sure that you’re shooting at a shutter speed that’s faster than your focal length.

So, for example, if you’re shooting at a focal length of 70mm, you’ll want to use a minimum shutter speed of 80mm. And that rule of thumb applies to subjects that don’t move, as for fast moving subjects you’ll want to increase your shutter speed much more than that.

Photos appear at their sharpest when there’s a lot of contrast in the scene. Flat images and images with very minimal tonal differences will, therefore, appear less sharp. Ensure that there’s enough tonal range in your images to maximize the appearance of sharpness in your final images.

Join the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge

More instructions for Joining the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge

Don’t forget to leave a comment and pingback to this post so that others can find your post.(pingbacks sometimes fail).

This is the final time I will host the Friday Challenge for 2021. My wonderful co-hosts each have one further Friday challenge prompt in 2021, for you, (Sarah on Nov 19 and Sandy on Dec 3).

After that, the Friendly Friday challenge will go into recess until 2022.

I appreciate all the support, the inspirational and interesting photos and various contributions throughout 2021. I also enjoy the new friendships the challenge brings and have learnt so much along the way.

Thank you!

Keep writing and clicking those cameras!

Friendly Friday

89 thoughts on “Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Airport Experiences”

  1. “Have you had a rough or bumpy landing in an aircraft? What was your scariest landing? Have you ever overshot the runway?” Sometimes, I wish. It would be adventurous, but Ofcourse, scary. Is it strange to say that I haven’t seen many “weird” things at the airport? At transits, especially. Perhaps people listening to music without headphones? But that’s pretty normal in India. Many people don’t have civic sense. Doha Airport (Qatar) is one of the best I’ve seen. It was a transit and I loved being there, waiting in that spacious airport. I guess it’s also the memories associated with it that make it all the more beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Airports can be exciting places. Especially if you are going on holiday somewhere! Associated with lots of happy memories. I have not been to Doha airport. What made it the best you have seen?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, it was the first airport I saw outside my own country. Hence associated with a lot of happy memories. It was large and felt quite “futuristic” to me then, but I’ve since, in the 3 years visited other airports, even in my own country, which are pretty much equal to it or bigger. I guess it’s the innocent “first” time in such a big airport with my friends that makes it special (It was a school trip to Europe).
        So yeah, more about the memories and the smells (of the perfumes!) than much else.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent timing, Tanja! I hope you can share a photo or story post for the challenge. Especially for those who are still locked inside closed borders. Well we can leave, but at present we would not get home.


  2. Amanda, great pictures. I have always been an uneasy flyer. Partly due to being tall, partly due to apprehension. My one cure for air travel is not to be in a hurry. I have not tried taking a picture of the plane as a talisman Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These days taking a photo of a plane might be considered a security risk, so I am very discreet about it.
      If you were apprehensive about flying before, you must be more nervous now, given that many planes have been sitting on the tarmacs during Covid. I worry a bit about maintenance. How is the pandemic situation in your parts, now. Our vaccination rates are finally reaching acceptable levels and we are due to open our borders Dec 17 when we all expect some kind of huge outbreak, possibly amongst the unvaxxed… Sydney and Melbourne have opened the borders and the planes are flying in as we speak.


  3. That’d be one terrifying landing. Oh my goodness, and I think landing in Salt Lake City is unnerving. The plane just goes down into a valley among hills, and plop you’re there. Your experience was much worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If landing in Salt Lake City is daunting, because of the valley in the hills, how is the take off?
      I am thinking of the take off from Kathmandu Nepal where we basically have to go straight up as high as possible to get over the Himalayas!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Definitely a skill to control a heavy thing with passengers on board. I would never have the nerves for it. Have you seen that airstrip in Nepal, near Everest that is the shortest runway in the world? Drops off the mountain on takeoff and tilts up to land so that you don’t run into the mountain!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I have one weird airport experience in my post but otherwise I’m afraid I’ve done my usual wandering off script and shared photos taken in flight as well as on the ground in airports:

    If I hadn’t already blogged about Wonsan Airport in North Korea ( that would have been perfect for this challenge, as the whole airport is weird!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will look up your post on Wonsan. Thanks for the tip.
      How incredible that your weirdest experience was in Brisbane, the airport nearest to me! The one I depart from and I have never seen a skeleton carry on! Brisbane isn’t a very exciting place at all, compared to some destinations!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The worst landing we’ve had was into Hobart. The wind was gale force and we came in sideways. That was a bit hairy. We’ve also landed at Kai Tak, way back in 1985. It was at night and that was probably a darn good thing. We couldn’t see anything. My sister flew with Egypt Air from Tokyo to Cairo once and, as the place took off, the doors on all the overhead storage lockers opened and everything fell out on top of everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hobart of all places. Must be those roaring forty winds that come across the southern ocean as I have heard stories like that about Queenstown and that many landings are diverted due to windy conditions. I took the bus down to Queenstown from Chch as I didn’t want to waste time if flights were diverted, given I was only other for a few days.
      I have always gone to Launceston airport rather than Hobart. It’s not been problem there. It might be smaller than Hobart though?

      And oh dear, all that hand luggage could have injured many people! The first time I went to Scandinavia, I bought a heavy Scanpan to bring home. Those were the days when you could put heavy things in your hand luggage without being reprimanded. Imagine that falling on someone’s head.


      1. Well, sure, airport and flight stories. Many of them forgotten, many classified and undisclosable 😁 I worked in aviation and/or travelled nonstop for 13 years, after all. But I must say, being a passenger in a plane with a rough landing is much worse that being staff, when you know the pilots and conditions and procedures. As a passenger, you feel more helpless, since you have no control over the situation and limited info. In Finland, the airlines and airports are amongst the very safest in the world – hey, for once, I’m saying something positive about Finland! 🤗 Flying in winter weather isn’t a biggie: they plan everything according the weather, direction of the wind, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There are good things about Finland after all. I agree it might have been easier if you are staff on board with privileged information from pilots. No wonder the staff are calm. I remember chatting to a shop assistant who was very stern and very efficient. When I commented on this, she looked at me saying of course she takes her job VERY seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I never had the privilege of Kai Tak but I’ve heard stories of landing there. A pilot I spoke to once said that it was a terribly difficult approach between February and April because of the fog. I’m personally not a fan of approaches or landings less than 5 miles away from central business districts and high-density residential areas. As for my own airport story, my long and unpleasant experience at Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta comes to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fog and high rise building would make for a terrible mix and I would not want to be in one of those planes landing then. But they didn’t ever crash did they?


    1. Train stations at night aren’t fun. They seem to attract many undesirable people the disenchanted, the lonely or ill. I can imagine it wasn’t fun.


  7. What a great prompt for a challenge, Amanda. I’ll have to think about it for about two seconds. I have definitely had some experiences, none as harrowing as a bouncing plane, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just to tell you that I have been writing for this challenge and will post on Friday. Fun but getting kind of long… Looking forward to reading all the rest as well. A great challenge, especially for this day and age. Are you planning to fly somewhere now that you can?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am not planning to travel anywhere by plane just yet. Our border is still closed for a few more weeks, but possibly next year. However that will just be within Australia. Sadly. I had aspirations of being in Europe for my sixtieth birthday but that won’t happen now.


    1. Two months beats my 22 hours at Changi hands down, Sandy.
      It is a lovely place to hang out, especially if to have a nice flat bed to sleep in at night!
      As for crocodile oil cream, it is just a gimmick, for sure! We don’t live in the water all day!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Believe it or not Amanda, crocodile oil cream real and has been used as traditional medicine in ancient Egyptian, Indian, Chinese and South Asian cultures. It is rich in oils that are good for treating burns and other things. Of course, I knew none of this before I researched it, when I was trying to get a better picture of the product packaging 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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