Friday, June 23, 2006
Dover, DE / Mildenhall, England
We woke up at base lodging on Dover AFB. After having breakfast and checking with the terminal and finding out that our show time for a flight to Ramstein was 2040, we went into town, saw a movie (The Breakup), had dinner at TGIFridays, and returned our rental car. We were driven back to the base by an employee of Enterprise who was also a reservist. Back at the terminal we found out that the flight to Ramstein wasn’t taking any passengers. But we were extremely lucky to be manifested on a flight to Mildenhall which continues onto Ramstein after a 27 hour layover. We met a nice retired Army Colonel and his wife (Dan & Kathy Clark).
Space A Trip Report:
We flew from Las Vegas, Nevada to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania International Airport, rented a car with a one-way drop off through Enterprise and drove to Dover, Delaware. We checked in at the passenger terminal the evening of the 22nd and the terminal was empty except for the staff. The passenger services staff was very friendly and helpful. We were informed that tomorrow (June 23rd) was going to be one of the best Space A days they had seen in a long time, with two flights to Rota, Spain; two flights to Mildenhall, England; and one to Ramstein, Germany. With a total of almost 100 seats. We were advised to check in in the morning – our hopes were up. One June 23rd, we arrived, expecting an easy connection to Germany. Then things began to change. We were informed that the first Rota flight was unable to take passengers as was the Ramstein flight due to hazardous cargo (not an unusual happening). Then one Mildenhall flight fell victim to the hazardous cargo problem and could not take passengers. That left one Rota flight and one Mildenhall flight. Then a passenger service announcement stated that the Mildenhall flight was going to continue to Ramstein, which we were delighted to hear. The roll call started and we weren’t sure whether we would get seats because of so many families traveling and were delighted to hear our name called.
The flight departed Dover at 2300 and 6 hours, 45 minutes later, we landed at Mildenhall. all very comfortable with pillows, blankets, snacks, and earplugs. Upon landing, we were given special treatment as “through” passengers and were able to avoid Customs. The passenger terminal personnel were very helpful and gave us information so that we could obtain lodging and transportation. The base lodging was full however we were able to obtain lodging at a hotel just off base, the Smoke Hotel, which was built in the 17th century. The cab transportation was excellent. We were able to use the ATM at the passenger terminal to obtain pounds. Reservation phones worked fine, everything went smoothly. We then walked out of the terminal into the fresh air and sunshine after a morning rain, and it was wonderful.
This was our first Space A flight on a C-5 Galaxy and except for a 40 minute maintenance delay prior to takeoff, everything went beautifully.