We woke up and had some hot breakfast and snagged a few extra bagels
for the trip. The hotel shuttle was late by about 20 minutes and we
were already cutting it a little close. Needless to say, it was a bad
idea. When we arrived at Dulles with all our luggage and got in line,
Ang and Brian were told after they had already sent their underweight
checked luggage that carry-ons could only weight 15 pounds. Nick and I
knew we were in serious trouble. All of our checked bags (except the
stander in the cardboard box) were close to exactly 50 pounds, if not
a bit over. Our carry-ons were probably 30 pounds each and the overage
fee was $150, not something we were going to be able to pay. When we
were called up to the counter, I tried to be as friendly as possible.
He checked our bags and had Nick take two of them (not sure why only
two) over to the x-ray checked bag area. I tried to keep our carry-ons
far enough around the counter that they wouldn’t catch his eye, but he
did see one. Fortunately it was our small rolling suitcase my dad gave
me awhile back to use as a carry on. He said they may have me check it
at the gate because of the size. We really didn’t care at that point
because that meant they wouldn’t charge us for checking an additional
bag. What we were concerned about was the fact that we were supposed
to be sitting in seats 12 K and 12 L together, the second row of the
coach section. We were assigned seats in rows 26 and 27, not together.
He said we were some of the last people to check in and that we’d have
to follow up with the people at the gate to see if they could sit us
together. We hurried through security, ran to the train and gate and
were able to have seats assigned together. Unfortunately, they ended
up being the second to the last row on the plane and when you are in a
plane of over 300 people, it took quite awhile for us to board and we
knew getting off would be even worse.
The plane ride was fine, although filled with the worst turbulence I
have ever experienced. Possibly in part because we were the second to
last row on the airplane, but it was intense. Nick and I of course had
our seat belts on but had multiple times where we would get some air
out of our seat and the seatbelts had to hold us back. We continued to
go up in altitude to find a more gentle spot to cruise so by 37,000
feet (when we initially were going to be flying at 33,000 feet),
things were a bit more quiet. All I said to Nick was that as long as
we were going up and not down in altitude, I was okay.
We watched a lot of movies, did fairly little sleeping, some reading
and some game playing. The flight overall went pretty quickly and we
landed in Addis Ababa.