Once in the departure lounge, you will
have several services available. You will have access to seating,
toilets, food and refreshment outlets, an area where you can watch planes
taking off and landing and an OCS assistance desk. There will also be many large screens
with upcoming flight information, including the gate number you will need
to go to in order to board your plane. There will also be regular loudspeaker
announcements for passengers to make their way to a particular gate, but not all of these
will be for your flight. Whilst you are in the departure lounge, it will be good to check you have
all documents for boarding the plane. This will include the boarding passes
you were given at the check-in desk, your tickets and your passport. While waiting, you may wish to check out
one of the great Sky Zone play areas. Here, you and your child
or young person, can pass waiting time, playing games or
doing interactive or sensory activities. Please visit the Sky Zone page on
Birmingham Airport’s website for all the details. Keep an eye on the flight information
screens for when you are due to board and which gate you will need
to join the queue for. Once you are called to your boarding
gate by loudspeaker announcement, or you have seen the screen information
for your flight change to ‘Boarding’, you can then make your way
to the designated gate. There will probably be a queue but you can arrange to be escorted
to the front of the queue by contacting OCS
before you arrive at the airport. At the boarding gate, you will be greeted by someone who will
ask you to show them your documents. Once these are checked,
you will proceed to the plane. There are several ways you may get
to the plane itself. Usually, you will go through
a short tunnel up to the plane door. You may be shown to a bus
that will take you to the plane. You might have to walk a short distance
to the plane and up steps to the door. At the door, you will be greeted
by a flight attendant, who may also ask you to show them your
boarding pass, which will let them know what seats
you are to go to. They will either tell you
the way to your seat, or may escort you there,
if necessary. Once in your seat, you will be required
to put on your seatbelt, turn off any electronic devices, and make sure any loose items are stowed
away in your hand luggage. You will be allowed to access these
and use your devices once the plane has taken off and the
‘Seatbelts On’ instruction is lifted. Above your seat, you will have a light
and an air vent. There will also be a blind that you
can pull down to cover the window, if you are next to one. Once all the passengers
are on the plane, one of the flight attendants
will demonstrate the safety and emergency procedures. There is no need to worry about this. It is important information and this
demonstration happens on every flight. The plane will start to move slowly,
usually backwards at first, and will taxi slowly across the airfield
to where the plane will take off. When the plane is ready to take off, you
will hear a loud roar from the engines and there may be some vibration. The plane will start to move
and accelerate faster and faster until it points upwards at an angle
and lifts off the runway. Shortly after the plane
leaves the ground, you may hear a clunking noise
from underneath the plane. This is the plane’s wheels
being pulled up into the plane, with the doors closing to cover them. You may feel a sensation
in your stomach, like you get in a lift, and you may feel yourself
becoming a bit heavier. As the plane climbs, you may feel a popping sensation
in your ears. This is normal
but does not happen to everyone. This may continue for a while as
the plane climbs to its full altitude.