Woke up the next morning, feeling like I’d been hit by a small truck. Full-on nasty cold…great…just what I need in the middle of a round the world trip. Guide insisted I needed to be at the airport three hours before my flight, but finally agreed with me that two hours would be sufficient but “I’m taking a risk.” The hotel was once again super helpful – when I told them I needed to get going early, they had the whole breakfast buffet out at 630am for me. Fantastic!
Guide showed up to say goodbye, and sent me on my way to the airport with the driver. Supposedly the driver was supposed to get me checked in for the flight because it’s “very complicated” but there was nowhere to park so I was on my own…and it was a total nonevent. Took all of two minutes to check-in, but boarding passes were handwritten and changing seats? Forget it. “No, that’s your seat!” Uhhhh, ok then!
Through security which was a bit on the confusing side, through immigration where I got no questions at all, and into the common waiting hall. There was a lounge, but apparently it was the wrong lounge for TunisAir. For that, I had to take the lift up to the next floor – ok, that works. The lounge was pretty big, and had maybe a dozen people total in it and a decent selection of food and drink…nonalcoholic of course. A few diet cokes helped with the cold, and the WiFi was pretty fast so overall a decent place to wait and there was a really good view of the planes coming and going.
Each gate had its own holding area, and I got down maybe 10 minutes before boarding…just enough time to hang around. The most interesting first observation was the number of women wearing headcoverings of various sorts on the flight. I saw hardly any women covered in Libya, but it appeared that in Tunisia that was more or less the norm.
TunisAir Flight 512
Tripoli, Libya (TIP) to Tunis, Tunisia (TUN)
Depart 10:15, Arrive 11:30, Flight Time 1:15
Airbus A320, Registration TS-IME, Manufactured 1990, Seat 5A
Seat 2D, which I’d been informed was where I was sitting was an aisle, but 2F was occupied (the plane was in the european config where business was the same as economy, with the middle seats blocked) and rows 5 and 6 were completely empty so after asking the flight attendant if I could move I went back to 5A to get a window and a whole row. The crew was a bit odd, in that when addressed in French (not just by me, but others as well) they responded in English. Arabic, no problem, they spoke Arabic back…but they seemed to not want to speak French. However, after continuing in French long enough they’d eventually switch. It was strange. Took me about 3-4 interactions before they’d speak French…odd.
Anyways, shortly after takeoff, the crew came around with table coverings…high class for those of us used to flying in the US. They were paper, but still…it was Espace Privlège!
…but PLIEZ, fold the airsickness bag when you’re done, LOL!