Howard who was sent to New York on business decided to give Mrs. Howard a treat and to take her along. The family decided that mother had deserved it. True enough, that meant spending the money they had been saving for a car, but the family decided to do without one for the time being. Bill was certainly to go too. Richard, Bill’s elder brother, and Jean were to be left behind to take care of the house while their parents were away – not that the house needed attention, but Mr. Howard could not afford to take the whole family along. Richard and Jean did not mind it as staying at home alone was great fun. They only asked Bill to buy some picture postcards with views of New York. Bill said he would do nothing of the kind. He said he would take his own pictures of New York’s sights. (Jean and Richard forgot that Bill had been given a camera for his birthday).
The day of their departure came. Mrs. Howard, Mr. Howard and Bill went to the Air Terminal. At the Terminal
they had their luggage registered, that is weighed and labelled. Mrs. Howard said she was surprised their luggage wasn’t overweight. It seemed to her they had packed a lot of unnecessary things.
Then they got on a bus and went to the Airport.
Soon after they arrived at the Airport, their flight was called: “Your attention, please. BOAC7 announces the departure of flight 573 to New York. Flight 573 is now loading at gate 9. All aboard, please.”
When they were going towards the gate, Bill heard another announcement being made. The arrival of a plane from New York was being announced. Bill said it was lucky as the two planes might have collided in the air and might have crashed, which made his parents smile.
Together with the other travellers they passed through the gate and went to the plane, which was ready to take the passengers. They got on the plane and took their seats. Only then did Bill realise that he was really going to America.
Jhe air-hostess announced the name of the pilot and gave the passengers all the information about speed and the altitude at which they would be flying. Then she asked the passengers to fasten their seat belts and the plane took off. Nobody spoke or thought of an air crash. The passengers felt safe and comfortable and had a wonderful feeling of security.
Several hours later they reached their destination. The plane landed but before getting off the plane they filled in a declaration form. (In a declaration form travellers are to indicate the kind of valuables and the amount of currency they are bringing in the country).
The travellers got off the plane and their passports and visas were checked (that is they went through the passport control).
When their luggage had been delivered, they went to the customs area. Bill heard the customs officer ask the question that Bill had already heard in London: “Have you got anything to declare?” His father said again that everything they had was for their own use. He said they did not carry anything for sale, no fruit, perfume, liquor, gold or anything that was not allowed free, that is anything that was liable to duty. The customs officer did not doubt that their luggage had been inspected and they were allowed out to the public area. In the waiting-hall they were welcomed by Mr. Anderson, Mr. Howard’s American friend, who had come to the Airport to meet his English friend and his family. Mr. Anderson had reserved rooms at a hotel for the travellers. They took a taxi and went to the hotel.