"The dry, barren land of Hassi Messaoud, Algeria." Hassi Messaoud by MJV
Hassi Messaoud Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 2 photos
I sat around in the terminal for a while before knowing what gate to go to. I had to keep an eye on the monitors, since they don’t have the gates figured out ahead of time. The flight to Hassi Messaoud went very well, no problems encountered. This flight is a chartered flight. There was enough room for everyone to have their own row. It was a first come, first served flight. Those people who got on the airplane first, were able to sit in the first class section. The airplane was so empty there was no reason to fight for first class.
Getting through the Hassi Messaoud airport took a little long, due to the forms I had to fill out, but all in all, this went fine. I had to fill out a declaration form, which I was told to make sure I include all my electronics, but do not write down cash amounts. I had to have someone at the airport to deliver my desert pass.
My first night in my room was kind of a rough one. For starters, the electric heater I had in my room didn’t seem to create enough heat. I was on the verge of being cold the majority of the night. The floor was really cold to step on when I got up. At lunchtime, one of the guys showed me how to use the other unit for heat. I don’t think I’ll be as cold tonight. When I awoke, it was really cool here; it had to be in the upper 30s, low 40s. After stepping out in the walkway, I was seriously wondering if I had brought enough warm clothing with me. As it turns out, it warms up rather nicely once the sun is out, but the nights can be cold.
I awoke periodically throughout the night. I could hear the wind outside all night long and it sounded very strong. I had my watch set for 4:30 AM, but I was up well before that. I had gotten into the routine of taking my shower in the evening, so that was already done. I had my packing finished last night, so all I had to do was put my clothes on. I was outside by 5:15 AM waiting on the van to take me to the airport. We got to the Hassi Messaoud airport at 7:00 AM. It is a requirement to x-ray your luggage as soon as you walk through the door. Once I walked through the doorway from the x-ray, I did not notice any signs or markers that indicated where I needed to go. I had to look at the LED signs located above the various ticket counters, which did show the flight numbers; this is how I knew where to go. As I got in line, I had to open my bags for a security officer and show him my declaration form I had filled out when I arrived last week. After taking care of my business at the check-in counter, I went through the international departure door and waited in the immigration line. I did not have to show my desert pass to anyone, I think this was because the line was so long and they wanted to get everyone through in time. I had to go through another x-ray machine. Right after that I had to open my bag again in front of an agent and show my declaration; this time he kept my declaration. There are two rooms to wait in, but they are not marked. They only way to know which room to wait in would be to look for other people who would have been in the same check-in line ahead of me. I didn’t remember anyone, so I looked at the other people’s boarding passes to see if they matched mine; I had to switch rooms. The person, who checked me in, was also the person who opened up the door and called for everyone to get in the buses. When we approached the airplane, I noticed that all bags were placed on the tarmac. All passengers must physically take their bags and place them on the cart to be loaded on the airplane. Then all passengers had to have their bags opened and checked again before getting on the plane.
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