Archive for March, 2008

Miami, FL – NYC, NY (LGA) | AA894 | 14C

March 26, 2008

Flight boarded on time and everything seemed to be on schedule. There were several families that were separated so the flight attendants were playing musical chairs for about 15 mins. One lady did not want to give up her emergency aisle seat to a father so that he could sit with his little daughter. I was thinking – bad karma (then I was thinking if I would have done it – answer is yes). Regardless the little girl was definitely under 15, she was not even allowed to sit there.

The lady did redeem herself and hopefully her karma as well. After the flight attendant could not match the father and child, “Lady” took things in her own hands and moved people around.

As we rolled to the runway, we stopped and one of the engines was turned off, I was thinking mechanical problems, turns out we were delayed – high winds in NYC have backup planes in the sky. We sat on the tarmac for about 45mins. Getting into LGA was a bit bumpy, yet the pilot managed a smooth landing. I always rate landings – this was a 8 considering the circumstances.

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Checking in with your cell phone

March 20, 2008

The NY Times published an article on Monday about how “paper is out, cellphones are in.”  The article talks about how Continental is piloting a program where they will check you in by scanning a barcode from your mobile device. As someone who would lose her head if it weren’t attached, I am very excited about this. I’m always fumbling for my boarding pass, trying to board with the wrong one, and more importantly am interested in living with as little paper as possible. I think this is a logical and exciting development for the airline industry, and one that makes perfect sense given the prominence that mobile plays in our lives.

Hope Felix doesn’t get mad that I posted without a boarding pass!

Daniel Marin

March 20, 2008

You may have noticed our new banner – the guy high on jet fuel trying to keep up on his BlackBerry. We just wanted to give a shout out to Daniel Marin for designing it; Danny is a extremely talent artist who works with us and also happens to be a friend. He recently had his first art show and actually sold a piece (which did not surprise me given the quality of his paintings).

Have a lot at his work at http://marinsstudio.deviantart.com.

Danny – thanks for the contribution

Miami, FL – NY, NY (LGA) | American Airlines #1818 | 19F

March 19, 2008

All is not well that ends well.  We boarded on time and I settled in to my window seat, not my favorite, but I don’t have status on American and at least it wasn’t a middle seat. The woman in the middle seat next to me seemed quite lovely.  She settled in to her seat and took all of her seat, and half of each seat to either side.  She had a significant girth to her and it impacted my flight experience in that i was completely crushed for the entire flight.

On one hand, she paid for her ticket and deserved her seat.  But on the other, I paid for mine, and did not deserve to sit for two and a half hours with my cheek pressed to the window without the ability to move. My neck still hurts and my back is a little out of sorts too. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I know that I am frustrated and didn’t enjoy even a moment of my flight.

The flight was otherwise fine, took off and landed on time, and the flight crew was delightful.

Austin, TX – New York, NY | JetBlue #1062 | 25A

March 18, 2008

Sad as I was to leave my new favorite city, had a great flight from Austin, TX to JFK on 3/12. It started out with a serendipitous ride to the airport: the SXSW Interactive & Film Festivals had wrapped up the night before, and I ended up splitting a cab with an Australian stunt woman who makes zombie/horror films for a small production company in Atlanta. Had a good chat about a recent scene in which she was one of 40 zombies simultaneously ‘grave-popping’ and chasing down some unfortunate small-town innocents.

Austin-Bergstrom International tops my list of domestic airports: I’ve found it to be an oasis of calm, cleanliness and on-time flights. Plus, it has some pretty interesting displays about its former life as a WWII and Cold War Air Force base. And the coffee’s not bad, either — truly an exception to the rule of air travel in 2008.

I sipped my brew for a few minutes in the quiet and sunlit terminal before boarding JetBlue flight 1062 to New York. Rollback and takeoff were uneventful, and we climbed into clear skies with excellent visibility; a little turbulence, but nothing too severe. I really enjoy flying in JetBlue’s E-190, as it’s a new, small-ish and somewhat sporty machine. The pilot seemed to be in a flying mood, and we banked quite steeply as we egressed the airport zone — maybe not a crowd-pleaser (actually, noticed some nervous glances), but I always enjoy a good demonstration of an aircraft’s flight dynamics.

Norfolk, VA
banking north over Norfolk, VA

The remainder of the 3+ hours flight to JFK was split between reading the paper, a couple caffeine naps and watching the American South drift by below. Caught a couple brush fires, Raleigh, NC and got a good view of the naval base at Norfolk. Things clouded up as we headed north, and we finally broke out a couple thousand feet above Long Island Sound as we made our final approach to JFK. The waters below were wind-whipped and choppy, and the Manhattan skyline loomed cold and gray in the distance, but after two weeks on the road, it felt good to finally be home.

Albany, NY – Philadelphia, PA | USAirways #1833 | 3C …connecting to… PHI – Miami, FL | USAirways #763 | 2C

March 17, 2008

Flew yesterday from Albany to Miami via Philadelphia and had a perfectly pleasant trip. I had the whole first class row to myself on the 50 minute flight from Albany to Philly which made it easier to read the times. I sat next to a delightful woman from Philly to Miami who was taking her two kids to Key West for a week’s vacation. Interestingly when folks were boarding a woman went by wearing a tiara. Yes, a tiara, and at 10:00 in the morning no less. She didn’t particularly seen like beauty queen material, and was too young to be so dramatic, but I got a kick out of it nonetheless. Thanks USAir for a safe and pleasant trip.

I’ve been meaning to post some information about what it takes to fly a plane. On my United flight from Denver to LaGuardia a week ago, the captain came on and share a lot of information about fuel usage on the flight. I don’t remember all the facts and figures he rattled off, but one that stayed with me was that we use 2.5 gallons of jet fuel per person per minute to fly in that 737. The net result of all that fuel was that the plane was 17,000 pounds lighter when it landed. I think that people should consider all the expenses that an airline incurs before complaining about ticket prices…

Dallas, TX – Miami, FL | American Airlines #1828 | 6A

March 17, 2008

So the flight was delayed about 2.5 hours – I did not get into Miami until about 1:00AM. Looking back, the flight was very smooth, I purchased an upgrade, did not have enough segments. At that point I was too tired and too hungry to fly in coach. While waiting at the airport, I wrote AA customer service in reference to my upgrade or there lack of, on my flight to Mexico (I did not receive breakfast). To my surprise, I received an email this morning from Robin at AA saying that they would credit me the 3 segments. No hassle, no fight, no problem…makes up for the delay.

On another note – what is up with Zach and his first post – has been in draft mode for “months”. Man up “Zach the Slack”

Mexico City, Mexico – Dallas, TX | American Airlines #1110 | 21A

March 16, 2008

Everything in check, flight left on time and got me into Dallas right as scheduled. We were on a MD-80, I think it is time to retire those planes from the fleet. Picture above is of the wing, can you see the paint peeling? Nothing exciting happened on the flight itself.

Immigration was a total breeze here – left me thinking: “I will have time for dinner”. As I looked on the monitors for my next flight I noticed my flight to Miami was delayed by 2 hours – great way to cap off this never ending business trip.

Miami, FL – Mexico City, Mexico | American Airlines #2199 | 6E

March 13, 2008

I must give it to my employer and hooking me up with some SWEET itineraries (I should mention that there is a holiday in Mexico which has made it difficult). I am going to Mexico City for a pitch tomorrow which will last about 2 hours, yet I will be in Mexico well over 72 hours. Not to mention my travel times, once again I am at the airport at the crack of dawn looking at people drooling, sipping Starbucks, or wondering aimlessly through the terminal. What do I have to look forward to this Sunday when I return to Miami, a flight that has me going through Dallas.

On the bright side, I have been upgraded and can look forward to a delicious breakfast. Aside from that, the morning has been pretty uneventful, let’s see how the flight itself is.

Two things went wrong on this flight:

1. Someone was passing way too much gas in my vicinity – really nasty. It is comforting to know that supposedly the air quality in the cabin is as clean as in a hospital. Just hope the filters are cleaned regularly. Zach, remember our discussion in Miami?

2. My breakfast was two pieces of bread – there was not enough omelette’s for everyone – that is worth half the upgrade. I will definitely send a note to AA tonight.

At least the plane landed on time and immigration was a breeze. Will be reporting on the 16th when I fly home.

Denver, CO – Newark, NJ | United #969 | 22A

March 12, 2008

Who knew that JP McCaffrey was such a high-roller? First, details on the flight.

The flight left a little late, but they made the time up in the air.  United got the job done, and everything was just fine.  Except of course for the dude listening to 70’s disco in the row ahead of us who hacked all the way cross country.  And, the woman behind me was having an asthma attack, which in turn led to a sneezing fit by her Rhinestone Cowboy looking seat-mate.  All was well outside of the collective expulsion of bodily fluids.

Back to JP, we agreed that cocktails were in order after a day trip to the West coast.  We agreed on vodka and cranberry. JP tried to buy the drinks off the woman with the snack cart, but she smacked him down and told him to be patient.  Finally, the drink cart arrived, JP ordered, and paid. End of story, right? Of course not.  Turns out Mr. High Roller paid with a $100 bill which the flight attendant thought was a $10. As she started to roll away with her little cart, JP asked for change, the mistake was identified, and JP got his $100  back.  Phew!