Archive for December, 2009

Tampa to Albany, err LaGuardia | Delta #2761 | Seat 22A

December 15, 2009

Was in Tampa for two days for a TV shoot and heading back to Albany tonight. It was critical I get home tonight due to a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. All was working just fine – left Innisbrook on time, got to the airport early – but then US Airways had other plans for me.

My flight from Tampa to Reagan National was delayed to the point that I’d miss my connection. They had no other flights that would get me close to the Albany – heck, the NY area – so I had quite the situation. The US Airways agent was wonderful, she immediately got on the phone with Delta who gave me their last seat. I wish I remembered the ticket agent’s name as she was great.

I ran over to Delta to check my bag and get my boarding pass and they couldn’t find me in their system. The ticket agent there was wonderful as well – she dropped everything to help and had me on my way quickly. Thank you Melinda and Happy Holidays!

I made it through security quickly and saw my flight was delayed so I crashed Pappy’s happening dinner at the Bacardi restaurant in Terminal D in Tampa and then made my flight with ease. And, best part yet, the tail wins carried us faster and we landed pretty close to on schedule. I could have done without the 2.5 hour car ride to get home, but I’m happy I’ll make it there.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, this is my LAST FLIGHT OF THE YEAR!!! That feels like a cause for celebration in and of itself!

Albany to Tampa | Southwest 3070 | Seat 7A

December 13, 2009

My Facebook status said it all – “Erin Byrne landed safely. On time. With no craziness. What a nice change of pace.”

I won’t bore you with my complaining about the car service sending a stretch (again, ugh, how tacky). I appreciated the chit chat by the security guys who know my travel woes as well as anyone who read this blog. Short line at Starbucks and no line for the Bank of America ATM. I actually really LOVE the Albany International (ish) Airport.

The flight was perfect. Left early, landed early, my seatmate was non-descript. But the Southwest folks had a little fun with the holidays. The safety briefing was delivered to “Twas the Night before Christmas” with rhymes and all, and the landing speech was sung, yes at the top of their lungs over the intercom, to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

“Welcome to Southwest Airlines
Jingle jingle all the way
We’re out to make you happy
All throughout the holidays…”

You get the idea. Cute. A little too cheery for me, but it was cute. Happy Holidays. (Five flights to go and then I am done for the year!)

Washington Dulles to Albany | United | Seat #2A

December 10, 2009

Well that was gross.

Did you ever see the episode of The Office where Pam is pregnant and she asks Dwight not to eat his hard boiled egg at his desk because the smell will make her throw up? He refuses and proceeds to eat the egg and she promptly yaks. That sets off the rest of the office throwing up one by one. Welcome to my flight.

I missed my earlier flight by minutes and therefore had 4+ hours to kill at Dulles. Dinner, some work, bookstore, more work, phone calls, more work, CNN, more work, and finally it was time to go. Take off was fine but as we started our descent it was very rough. Like, the plane is sideways rough. And that is when the throwing up started. Luckily I was far enough removed and I escaped without being a throwee or thower and am now in the car service home.

Woo hoo – two full days without flying!

Miami to Washington, DC | American Airlines # 1068 | Seat #19D

December 10, 2009

It is nice when it all works out. Like this morning when I got to the airport on time, got through security without hassle, and got to my gate with time to spare. The only problem from my perspective was the lack of decent coffee (Dunkin Donuts does not qualify) between security and my gate.

I asked the gate agent where i could find coffee. She directed me to get 35, “just down the hall.” Being at gate 30 it certainly seemed reasonable enough. Turns out that gate 35, and more importantly Starbucks, is the best kept secret at Miami International. “Just down the hall” actually means “just down the hall, make a left despite the lack of a sign, go down the escalator and look over your right shoulder.” That is where the Starbucks is.

So, after my little search and rescue mission for coffee I was back at gate 30 to board, triple grande skim mocha in hand. And off to DC I went. And now my work in DC is done, but I missed my flight home and I’m killing time in the airport before a 10pm flight. Bummer.

Pittsburgh – Miami on Delta through Atlanta, December 6 (flights 1806 and 1895)

December 9, 2009

WooHoo!!! An uneventful travel day. And then, to top it off, two full days in the same city. Will the wonders never cease?

The only report i have for the first flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta is… snore. Snore as in me being sound asleep. Had an action packed day Sunday going to the Steelers game with Connie and Pat from Transitions, one of Pat’s clients Steve, and Rachel from our office. It was a blast. But, after getting up at 3 am to get to Pittsburgh and then getting up at 3am to get to Miami, i was beat and slept the whole flight.

The second flight wasn’t as great. I was crammed into a middle seat which made it near impossible to work but the flight was fine, the crew were attentive and i got here safely. All in all a good performance by Delta.

Albany to Pittsburgh via Dulles on United, 12/6, early morning

December 7, 2009

First flight at 6:00am from Albany to Dulles was uneventful. I was upgraded to seat 2D and the gentleman next to me in 2F was a riot – as a fellow road warrior he had great stories to share. He really needs to write a book. I didn’t catch his name, but if you read a travel diary at some point about a guy thinking you could get dropped into any city in the south and not know the difference, that was him.

I’ve had quite a few travel hiccups lately and after the first flight i was hopeful that this trip would be incident free. I boarded for my second flight, this time upgraded to seat 2F. I got on board and noticed that seat 1F had a band that said, “do not occupy,” and that someone was sitting in my seat. Someone? Not exactly. More like a horrific beast of a woman that was eating small children for breakfast and breathing fire.

Me: Hi. I’m sorry. I have seat 2F.
Beast: My seat is broken so i’m sitting here.
Me: I’m sorry that your seat is broken, but I have seat 2F. Would you mind finding another seat please?
Beast crosses arms, whole plane shakes, and then: I said i’m not moving. I’m going to the Steelers game and i’m sitting with my family and there is nothing you can do about it.”

At this point I decided to root against the Steelers, if for no other reason that to upset the beast. (Changed my mind when I got to the game which was awesome – thanks Connie and Pat!)

Flight attendant comes over and tells us we’ll have to wait for the gate agent.

Me: Do you mind getting up while we wait for the gate agent?
Beast: This is my husband. No way am i not sitting with him. I told you i’m not moving and there is nothing you can do to make me.

Now I’m getting angry.

Me: Ma’am, i assure you i have no interest in your husband. Please get out of my seat.
Beast: I’m not moving.

Gate agent comes and tells beast to vacate the seat. She refuses. Gate agent says, “Ma’am, we can’t close the doors and depart until you take your seat in coach.” Beast doesn’t budge. I wonder if she even realizes it is a 35 minute flight. Poor husband looked like he wanted to sit in the baggage bin!

At this point all i really care about is getting to Pittsburgh, well to brunch, actually to the mimosas at brunch, so i decide to be the grownup on the plane and just take the first available seat in coach, seat 1B. The crew, which as awesome by the way, thanked me profusely and credited an upgrade to my account. As I took my seat the best (who was literally a foot and a half away) loudly exclaims, “Can you believe that woman? Who does she think she is?” I let her know that I thought i was someone with more manners and class in my pinky than she’ll ever have and left it at that.

Just goes to show that class is most definitely not defined by where you sit on the plane.

Oh yeah, the plane was on time, the flight attendants offered by a complimentary drink in coach, and when i landed 35 minutes later they had already credited my account. Nice job United. Although i do think you need to revisit your animal transport policy. πŸ™‚

Newark to Milwaukee on Continental and back again Milwaukee to Laguardia on AirTran 12/2/09

December 5, 2009

Gotta love the day trip. No luggage to drag around, no waking up in the middle of the night wondering what city you are in and no hotel elevators. (I hate hotel elevators but I’ll save that for another post.)

Took a day trip to Milwaukee for a client meeting. I’m interested to spend more time there because it looks like a warm (feeling, not temperature) city. The client meeting went well and the client asked me to take a later flight back so we could do some follow up work and meet on some other projects. Sometimes “later flight” really means “later, later flight.”

Got to the airport with Tom Dowling – my flight was 6:45 and his was 6:48 – so we had plenty of time for a quick dinner and adult beverage. Until we saw my flight was two hours delayed. Tom ate and ran, I ate and found a Starbucks and then drank coffee for three hours. Ever notice how a two hour delay is never really a two hour delay?

It was the longest day I had in a while – 3:00am eyes open until 2:00am eyes closed – but it doesn’t happen often and I’m fine. Although I think my friends are getting tired of my whining about my travel woes on Facebook. πŸ™‚