Archive for January, 2010

A word from Ramiro…

January 24, 2010

The emails are flying tonight as a team is trying to get from various points on the east coast for a client meeting in Tampa first thing tomorrow morning. Ramiro shared a bit of his experience in the Miami International Airport:

Seriously… AA does not have an airplane for the flight to Tampa. You’d think they would have thought of that.  And you’d think AA staff would be sheepishly apologetic instead of aggressively obnoxious when passengers inquire as to when we’re leaving. But this is AA, and logic and common sense are not a valued currency.

Good luck Ramiro.

Several flights I didn’t have time to post… here you go…

January 24, 2010

Monday 1/18
Albany to Cincinnati on Delta #6063 connecting to Cincinnati to Milwaukee on Delta #4443

The flights were uneventful. Both were regional jets which aren’t the most comfortable air craft but the crews were courteous and there were no obnoxious passengers to deal with. Spent a lot of time on the second flight talking to a banker dude who travels a lot for work. Just before takeoff he was on the phone making all sorts of kissy-face sounds. I was like please let that be for his kids. It was. Nice guy dealing with the pressures of the road. I do have to ask what the deal is in the Cincinnati airport where the map directs you to a Starbucks but you get there and Starbucks doesn’t exist. Bummer.

On a sidenote, I stayed at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee which was fabulous. It is a real old school hotel that has a beautiful charm about it. And, room service is open 24 hours. The burger was awesome and the wine by the glass list was excellent.

Tuesday, January 18
Milwaukee to Charlotte on US Airways #3633 connecting to Charlotte to Tampa on US Airways #907

Had a one hour meeting in Milwaukee that went well. Got to the airport, changed from my suit to jeans, grabbed a cup of java and got to the gate in time to get some work done. Boarded on time, took off on time, landed on time – all of which I was grateful for as I had a 40 minute layover. Unfortunately it took the ground crew 15 minutes to get the gate-checked bags. When I got inside the E terminal I realized my flight was at a B gate – just about as far away as you could get. I sprinted through the terminals and got to my gate as they were announcing final boarding. The snotty gate agent was like, “Do you think you are going to Tampa today?” “Yeah dude, I think I am considering your door is open and the line is still running down the jetway.”

Thursday, January 20
Don’t remember my flights but it was an early morning one on United from Tampa to Chicago, and then a 1:24ish flight from Chicago to Albany

Went from Tampa back to the midwest for a quick meeting. I was so glad I went – on the early morning flight I was questioning the decision to rise at 4am and fly 3 hours for an hourlong meeting but it was well worth it. And, in a rare moment of air travel serendipity, I got to premier check-in at O’Hare at 12:35 for my 6:30 pm flight. The ticket agent let me know that the gate was right behind security. I changed flights, secured my upgrade, raced through premier security, sat down, and took off. I landed at 4:10pm and was home by 5. Quite unusual. But perfect.

Tampa to LGA | Delta #2715 | Seat 13C (01/13/10)

January 16, 2010

This chilly Tampa morning started out well, and it ended well too. But in between was a surprise.

Shane and I got our car service at 5am, got to the airport in a half hour, breezed through security, short line at Starbucks and even had time to charge laptop batteries before boarding. I was relieved that everything was going so smoothly as I foolishly planned meetings starting a half hour after landing and running straight through the day. We boarded early, pulled away from the gate, and then stopped on the tarmac.

It turns out that the wings were covered with frost and Tampa doesn’t have de-icing equipment. The pilot comes on and alerts us that we can’t take off due to frost, there is no equipment to de-ice, and so the idea is to park the plane with the wings pointed to the sun and wait for the sun to rise and melt the ice. Are you kidding me? It was 6:50 and sunrise is around 7:25, plus melting time, and damn we were delayed. I knew it would be a while when the flight attendants started serving water and coffee. You know when they bring the coffee pot out that you are sitting for a while.

Ok, it wasn’t’t the pilot’s fault, nor Delta’s. So we sat and waited. And waited. And then the sun came up. And that is when I got nervous. Because the pilot came out to look out the window to see if the frost was dissipating. Ummm, is it just me or shouldn’t there be a more technical method of assessing our readiness to takeoff? I mean, I trust the pilot and all, but looking out the window? I wasn’t particularly confident in that plan.

Anyway, around 8am we were cleared for takeoff and off we went. The flight was pleasant and the crew very attentive. And, kudos to Delta for the frequent announcements and sincere hospitality while we waited. I missed my first two appointments but that happens and I fit them both in later in the day.

Miami to LGA | American forgot flight # | 4E (1/7)

January 8, 2010

I was supposed to head to Milwaukee last night but unfortunately the big storm in the midwest caused the airline to cancel my flight around noon. So, I redirected back to NYC via American Airlines. I had heard that security at MIA was a mess so I practically just upped and left my meeting to make sure I had plenty of time at the airport. Turns out there were no lines to check-in and security was quick and efficient. Nice job TSA.

After touring terminal D I finally got to terminal E, grabbed a coffee, and got ready to board. The guy sitting next to me in American first was interesting, very interesting. He was all pimped out wearing a wide pinstripe suit, fuscia argyle socks, driving loafers, a bright pink shirt, a floral tie and blinged out glasses. He used more product in his hair yesterday than I’ll use all month. He was perfectly lovely as evidenced by his heartfelt apology when he spilled his coffee on my suit. 🙂 I was trying to figure out what he did for work and was surprised to learn that he works for a very big and very corporate investment bank. Just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by the cover.

Anyway, more importantly, I was starving. I was hoping that we’d get a meal since it was a 3 hour flight and not a basket of crap like they serve on US Air. I had a choice between a cobb salad with chicken or a burger. I took the burger and i have to say that it was awesome. Like, charbroiled, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles – awesome. Like, if i were in a pub right now, i would order that burger. Suffice it to say I devoured the whole thing, and two glasses of wine, and yes, i’ll admit it, the warm toffee cookie. Nice job American.

Landed without incident, got my bags quickly, and headed out. No more flights until…Monday.

Albany to Charlotte | US Air #1809 | seat 3F connecting to Charlotte to Albany | US Air #1839 | seat 7D (Jan 5)

January 7, 2010

After all the hub-bub about security over the holidays, I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the TSA staff at the Albany airport on Tuesday morning. I was not so pleased with the people who don’t travel often and showed up HOURS early and therefore created unnecessarily long lines.

The flight from Albany to Charlotte was fine, and the flight from Charlotte to Miami was fine too. However, I had to wait 50!?! minutes for my bag at Miami International Airport. BOO HOO to the US Airways ground crew – that was a pathetic performance.