Posts Tagged ‘Albany’

To Orlando and Back via Tampa

February 4, 2010

I flew to Tampa last Thursday, January 28th, on Delta 8174 from LGA to TPA to meet my client and then we drove to Orlando. Middle seat and the flight was delayed. Oh well.

Spent 6 days in Orlando with my client for their big annual customer education event. Yesterday we drove back from Orlando to Tampa and I flew from Tampa to Albany on Southwest #3943. The flight was fairly empty and i had an empty middle seat next to me. Landed early which was awesome after being away for six days.

When I get some energy in the next day or so I’ll post about how the lack of magic at Disney.

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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, FL – Washington, DC (IAD) | United 7506 | #8A connecting to IAD – Albany, NY | United 7950 | #18B

May 9, 2008

Felix was nice enough to run my last two sessions at WOMM-U today so I could leave early and get home before Maddie was out of school for the weekend. I’m glad I could do this given I’ve been on the road for 12 days.

The day started uneventfully enough, I got up, showered, and got myself to the airport without incident. Then the fun started when I learned that my changed ticket hadn’t actually been ticketed. So, between negotiating with the ticketing agent and the corporate travel office, I lost about 45 minutes. Luckily the flight was delayed by 45 minutes or I wouldn’t have made it. I have to give a special thanks to Jorge Maldonado, the Miami-based gate agent who was very helpful, had a great sense of humor, and went above and beyond the call of duty.

I wish the airlines realized how much the experience in the airport influences a consumer’s choice of airline (at least this consumer anyway.) United is in the new J terminal at the Miami airport and let me tell you, it is a ghost town over there. There is a randomly placed food court with crappy coffee that took a while to find. And, don’t even try to find a healthy option for breakfast. Does anyone really eat those greasy pre-packaged muffins? I couldn’t find cereal other than Apple Jacks, and there wasn’t a piece of fresh fruit to be found. Of course, had I wanted a tuna on rye at 8am I would have been good to go.

The flight itself was fine. I like the Embraer 170 regional aircraft as there are no middle seats and there is more legroom than on a 737, for example. They even have 6 seats in first, but they aren’t worth the cost / miles for an upgrade. Five thousand miles for an extra package of pretzels, and coffee before we take off.  No thanks. The landing was interesting on this flight – DC was highly cloudy with a lot of rain. It was one of those landings that you are in the middle of the clouds one moment, and then because of how low the clouds are, you are practically on the ground as soon as you come out of them. I always find that jarring, but the pilots did a great job of landing the plan safely.

I landed in the D terminal and had to cut across to the C terminal at Dulles which is an easy trek. Despite my plane being late I had time for a cup of java at Starbucks and a magazine at Borders. The airport experience in Dulles was much better than Miami.

The connecting flight from Dulles to Albany was fine. I got in on time, baggage claim was quick, and I was on my way.

Washington, DC (IAD) – Albany, NY | Flight #7902 | Seat 11B

April 4, 2008

I was connecting through IAD on my way from DFW to Albany. I had about an hour and 20 minutes to kill, and made the critical mistake of not plotting my path through the airport before setting off from my arrival gate to my departure gate.  My flight came in to the new United terminal at IAD where they have nice shops and nice restaurants. My flight was leaving from the old terminal B where they have no shops and crappy restaurants.

Yet, i got to terminal B full of optimism for my trip home. With 40 minutes to spare I went to find something to eat. There were lots of pizza places, but I decided on Cosi as I was in the mode for soup and their pannini can be tasty. Never did I expect it to be so difficult, or take so long to order soup and a sandwich. It went something like this:

I said, “Hi. Can I have a cup of soup?”

“Soup?” questioned the attendant. “Yes, soup,” I said, to which I was greeted with a blank stare as though I were ordering a foreign delicacy.

“You know, broth with vegetables or other stuff floating around? Soup!” I shared, trying to be helpful.

The clerk answered, “what kind of soup?”  “The soup on the sign,” I answered, referring to the tomato basil soup listed.

He answered, “We don’t have that soup.” “Ok, what do you have?” “I don’t know.” “Can you check?” “Can you just order a sandwich?” was his closing remark.

I was so stunned that I ordered a sandwich. Which, incidentally, he got wrong.  And served cold, despite it being a grilled sandwich that I asked for. Man, I am picky.

Anyway, back to the flying part of the adventure, gates B3 and B4 at IAD are run kind of like bus stations for regional and/or shuttle service between Dulles and other locations. They were boarding flights to LaGuardia, Newark, White Plains, Albany, and a few other places all at once. It was quite impressive. Those guys are on a schedule. Don’t you dare even sneeze unless you ask first. Due to my soup dilemma I was still eating my mystery sandwich when they boarded my flight. “If you are traveling to Albany, please get ready. We will board and close this flight in 7 minutes.” So, I started chewing faster. After about three minutes they announce, “Final boarding call for Albany. At the conclusion of this announcement we will close the flight in one minute and twenty-three seconds.” Not one minute. Not two minutes. One minute and 23 seconds.  I believed them, chucked the sandwich and boarded my flight.

The flight itself was uneventful. We left a few minutes late but landed right on time. Baggage claim in Albany delivered the bags in about 10 minutes – that is a great performance for an 11:30pm landing at a small airport. Over and out for me until Monday when I head to Chicago…