Posts Tagged ‘Airports’

Planes, trains, and automobiles, again

I never really make it simple, do I? I started yesterday with a car ride to the Caltrain to the hotel shuttle. Today, I took the hotel shuttle to SFO, VirginAmerica to JFK, AirTrain to Jamaica Station, the E line subway to Lexington, the 6 line subway to Grand Central Station. Wish I’d had time to take photos, but I only had five minutes to buy a ticket and hop on the Metro North train to Bridgeport and then switch to the Waturbury train. There, I’ll hopefully be driven to tonight’s accomodations, or food. Food would be good right now.

Just to make it more complicated, I’m not taking the same way home.

Fly VirginAmerica

Always looking for my new favorite airline, I’m finally trying out VirginAmerica today. I’m on a direct flight from SFO to JFK. I was excited to find out that they use the International Terminal at SFO, since I do love that terminal.

Next was the boarding pass. I like to use the kiosks at the airport. It is the whole reason that I love e-tickets; I never forget my ticket at home. The ticket I received is 4 inches by 3 inches and only contains the most pertinent information and a bar code. It was sweet and simple, and just something small, but it made me smile.

Since VirginAmerica charges its coach class passengers $20 to check a bag, I packed in my carry-on bag. But I was grateful when I arrived at the gate and was offered to have my bag checked for free. This was a necessity due to the number of bags in the waiting area.

As a result of the checked carry-on bags, they loaded the plane first with first class passengers and passengers with children under 5. Then they invited everyone who had only under-the-seat bags. Brilliant! I didn’t have to wait for all the people trying to jam their luggage in the overhead compartments. I was grateful!

On the plane, I enjoyed the mood lighting. I felt like I was going into a club, but it was difficult to see which direction the electrical outlet aligned, and it didn’t work the first six times I tried plugging it in. But the fact that I have an electrical outlet at all is fabulous! And today, thanks to Google, we have free wifi.

The entertainment system is pretty cool. I feel like there are fewer tv stations than on JetBlue, but I like how VirginAmerica has the remote control inset into the arm so that I don’t change the channel and the volume with my elbow. And the entertainment system has a bunch of other features, including onboard chat, which I have not been using. Maybe I should be. Is there a dating chat room?

Although the design is better with the VirginAmerica seats, the outlets being on the back of the seat next to the tv was more convenient on Singapore Airlines. Sometimes form and function don’t play nice together.

Just like JetBlue, I love the leather seats. Warm, and easy to see if the previous occupant spilled something. I think that JetBlue has more legroom though.

Overall? I’ll probably still fly JetBlue most of the time because I can catch flights out of San Jose, but VirginAmerica is a viable alternative.

JetBlue, please give me back SJC to BOS direct flights when the new terminal is done, okay? Pretty please! I do love T5 in JFK, but I’d rather just get home.

I’m making a comeback

I met a nice AA pilot on the shuttle to the airport. Told him I didn’t know how he flies constantly. I’m tired already. Wished him an uneventful flight to Orlando.

The smallest bill I had was a five, so I over-tipped the shuttle driver. He had been very smiley and nice to me, and he is working on a holiday, so it was worth it. And to make up for under-tipping the shuttle driver last night. Also, I’m hoping to rebalance my karma points today.

Bought a croissant and some vitamin water to subdue my angry stomach. I probably should have bought snacks for the flight. Hrm.

I witnessed an amazing sunrise this morning. ‘Nuff said.

When I arrived at the gate, I heard the voice of god asking people to check their carry-on bags. In exchange, I was allowed to board immediately after first class. This could be a win or lose depending on how long I have to wait at baggage claim and whether the time spent causes me to miss the train to CT. But that adds a little excitment to the day, don’t you think?

I was going to say I’d be offline for a few hours, but I just remembered this flight has wifi. I’m still uncertain as to whether that is a win or lose as well.

The sky is falling!

I was watching Fox News for a few minutes. Forced to watch because it is on a tv in the bar area near where the continental breakfast is being served. And when it is on, it is hard to look away. Kind of like a train wreck. I can’t watch the news at all anymore because all of the news networks, including MSNBC, CNBC, and CNN make me feel like the sky is constantly falling. I’m so much happier not watching cable news.

But that is where I saw that flights are being cancelled today. If I were to believe Fox News, I’d continue to believe that all flights are grounded today. For the minute that Fox News was talking about this event, I started wondering if my flight on Sunday was going to be cancelled, how long I’d be stuck in NY, and how I would eventually get home. What a disaster! Then I came to my senses and read the internet. According to the NYTimes, the computer glitch is mainly affecting AirTran and now Delta in the Atlanta airport. That does cause delays in other airports flying to or from Atlanta, but my flight from SJC to NYC probably would have been fine. Phew. The sky isn’t falling today.

Then there was a teaser for the next disastrous news story. The guy reading the news (do these people do any reporting at all or are they just pretty faces that read whatever someone puts in front of them?) started talking about a hostage situation at a Target in Florida. But the picture showed a caption that said TJ Maxx. And I began to wonder if I had misheard him or if he had misspoke.

Either way, it made me think about last night when I was helping a sixth grader with his homework. He had to find five facts on the internet to support his argument. I didn’t realize how hard it is to explain to kids the difference between fact and opinion. And the eighth grader kept getting sucked into reading comments and taking them as facts. I joke that if it is on the internet it must be true. But I realize now that I have become adept at separating fact from opinion. I forget that this is a skill, not something that is obvious to everyone.

It also explains why people have a hard time understanding satire.

NYC

I left JFK Airport for the first time ever!

I’m scared of NYC. I’ve been here once or twice, but never flew in and never tried to take public transportation. I’ve been to the airport too many times to count. And I love coming here to JetBlue’s T5.

At 7 am, I dragged my drowsy ass off the plane. I followed signs for the AirTrain. I arrived at Jamaica Station. I bought a ticket for the LIRR, but I forgot to buy a ticket to get me out of the AirTrain. Same problems I have in SF sometimes.

I boarded the train to Penn Station moments before the door closed. I lucked out because it was an express.

I did miss the 8 am train to Albany, but it gave me time to get a NY style bagel from Zaro’s. I’m not thrilled. The cream cheese just seems lacking. Otherwise, it seems just like the bagels I get at work, only more expensive.

So here I sit in the waiting area. Women keep glaring at me because wearing boots and a heavy sweater was a little too much, so I took off the sweater. In the middle of NY where everyone is bundled up, i’m just wearing a tank top. I considered taking off the sweater when I was on the train and holding onto a pole. Thought a Wednesday morning strip tease might be in order, but it didn’t seem sexy to take off a bulky sweater.

Posted from my iPhone

And I’m off

N and I polished off a fabulous bottle of wine, then went out for mexican. Now I’m boarding a plane for NYC.

Just between you and me and the Internet, I’m ready to sleep.

I hope this is my plane…

Posted from my iPhone

Off to Dallas

I’m headed to Dallas for a wedding. I’m one of those crazy people who takes the 6:20 am flights, so I’ve been up since 3 am. I was a little confused when my alarm clock went off, but other than going to bed at 8 pm on a Friday night, it’s not so bad. Of course it would have been better if I had packed before going to bed. Oh well.

I am looking forward to taking a nice nap on the plane!

Posted from my iPhone

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