Gone Away / Tags

Airport

3:10 to Yuma: Does someone at American Airlines have a sense of humor?

— I just got a text from a friend who’s waiting for a connecting flight at Sky Harbor Airport here in Phoenix. The flight he’s waiting for is — I’m not kidding — the 3:10 to Yuma. Even though I’ve never read the short story nor seen either of the film adaptions, the reference wasn’t lost on me. It seems someone at American Airlines might have a sense of humor. Furthermore, in case you’re tempted to think the 3:10 departure time to Yuma is merely a coincidence, they went ahead and numbered the flight 3100 too.
Subtle but shameless promotion finally pays off

Subtle but shameless promotion finally pays off

— Most of my traveling bags are of the type with loop-and-hook fasteners for patches. Most people who own bags like these, if they don’t put a “morale” patch of some sort, put a tape with their last names. For several years, I’ve been taking a different approach. I display a patch with the domain name of my blog. Earlier this morning, I began my trip back to Phoenix. While I was waiting for my Chick-fil-A order at the airport in Pittsburgh, a guy introduced himself to me and showed me what was on his phone.
The long journey home from Montpellier is underway

The long journey home from Montpellier is underway

— After fifteen days in Montpellier, France, our long journey home to Phoenix is underway. The upside of getting an early start is not having to rush. The downside is a lot of time spent waiting. We unwittingly arrived at the airport an hour before check-in was scheduled to begin for our flight to Paris. We used the time to enjoy a coffee and the sandwiches Kathryn made us last night from food we otherwise would have had to throw out.
In Paris, waiting for our flight to Montpellier

In Paris, waiting for our flight to Montpellier

— I planned to write a brief status update as we took our seats on the flight from Detroit to Paris, but somehow we ended up in an AT&T dead zone, so I had no access to the internet. The flight was uneventful, other than a bit of turbulence leaving Detroit. Kathryn and I both got a reasonable amount of sleep. The food was edible, a feature of flying Air France. Dinner was chicken with a cream sauce served with polenta something or other.

Flight delayed out of Louisville, prompting a dubious American Airlines “upgrade”

— We’re still in Louisville. Our American Airlines flight to Chicago has been delayed, guaranteeing we’ll miss our connection to Phoenix. There is a later flight to Phoenix, and we were able to get seats on it, so I guess that’s a good thing. However, American Airlines is playing a game they already played with us once on this trip, which is to separate our assigned seats in such a way that one of us has to pay a seat upgrade fee if we want to sit together.
I don’t always drink Starbucks. But when I do, I prefer beer.

I don’t always drink Starbucks. But when I do, I prefer beer.

— I’m not a big fan of Starbucks. However, that was not always the case. About eight years ago, I walked into the Starbucks near my office for the umpteenth time that week and handed over almost $2 for yet another “tall” brewed coffee. I sat in the shop for a little while, trying to be excited about my purchase. As I sipped my plastic-covered paper cup of lukewarm sludge with a quarter-inch of dregs circling the bottom because the barista was too lazy to brew a fresh pot, I asked myself, probably for the first time, “What the hell am I doing here?
The voyage back to Phoenix is underway

The voyage back to Phoenix is underway

— Kathryn and I are sitting at the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire. With the winter weather yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to arrive extra early today. As a result, everything has gone super smoothly. The rental car drop-off took less than a minute, the airline check-in took less than three minutes, and the security checkpoint took less than five minutes. Since we didn’t have much in the way of breakfast before we left Ipswich, we just fired down some fast food.
Patiently mingling with the unwashed masses in Miami

Patiently mingling with the unwashed masses in Miami

— We’re at Miami International Airport, waiting for our flight back to Phoenix. What a shithole. For once, TSA wasn’t the problem at the security checkpoint; it was totally clueless passengers. I mean, signs were posted in nine languages, and it seems like half of traveling public here can’t read any of them. Ugh. On the plus side, we just finished an Asian fast-food dinner that made Panda Express seem upscale, and I’m looking forward to a Cuban coffee.
Waiting in Montevideo for a flight to Miami

Waiting in Montevideo for a flight to Miami

— We’re in the departure area of the airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, waiting for our flight to Miami, which should board within the hour. The security checkpoint seems to have been handled by the Air Force. It was mostly young men who appeared to have a sense of humor. The woman at the immigration desk gave my passport its sixth barely legible stamp in two weeks. I asked about a business class upgrade on this flight, but the cabin is full.

TSA allows passengers through checkpoint without screening

— https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/tsa-jfk-passengers-bypass-security-checkpoint-article-1.2977418 I couldn’t resist sharing a link to this recent news about my favorite three-letter agency. I’m not sure which troubles me more, that the TSA couldn’t be bothered to perform its most basic function, or that such a large part of the traveling public doesn’t recognize the screening is little more than security theater.
Puerto Vallarta: Running the gauntlet at the airport

Puerto Vallarta: Running the gauntlet at the airport

— Prior to our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, I hadn’t arrived in Mexico by air since a 1989 vacation to Ixtapa with my parents. So, in stark contrast to my previous experience, I was pleasantly surprised to see Puerto Vallarta has a clean, modern international airport terminal. Complete with air-conditioned jetways, no less. Although the walk from the plane to the immigration hall was a bit long, the checkpoint was efficient, with passport scanners and barcode readers for the tourist cards.