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Friday, June 22, 2007

Daymare of Airline Travel

I awoke this morning at 4:40 AM EST, in light of catching my 7:29 flight from La Guardia (LGA) to Detroit Metropolitan (DTW), via NorthWest Airlines (NWA). After awaking from my zombie-like state (I am not a morning person and less so at 4 AM), I checked my cellphone. On it was a message from Singapore (apparently NWA's office), informing me that my flight was canceled. Originally, I was to arrive in Detroit at approximately 9:30 AM EST. My new flight, took off about four and a half hours after my initial flight and now included a three hour layover in Albany. My ETA changed from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. The delay was large enough for me to actually show up to work and do approximately 3 hours of work before setting on my way to the airport. On the way I was extremely envious of this guy :

Thankfully I had a really good driver, who fought for every second of time to get me there. I was at the airport with over an hour to spare. While going through the security check and ultimately ending up with the more thorough check, I notice Brook Shields was getting the star treatment. She had quite a large entourage consisting of 2 kids (1 in hand and 1 on back), a nanny, a guy carrying stuff (looked like FBI or CIA) and a few more people. I got a little distracted by the guy padding me down. Sorry. She looked good and thankfully there was no sign of her archnemesis, Tom. I think, however, I might have sensed his presence, but maybe it was just the lack of coffee.

Having arrived at the airport and now playing the waiting game, I decided to get some food. While awaiting for my sandwich, I realized there are a lot of hardcore alcoholics awake at 10:30 AM on a Friday. The guy next to me order a SoCo neat and a beer. Also, coincidentally the gentleman behind me at the security check, had 3 Johnny Walker Black Label.

This was followed by a bizarre array of CNN stories :
  • A girl had her feet severed on the Great Adventure Superman ride.
  • A South American airline has not resorted to swimsuit models on the plane, to boost revenue.
  • At the Padres/Orioles game it started raining money. Apparently a patron threw it in the air and ultimately got ejected from the stadium (baseball cracks down on anyone throwing anything on the field).
  • Only in Texas. A building full of 3000 pounds of marijuana burned down. The firefighters themselves apparently were quite "toasty." According to the Chief, the "blaze" was so intense and the firefighters inhaled so much "smoke", that they would have failed a drug test.
After lunch I entered the dual engine propeller airplane, with 26 passengers in total (29 counting the stewardess and the pilots). This was my view for approximately an hour and a half (we got stuck on the runway for at least 30 minutes and I passed out shortly upon my sitting) :

Albany was Albany. Not very interesting. Sorry Albany. My connecting flight was delayed by 30 minutes, but we gained the time back in the air. My arrival was in Detroit was uneventful except for the lady getting on the AVIS bus. Apparently she took offense to my not helping her and just getting on the bus. I didn't feel the need to help a woman who was physically my equal or greater. She's adult enough to help herself. The car I was given was a friendly surprise. It was a Hyundai Elantra sedan, complete with earphone-auxiliary-in (perfect for my iPod) and even included a moon roof. I am still a big fan of Honda, but I have a new appreciation for the Korean zoom-zoom vehicle.

I arrived at my destination approximately nine and a half hours after the original agenda. The delay was apparently due to the sixty degree, partly cloudy conditions in Detroit or the sixty eight degree and sunny conditions in New York. Take your pick. The airlines are out of control. If I paid you for a service in advance and then I didn't perform the pre-paid service for another 9 hours (from the designated time), what would you do? You would probably fire me and demand your money back. What do the airlines do? George Carlin called it customer service. Look it up. It involves bending over and taking whats coming to you. I can't wait for a new technology to come along and put these airline cartels out of business. I eagerly await it.

Having arrived at the Westin, this was my moment of Zen :

Strangely enough, this is not only the view from the 11th floor, but also the reason why I was in Motown. I need the rest now. See you back in the Big Apple, Big Apple.


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