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Chasing The American Dream

May 21, 2007

A DAY (PLUS 2 HOURS) IN THE LIFE

It took me 26 hours to get home from Brussels. Traveling, even if you’re in first class, isn’t easy especially if you’re doing the international thing. But hey, I made it and that’s what counts. Along the way, I noted these observations:
  • Why do people wear sunglasses inside the airport?
  • A guy next to me ate a muffin, put the garbage on the seat next to him, got up, and left. Who does such a thing?
  • I don’t know if Europe’s airport security is any looser than in the U.S., but it’s most definitely faster.
  • Speaking of which, after I trudged through airport security in Miami, a TSA agent was standing behind me in the Dunkin Donuts coffee line. The line was long and we weren’t going anywhere which prompted this pot calling the kettle black quote from the TSA agent, “I can’t believe this line isn’t moving any faster.”
  • What’s the big deal over these elite airport clubs? Crown Room, President’s Club, Admiral’s Club, Diamond Club, blah blah. They make it sound so fancy. It practically takes an FBI investigation to get in these stupid clubs. In Newark, I handed the agent an invitation card issued to me in Brussels. I figured I’d give them the card and that would be that. Just ahead of me, two guys were denied access. They ONLY had first class domestic tickets instead of first class international tickets. I don’t know of any first class ticket you can buy for under a thousand dollars. But you can’t get in the President’s Club for that? Anyway, the agent took my card and asked me if I had an international leg on my flight. “Yes.” Not good enough. “Where,” she asked. “Brussels,” I said. And now I’m thinking, what good is the invitation card if I can’t get in?May I see your ID,” she demanded. For crying out loud. OK, I understand if I’m at will call picking up Broadway tickets or football tickets, but what are they protecting here? She finally let me in. You know what they had in there? Cheese, fruit, crackers, chips, and a bar. Big deal. People pay hundreds of dollars for that? I guess to most, the bar is the big deal but I’m not really interested in getting plastered before I board a plane so that I can throw up. Oh sure, there are comfy chairs, a TV, and magazines no one’s ever heard of. And there is free wireless, but nowadays, isn’t the whole airport wireless? OH OH! I just figured it all out. Mystery solved. The reason for paying big bucks for a bunch of nothing, iron clad security to get in the place, and the real reason for these clubs being so popular. It has its own bathroom, and it’s 50% cleaner than the public ones in the terminal. I change my mind. It’s worth all the fuss.
  • How come when they announce pre-boarding for first class, all 300 passengers at the gate get up and stand in line?
  • You get silverware in first class, right? But did you know you get three knives, three forks, and a spoon? Even in the finest restaurants, I’ve never gotten so many utensils.
  • My mixed nuts selection consisted of 100% cashews.
  • Flight attendants in first class smile a lot more than in coach.
  • I don’t think first class food tastes any better than coach. It just looks better and the selections are fancier.
  • In first class, the video equipment and seat are so difficult to operate, by the time you figure it out, the flight is over.
  • Want to know the definition of tired? Observe people in an airport gate waiting for a delayed flight at 2:30 in the morning.

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4 Comments:

  • Izzo - just returned from Brazil. 14 hours (one way) in coach with a screaming baby and a sick cougher (is cougher a word?). Talk about tired.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:52 PM, May 22, 2007  

  • I used to travel often because I was able to travel free (my father was in the airline industry). Normally it was as a stand-by passenger, which was aggravating and nail-biting, but FREE. And sometimes, on a rare occasion, I would get bumped into first class. So when I read this, it took me back to my flying days. I've seen travelers do many a strange things. And my longest flight - 36 hours - was from Miami to Madrid via SOUTH AMERICA. Yes, I know the definition of travel tired.

    Glad to hear you're home :)

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 5:17 PM, May 22, 2007  

  • Ok- I am a flight attendant based in ATL and you would NOT believe the things we see on a daily basis!
    g.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:32 PM, May 24, 2007  

  • I'm about to embark on an international vacation and reading all of this makes me nostalgic for the days when we traveled internationally on a regular basis. I'm SO excited for all the headaches and frustrations that come with it!

    ...oh the memories...

    By Blogger Elle, at 10:51 AM, May 31, 2007  

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