Thursday, September 29, 2005

Airplane woes

Things that always get to me when I am traveling on business:

1. Drive like crazy to get to LAX to catch the 4 PM back home but the 4 PM is almost always delayed as A)the pilot did not get enough sleep or B)he is delayed at Vegas.

2. The 2 PM flight out of LAX is a Boeing 777 which is usually more than half-empty. The 4 PM and 6 PM "carry-on critical" flights(there are so many people on board that there's not enough space to store eveyone's carry-on bags) are small Airbus 319s. And then I wonder why they have to go to bankruptcy court once every 5 years or so.

3. One would think the logical way to board a plane would be to start from the last rows and move forward. But how does United board? Premiers, Premier Execs and 1K passengers first and total pandemonium reigns as these people are seated all over the place. Why the hell would I want to board first anyway? Why would I choose to sit in a claustrophobic cabin and watch other people board for the next half-hour?

4. At the last possible minute, right before they close the aircraft door, a gentleman rushes in with the sole purpose of taking the empty middle seat next to me.

5. The gentleman in question is not Gael Garcia Bernal. Neither does he look like Gael Garcia Bernal.

6. My food choices are either McDonalds at the terminal or buy-on-board snack packs. I end up choosing the latter but almost always end up regretting it. United offers four different kinds of snack-packs on board - Jumpstart, Minimeal, Quickpick and Funpack. Yesterday's Minimeal had salami, parmesan cheesespread, Milano cookies and potato chips. Go figure.

7. There are only two kinds of movies in this world - ones that are made for airline entertainment and the ones that are not. Yesterday' movie - The Longest Yard.

8. And finally, the battery life of my IBM Thinkpad T40 is miraculously cut short by half while I am on a plane!

Yesterday's silver lining - Philip Roth's The Plot Against America is out in paperback and I picked it up at LAX. Ended up reading couple of chapters - very interesting.

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