Direct flight from RDU departing at roughly 7:00pm. I boarded Zone 5 which is like the lowest of the low. I’d never seen a Zone 5 until this flight. I thought Zone 4 was the bottom. By Zone 5 you can count the people remaining on one hand.
As previously noted, there were empty seats on the plane, which was a saving grace being the last to board. I can’t recall the last time I flew with empty seats. Sure sign this flight will eventually be eliminated.
Smooth flight, but zero free food and I’m not paying for what they are offering. Flight had GoGo inflight Wi-Fi, but as well all know its terribly slow, restricted on access and WAY overpriced. I sign-up only to find that what I really needed to do, I could not (those pesky restrictions).
Landed an hour early (yeah!), but got stuck on tarmac for 45 minutes (boo!). American Airlines aka US Air could not find a gate. Furiously slamming AA on twitter and getting nothing but lip service (expected, but what could they really do?).
Somewhere around 10:15ish I take a taxi straight to the hotel (about an hour’s ride for an ungodly amount of money). Taxi driver asked if the open windows in his van were an issue? After 5 hours in a plane, what do you think?
Check in at hotel and subsequently crash in the room. It’s a sealed box, which I abhor, but otherwise not bad. Scan in-room dining offerings but the selection and the cost turns my stomach. Forget food. Email and such until midnight (or 3am east coast time). Nice 22 hour day.
Up early the next day answering email since everyone on east cost has already been at it for three hours. Shower has two options. Cold and scald. Breakfast of protein bar and Gatorade.
Step from hotel over to the convention center into issues, problems and scrambling (setting up equipment for a trade show, which is the purpose of this trip). Mid-afternoon its back to the hotel for a quick lunch of fair to bad pizza (wow, it’s a nice day outside).
Return to convention center. Resolution to most problems, but held hostage by electricians (partial power in one booth). While waiting its back to hotel for Gatorade (severely dehydrated). By 7:30ish all problems resolved. Everyone happy. Call it a day.
I should mention that the hotel and convention center are separated by about 100 feet.
Dinner? Aware of the in-room dining options I settle for another Gatorade and a protein bar. More emailing and such. Bed about 9pm west coast time.
Up at 5:30am to head home. Left hotel at 6am, but even so the trip to LAX took 90 minutes due to traffic. How LA folks manage it everyday I do not know. Breakfast of another protein bar and Gatorade. Believe me, it was the best option available.
Oh, there was ONE, I repeat ONE power outlet in the entire terminal area. It was occupied by a computer nerd zoned out under oversized headphones and a woman wearing way too high heels for traveling.
Two hours of checking email and such before flight.
Flight home was uneventful and again had empty seats. More expenditure for GoGo. It is so bad, but it’s a monopoly. More email and such for most of the flight until the east coasters hit 5pm and head home.
And that was that. Other than what I saw on the taxi ride to/from the airport, I can’t tell you a thing.
I take that back. My one observation was that it had to be the friendliest place I have visited in quite a while. Strangers smiled. Strangers said hello. Strangers struck up conversations. LA is definitely not New York.