Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Longest Day

I have just landed in Tokyo... not really sure what day it is. And I still have another 3 hour flight to Okinawa.

Here's what I wrote while airborne:

According to my little readout, I am at 34,000 feet, cruising at a ground speed just below 500 miles per hour, over the frozen tundra of Alberta, Canada.

My day started at 5am, eastern time. They say get to the airport two hours early for international flights. I’m sure they were doing something important behind the scenes, but I was through security and at gate D11 by 6:10, for an 8:02 flight.

As I wrote earlier, I do enjoy flying. I do not enjoy the complete lack of customer care that comes from the airlines. And it’s not just the big things, like lost luggage, sitting on the tarmac for hours on end, being shuffled from one gate to another. It’s the little things too.

Flight number one for me today was on United Airlines to Chicago. We boarded, and it wasn’t even close to being a full plane. As the flight attendants did their preflight scurrying, I asked one if I could move up to the emergency exit row. I have long legs, and I’m more than willing to be the man who kicks people in the ass if their too slow jumping through the emergency hatch while the cabin is on fire.

The guy told me no, no I couldn’t. It seems that United now charges people extra to sit in that row. I understand that there is a premium economy class on United. Pay $40 extra and you get a few extra inches for your legs. They have a special section.

I didn’t know that the cheap mother fuckers were now charging people to sit by the escape hatch. I thought the responsibility of all of those lives would weigh heavily enough on my shoulders, and that would be the burden I’d carry in return for not having my knees forced back into my chin.

Update… we just cranked up the speed a notch… we’re doing 512mph.

Now I am on flight two. Air Nippon from Chicago to Tokyo.

On this one I am in the exit row and it’s glorious. I couldn’t touch the wall in front of me if I wanted to. No one else is in my row, I have my own little video screen on the arm of my chair. It’s great.

I just finished Casino Royale. I think he’s the coolest Bond in a long time. Some of the movie was a little, well, not so good, but whatever. I’m on a 13 hour flight. There will come a point where I’ll be willing to watch Barney episodes.

I was saddened a bit by the meal we just had. No airline sushi. It was sweet and sour fish, noodles, salad and a cup of Haagen Daz. Yes, I know, it’s better than anything US Airways will ever serve, but come on, I want maki.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Soo glad to know it's about money and not about who might actually be capable of getting you out the emergency exit in an emergency. You just gave me another reason to eat cake the days I fly.

Have a great time with your friend (this is that trip, right?)!