Friday, June 15, 2012

Travel Day: Zig Zag Coast to Coast

This journey to the east coast consisted of 3 flight segments that took me to 3 different United Airlines hubs: San Francisco, Washington Dulles, and Newark. I think the journey was about 11.5 hours long. Of course, there are nonstop flights between Orange County and Newark, but when I was booking it was about $300 more for the nonstop. In retrospect, it might have been better, but $300 is a lot of money to save. Besides, I wasn't in a hurry. The first flight was a United Express flight to SFO and I sat in the exit row with tons of room--probably more than first class has. 

This was the standard flight up the California coast. The normal path is to takeoff from SNA and fly straight out to Catalina Island, then hang a right toward the bay area. We flew right over Monterey and into SFO. Once we landed I went to the food court in the United terminal to eat dinner. It was about 9:00pm by this point. I had Chinese dim sum and Hong Kong style pan fried noodles. Yummy. 
My next flight to Washington Dulles was a redeye flight and it was packed to the gills. That flight had a series of little delays of 10-20 minutes. We ended up leaving about 45 minutes late but it wouldn't affect my connecting flight. Once again I sat in the exit row and it was a long 5 hour flight. I don't sleep well on planes especially when the person next to me was a very tall man whose broad shoulders crept into my personal space. I actually fell asleep before we took off and the revving of the engines on takeoff woke me up. I didn't even try to stay up to watch the movie or anything. I knew that daylight would soon arrive. The guy next to me passed out and would shake himself awake everyone now and then which would wake me up. In fairness, I'm sure I did the same thing too. That's what happens when you are sleeping in a seated position and your head dips. So that made for a long flight. Even though I was able to stretch my legs I was quite uncomfortable during most of the flight. Oh well. We landed around 8:00am to a muggy Virginia morning. 
My connecting flight was about 3 gates down and I only had about 40 minutes to spare because of our delay. Whilst waiting at the gate I witnessed two different people melting down. One guy was on the phone with someone and he was yelling so loudly and he was clearly being yelled at because he could barely get a word in. Whoever he was talking to was ripping him a new one. It was really uncomfortable to witness. Then a lady at my gate was upset with the gate agent because her flight left. She was sitting in a gate area 1 gate away and never heard any announcements or anything. The gate agent was quite loud and insisted that he made the announcements. He kept saying to the woman, "the plane is pulling out and I can't stop it, it's leaving." He sent her to customer service which was across the way. I felt badly for her because I have been in the position of watching my plane pull away while I arrive at the gate. Not a nice feeling at all. 
The flight from Dulles to Newark was 45 minutes long. I slept the entire time. It was on a little regional jet and I sat on the side with only 1 seat. It was nice. Little did I know that I was on the plane and my luggage was not. I wouldn't discover this until I arrived in Newark Terminal A, which is a dump. It looks the same as it did when they built it circa 1960. It has the smallest hallways and low ceilings and it really needs to be torn down. Compared to the main United Terminal C, it is a disgrace. When I discovered that my bag didn't make it, I filed a report with the luggage office. So it was really nice to not have anything to change into or have any toiletries. Thankfully I wasn't going to a hotel and I was going to my friend's house where at least I could take a shower and wear someone else's clothes until my bag arrived. After an entire night of calling and checking the status of the bag online, it arrived 23 hours after the fact. 
I'm on the east coast for 10 days and I truly hope that my return flight is much less eventful than this one was. 

No comments:

Post a Comment