Our flight was scheduled for 725AM and I booked the car service for 6:00AM.
We made it, but I should have gone for an earlier pick-up. Totally my fault. I just didn’t want to get up that early.
The upshot was me being even tenser than usual. Probably a bit of hunger as well. Anxiety + Hunger. Never a good combination. My hands were already shaking when we checked in. The computer was having trouble reading my passport and I was getting freaked out that there might be something wrong with our tickets, especially since I had to exchange them from the canceled trip last August. Luckily there was a nice lady from Continental there to help me push buttons and get the check-in done.
We got through to the gate in time for boarding, but it was good news, and as someone who’s always making my clients leave earlier than they want to, I should have known better.
The real punishment started on the plane. Absolutely miserable. Itsy bitsy seats. Price-gouging for food and Direct-TV, all of which I refused to pay as a protest. I was also pissed because I’d gone to the trouble of booking aisle and window seats so someone else would be the poor bastard in the center seat and Continental changed them so I was the boor bastard in the center. Two words: FUCK DEREGULATION!
A somewhat contradictory position for me. Deregulation democratized the industry, making cheap air travel possible for the masses. It also ruined the experience. This is one of those cases where I’m both a statist and an elitest. Or I’m just an old fuddy-duddy who wants back an era where air travel had a certain amount of glamour attached and being a stewardess was a desirable job, and the seats had actual leg room because the airlines didn’t have to jam as many people as possible on the plane to try and make a profit at discounted rates.
So five hours of extreme discomfort, drifting in and out of consciousness, and feeling incredibly cramped and muscle-kinked. Very rough landing at Newark. I didn’t puke, but I was hyperventilating into the bag, with my tummy feeling very bad the whole time.
Then we had a FOUR HOUR LAYOVER at Newark because I was paranoid that we might have a delay out of San Francisco and need the extra time to make the connection. This turned out not to be the case, but we made the most out of it. Nice long walk around the terminal to de-kink the legs and case the dining possibilities. We settled on Gallagher’s Steakhouse. OK Food, horrific prices. Not just tourist food prices, but “Where else you gonna go?” prices. I had chicken instead of steak and I was carrying an orange to help me fend off the lure of a Dunkin’ Doughnuts. Luckily there was no Cinnabon at Newark Airport. (Or if there was, I didn’t see it.)