A Year in Flight

Having spent most of 2008 flying, after a multi-year hiatus, I thought I’d recap a few events from this year.

  • Delta managed to not strand me anywhere. I was late, sometimes very late, but I never got stuck anywhere.
  • I was unintentionally mooned by a passenger going through security in the Atlanta Airport.
  • I saw multiple people trying to bring huge cans of hairspray through security and generally acting clueless.
  • I saw a woman drop her bag off at the end of the jet way. This is common on regional jets because the overhead bins are so small. It’s typically called something like “Plane side vallet”. In this case though, the plane was 767.
  • I’ve seen Delta flight attendants stuff returning soldiers with free drinks, usher them off of planes first, give them first class seats ahead of medallion members and lead planes in claps and cheers. Now don’t get me wrong, the soldiers deserve all of that an more. Delta should just publish that there’s a medallion level Green (or maybe camo?) above Platinum and that the requirement to join is getting shot at. That being the case, I’ll happily keep my gold status.
  • Flights to Orlando are just are just as full, just as overbooked and have just as many kids as last January, but many of the planes are smaller.
  • Given the things we do to rental cars, don’t every buy a used one. Can you say “Smoky Burnouts”?
  • Medallion status is good for getting your bag on the plane with you. Anything else you get is gravy.
  • The difference between Gold and Silver medallion is that instead of being number 30 on the upgrade list with 2 open first class seats, you move into the mid teens.
  • Avis in Charlotte is consistently screwed up. Actually, most of Charlotte travel is screwed up.
  • Fly Clear in Atlanta is still a huge work in progress.
  • You can put six days of clothes in a 21 inch roller board and carry it on.
  • Exit row seats often have more leg room and less padding. Not sure what’s up with that but some days its a wicked tradeoff.
  • You know you travel to much when 2 different hotels send you personalized greeting cards signed by all the staff.
  • Diamond Status with Hilton is sweet.
  • It kind of bites when you hit the highest level of a reward program. There’s nothing to shoot for.

Merry Christmas to all. I’m done traveling until January.