I’m on my way to Australia (JFK-LAX on United in business; LAX-Auckland-Sydney on Air New Zealand in Premium Economy SpaceSeat; Sydney – Gold Coast on Jetstar in scrunchy class), and I thought I’d share a few thoughts from the first leg of the trip:
– The actor who played Mr. Chow from The Hangover was on my flight with his family. That will probably be the highlight of this trip.
– No, wait, back it up. The highlight of this trip will be the guy who sat in front of my on the train from Penn Station to JFK (well, to Jamaica) and was yapping at full volume to someone about attending (or not attending, in this case) Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Also, he was rather upset about the mooching habits of someone he knows. To wit, “I’m-a make it clear she can’t come to my house and eat my fish every day. Cost me like $80.” That begs more questions than it answers.
– A flight attendant did one of the smallest nicest things for me: I was waiting to use the bathroom, and he called up to the First Class flight attendant and told her to let me come up and use that lavatory. That sounds kinda pathetic when I write it, but at the time it was a very nice small gesture.
– The in-seat power did not work with my MacBook. The purser told me this was a common problem with Macs. I’ve never had this problem with a Mac. Anyone?
– Bloggers can take all the pictures they want of the food they are served on an airplane, but it is still airplane food. The beef, chicken or ravioli were all on par with food that we were served at my Little League Banquet when I was 9. I brought a sandwich from Lenny’s on 84th and Columbus. It was awesome.
– United’s P.S. service is fascinating. It was, if not revolutionary, quite a leap forward when they rolled it out in 2004. Today, it seems very, very dated. The idea is still fantastic, but the seats are old and they hand out DigiPlayers (DigiPlayers!) like it’s, what, 2004? They do have Internet, but I don’t do anything important enough to warrant spending $18 for Internet access (shouldn’t that be free up front?) The staff was great, though. But I’d be pained if I spent $4,000 (?) on a first class ticket and ended up with that seat. It’s like the world has blown by P.S. and they never noticed (or it’s exactly what it’s like to fly American).
– I will not share photos of the Air New Zealand lounge with you, but do know that it’s in LAX Terminal 2, which has virtually nothing to eat in it. The lounge, which is perfectly fine (all lounges are perfectly fine — even schmancy first class lounges in Asia are still just lounges, even if they offer you a massage), does have some really good crab salad.
Apologies for the Larry King USA Today column format today…just wanted to share a few thoughts.