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A Few Notes from My Trip Out West

A few random notes from my trip to the West Coast:

- Apparently the TSA-approved method of handling a non-English speaking passenger who is passing through security with something in their pocket is to yell at them in increasingly louder tones: EMPTY EVERYTHING FROM YOUR POCKETS. EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. EVERY. THING. POCKETS. EVERYTHING. EMPTY. EVERY. POCKETS. EVERYTHING. SIR. SIR. SIR. SIR. SIR. EVERYTHING.

- One thing to note about the coach cabin of the United 757 PS service aircraft is that there are only 2 lavs for the 114 (I think that’s correct) coach passengers, meaning there is basically a line for the bathroom for 5 hours. I was waiting in line and I noticed that bathroom one was turning over quickly, while bathroom two was occupied by the same passenger for quite some time. I’m next in line and I’m praying – Dear God am I praying – that bathroom two does NOT open up first, because I cannot imagine what the hell was going on in that lavatory. I emerged after quickly finishing my business, gave a knowing smile to the next person in line, and flashed a look of pity at the 2nd person in line, who is now engaged in a game of foul-smelling musical chairs.

- Vote: would you rather have the Live TV found on most United domestic aircraft, or would you rather have the deeper selection of non-live TV and movies found on PS and international flights? I’ll vote for non-live TV.

- I had to buy a ticket on Monday to fly from the LA area to Miami on Tuesday. I thought for sure that this ticket would cost 4 figures. I was pleasantly shocked to discover that I could purchase a ticket on United from Orange County (via Houston) to Miami for $203 with a 1-day advance purchase. My complete lack of understanding of how airline pricing works was further confirmed when, upon check-in (which was immediately after I purchased the ticket, as the flight was leaving in less than 24 hours), they offered a confirmed upgrade to First for $119. Did you know that you could fly up front from California to Miami for $322 with no advanced purchase? I did not know that either. And because I am cheap, I turned down the upgrade. It was a calculated decision, as I was able to grab my favorite (?) coach seat (21D – reclining exit row, aisle) on each leg. I was then complimentarily upgraded for the IAH-MIA leg.

- Seriously – $322.

- Quiz: What the hell was that on my tray table on the JFK-LAX flight?

A) Old squished banana
B) Lugie
C) Yogurt
D) Wet cracker
E) All of the Above

- Answer: Probably A. Really hoping it wasn’t B.

- For the third consecutive time that I’ve been there, the Avis Preferred hut at LAX was a complete cluster. My name wasn’t on the board, an affliction that was apparently also troubling the 20 other people who were on line wondering where their cars were. For my troubles, they gave me a convertible red Camaro, which is both

Awesome; and
Cheeseball

- OK, United…time to put the TVs in the 737-800.

- Yep – Miami is absolutely the worst airport in America.

- And finally…thanks Element Miami Airport Hotel. That was nice of you to charge $10 for parking even though you’re located in the middle of nowhere. And even nicer after I arrived at 1am to make me drag my ass back out to my car to put my parking pass in it. Classy.

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  1. In the past month, I’ve had the “pleasure” of visiting both MIA and DEN and I think the DEN airport is probably worse. Admittedly, the process of renting a car at MIA is probably more annoying. But at least the Miami airport is IN Miami. At DEN, you have the same complete disregard for the time it will take the traveler to get a rent a car, but then you still have a 23-mile drive to town. Admittedly, once in the airport, DEN is nicer, if you don’t mind some crazy long walks to gates (particularly in the UA terminal).

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