Tuesday, August 14, 2007

San Francisco, the city by the bay

Off to the home of Alcatraz, the city by the bay, Barry Bonds country. Day started early, waking at 3:15. In the morning. I had to drive to Dulles Airport, about 75 minutes, and wanted to leave plenty of time. I cruise along the various interstates and feeling pretty good. Then it happens; a tractor-trailer has overturned on the beltway and the entire outer-loop is closed! Fortunately, I make my way to the final exit before the closure and use my in-car navigation system to make my way on the side roads to the next exit -- past the accident scene. Then back on to the beltway and cruising at highway speed while thousands of others sit in the backup. I can't get over the feeling of elation that comes from this.

I make the airport in plenty of time and head to the long-term parking. It looks easy. Upon entering, there is a sign that says the BLUE lot is full and please proceed to the GREEN lot. Okay, sounds reasonable. Except, as I drive through, I notice that there are literally hundreds of parking spots in the BLUE lot. I grab one next to the shuttle pickup and am on my way.

To the airport and the gate is pretty ordinary; I won't bore you with details. The plane is on time and I am amongst the first to board -- being in first class for this leg. The usual routing ensues of sitting, getting a beverage, and waiting for the remainder. I won't bore you with the details. However, a gentleman (loosely defined) siting in front of me caused quite a problem. First, he wouldn't get off his phone and caused to to be delayed leaving the gate. Then, we lot our slot in the takeoff schedule and had to wait for an opportunity, during which he got on his phone again. This caused the flight crew to confront him and threaten to remove him from the aircraft. H relented and turned off his phone, but in the end, this probably cost us 15 minutes. Why do these people think that they are so important that they don't have to follow the rules or directions of the flight crew? I now recall seeing him in the gate area trying to finangle himself to be the first to board.

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