After the mass of hysteria early this week, here was my experience flying from Oakland to JFK on Friday morning:
6:48 – got on the SuperShuttle.
7:15 – arrived at the airport. Traffic was practically non-existant.
7:26 – bag was checked by JetBlue. The girl looked at my boarding pass and said “Wow, you are EARLY.” (My flight wasn’t scheduled until 11:10.)
7:29 – found my place in the security line. I could see the metal detectors from where I was.
7:31 – reached the place in line where the line separates for each of the six metal detectors.
7:35 – reassembled myself, having cleared security.
My total time from hotel to the gate was under an hour. If you just look at the chunk of time at the airport, it was 20 minutes to clear all the formalities.
The wait was not any worse than normal – hell, this might even be better than normal. So I’m giving a tip of the hat to the staff at Oakland for keeping things smooth. The wag of the finger goes to the crazed news media who have the world convinced that you have to get to the airport half a day in advance.
After spending three hours waiting at the gate, we were told the flight was going to be late. Apparently the in-flight crew was stuck in traffic, or something. This was mind-boggling, to put it mildly. Time ticked by and I was facing a 30 minute delay – and I had 70 minutes to make my connection to Portland for a family wedding this weekend.
Thankfully, an entirely different crew was available, jumped in, and got us on our way. Not only did we make up all but five minutes, but we were treated to the greatest pre-flight security demonstration in history. Some choice quotes from the duration of the flight:
* “Ladies and gentlemen, to help us board faster, we’d appreciate it if you push the person in front of you. Thank you.”
* “If you haven’t been on a train, on a bus, or in a bumpercar in the last 20 years, this is how a seatbelt works.”
* “The captain has informed me that our flying time will be four hours and ninety-three minutes.”
* “Your life preserver should not be taken out unless there is an emergency landing, or an in-cabin pool party.”
* “Your life preserver is equipped with a light so that sharks can see what they’re eating.”
* “To start the pull of oxygen, pull down on the mask and slip it over your head. The bag will not inflate. Stop screaming.”
* “If you are traveling with children, or someone who acts childish, put your own mask on first and then assist them. If you are traveling with more than one child, decide which one you like best.”
* “There is no smoking in the bathroom. If we see smoke coming from the bathroom, we will assume you are on fire and put you out. The smoking lounge is over the left and right wings of the aircraft. A movie is being shown: Gone With The Wind.”
* “If you need the light on in your seat, press the button with the lightbulb on it. Don’t press the one with the little yellow man, he quit last week.”
* “Ladies and gentlemen, if you look over the right wing of the airplane, you’ll see absolutely nothing.”
This may sound shocking, or disturbing, in light of the mood that surrounds flying in paranoia and fear. For us, though, it was a relief. It was much appreciated.
This good mood was dampened, however, when Katie and I got to Portland. My bag popped off the conveyer early. Hers – which contained all of our dress clothes for the wedding – did not.
It’s taken 24 hours for JetBlue to finally figure out what happened to our bag, and while we haven’t received it yet – and we may not until after we get back home – I have been informed what happened.
Our bag took a trip to Oakland.