on a jet plane

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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2006-10-07 12:44:20

so i left work yesterday at 14:10 to get to the airport to catch my flight at 20:35. does anybody else find it weird that i had to leave over 6 horurs before my flight was scheuled to depart in order to make the flight? as it was, i just barely made it. took the iXpress to the charles street bus terminal and got on the 15:30 greyhound to toronto (via guelph). due to long weekend traffic, i only got in to toronto at around 18:30, then TTC'd my way to the airport, getting there at around 19:10. 5 hours to get to the airport. i suppose it could have been a lot less time if i had taken the airporter or a limo, but meh, i'm cheap :)

at the airport, i used the check-in booth thingy which for some reason didn't accept my credit card as ID (it didn't even suck in the card). anyway, after going through the line to get the baggage tag for my one check-in piece, i got through US customs pretty easily. then the fun began: whenever i've flown from pearson to the US, i've always noticed there's a separate line for people flying in to DCA. well, this time i got to take that line. turns out the only difference is that they're more explicit in checking your check-in piece. there was a lady who opened up my check-in handbag and went through everything in it. since i was only going for the weekend, there wasn't much there, but she was still pretty thorough. then the bag went off to the conveyor belt and it was back to normal.

the other difference was that they did another check of the hand baggage before boarding the flight. i assume this was only because it was flying to DCA; I didn't see other people having to do that. also, the flight was departing from gate U - i'm not sure if any of you have ever boarded a flight from gate U, but it is the furthest gate. at around gate R, they actually had a little sign listing distances and travel time to gates S, T, and U (it was 184 metres to gate U). so anyway, after the manual search of my backpack, i got on the plane, which taxied away from the terminal pretty much on time. as it was, i got on the plane halfway between the boarding start time and depart time - if I hadn't made it to that iXpress bus, i would surely have missed the flight.

on the flight there was more fun with the enRoute inflight entertainment system. this is the first time i've been on an air canada flight with personal enRoute systems in each seat, so i played around with it a bit. it looks really snazzy, and has a relatively usable UI, but definitely has scalability issues. a couple of minutes after it was turned on, due to heavy load, it crashed. i got a black screen with a few blue "function mysql connect" messages in the top left corner. they looked kind of like hyperlinks, which led me to believe that the UI is built on top of some web interface. flash wouldn't surprise me. i guess they didn't test the system under theoretical maximum load when they designed it. anyway, they rebooted the system, which took another 5 minutes, during which i was staring at a blinking block cursor. other than that, it was pretty nice - i got a red hot chili peppers album added to my playlist and listened to it as i poked around the various tv/movies/games selections.

oh, what else: the food. why is it that the food offerings have become increasingly pathetic on these flights? this time they managed to take it step lower than the usual peanuts or pretzels: gourmet sesame. i can only imagine that "gourmet" was the brand of the sesame, since there was nothing otherwise gourmet about it. the bag came with about a dozen sesame thingies, and the nutritional information actually gave the information "per bag", as opposed to the usual "per serving", which leads me to believe that it wasn't even a single serving. meh well, at least they're honest about it.

Posted by Jen at 2006-10-07 19:28:52
Why are you flying to DCA?
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Posted by stak at 2006-10-08 00:04:47
visiting the fraternal unit. a sister still counts as fraternal, right?
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Posted by Eric at 2006-10-08 00:54:26
Strictly speaking, yes, but if you insist on being correct, the term is sororal.
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Posted by rohan at 2006-10-09 20:56:25
What is DCA?
[ Reply to this ]
Posted by stak at 2006-10-10 20:41:10
The more correct question would be where is DCA?
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