Things I learned today

July 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Travel | 2 Comments

Flying out of JFK (rather than Newark) is a stupid, stupid, stupid thing for me to do.  Aside from the fact that I have to cross midtown Manhattan to get from my home to JFK (a 1.3 mile segment of the trip took 45 minutes to traverse this morning), it’s JFK.  That alone should be enough for me to know better.  Bad things happen when I fly out of JFK.

I’ve flown through JFK twice before.  The very first time was the day Homeland Security/TSA instituted the “no liquids past security rule”.  LIterally the first day. . . mere hours after the change in policy took place.  I had given myself a lot of extra time for the drive to JFK and made it to the terminal from the remote parking lot with a full two hours to spare before my flight left.  Unfortunately, the check-in area was a bit crowded and the lines stretched out onto the sidewalk.  I was still in line waiting to reach the ticket counter when my flight left . . . and it left late.  I ended up waiting around for a flight that afternoon- they couldn’t even check me in for a few hours I had so long to wait.  I HAD to fly out of JFK though.  Work was paying for the ticket and they insisted on buying the cheapest fare, even if it meant they spent more on other travel costs (e.g. more mileage for the drive to the airport, over $10 in tolls instead of $1, parking since no one could drop me off and extra time missed from work).

The second time was when I flew to a cousin’s wedding.  The problems with that trip had more to do with the Subway in NYC.  I decided not to drive to JFK because taking the bus into the city followed by the Subway and AirTrain would be a lot cheaper than driving.  I spent the night before the flight left with a good friend in the city and then headed out.  I ran into problems right away.  The subway line I needed to take had major delays due to some kind of incident.  So, I walked a few blocks closer to Central Park to take another line.  The new line also had delays.  A train in front of us couldn’t get it’s doors closed.  I had allowed quite a bit of extra time for the travel and made my flight that time.  It just wasn’t fun getting there.

Today has been a not so good JFK travel day.  I missed my original flight, but got on the next one standby.  Unfortunately, I had a connection to make and only had one hour on the ground between flights.  It wasn’t enough.  We left the gate at JFK about 30 minutes late and then spent almost 45 waiting to take off after pushing away from the gate.  The flight attendent says that she tells friends and family to allow a minimum of 4 hours for connections if JFK is involved in their travel plans.  Is it just me or is that really messed up?

My first flight was so delayed that I now find myself sitting in an airport waiting for an even later connecting flight.  I’m having such *great* travel luck today that it too is delayed.  We are currently scheduled to arrive at my destination almost 4 hours after I was supposed to get there.  If this was leisure travel I wouldn’t really care, but it isn’t.  I also just found that my day full of meetings that was supposed to start at 9 in the a.m. will actually be starting at 8.  The news just keeps getting better!

I did learn one good thing today.  The Charlotte, North Carolina airport has free wireless internet access.  So, you get to read my whining courtesy of the Charlotte International Airport.


P.S.- I have another flight scheduled out of JFK in around two weeks.  I might commit hari kari



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  1. The Charlotte airport also has great crab cakes. Or it did 6 years ago.

  2. Thanks for the comment Ms. Kiyum. It’s nice to see you here!

    I didn’t have any crab cakes while there, but will have to look for them if I end up in the airport with time to spare again. I *love* crab cakes. I had some great ones in Norfolk over the summer- they used potato chips on the outside instead of breading. All I had while in Charlotte was frozen yogurt :)

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