As I write this we have already had an eventful day. My parents took us to the airport Saturday night, and after lots of hugs and waves back and forth, we were headed to the gate. Saturday night must be the time to leave from LAX. It seemed crowded in the ticketing area, but upon getting in the bag drop line, it took only about 10 minutes to drop off our bags. We then went up to security, where the ID checker commented on the light traffic. There was basically no line at security, no one behind us to make us rush, they didn’t seem interested in our large bag of medications, no questions about our carry-on contents, and we both walked straight through the x-ray machine. No getting randomly chosen for the advanced body scan, which we always opt out of anyway. Within probably 5 minutes we were through.
We waited at the game, got some starbucks drinks, and I wandered around, because I don’t like to sit for too long. At boarding, the scene was somewhat humorous, somewhat stressful. They were making EVERYONE fit their carryon into the “your carry on must fit into this” template and they were actually watching – many people had to get their carryons checked to their final destination. My carryon always fits fine in the overhead bins, but I think my bag looks big – and I was preparing to have to unpack my bag and take out my camera, which I don’t trust down in the cargo hold. Oh, I didn’t mention that boarding was basically a free-for-all, which meant that 2 gate agents were shouting (politely), “you need to make sure your bag fits in there” while some people would rush by and the agent would go into the jetway yelling, “excuse me sir, excuse me, you need to see if your bag fits.”
Kellie and I had our bags on our backs, and carrying computer bags in our hands. At the checkpoint, I asked “do we need to measure these?” and pointed to the small bag in my hand. “No, you’re fine,” she said, and into the jetway I went. After a few seconds of anxiety, Kellie emerged, too. Kellie says the agent gave a quick look at my backpack, but apparently it earned the visual “ok”.
I figured an LAX-JFK plane would have deeper luggage bins than it did, so I understand their reasoning in being so stringent. On Alaska planes, we put our bags in front to back, on here we had to put them side to side (if that makes sense – not deep enough). Then, a very uneventful flight.
We arrived around 8am, and decided that 1) it’s supposed to be really warm and humid today, 2) anything we see in NYC is a bonus, we didn’t have any plans set in stone, 3) if we leave the airport, it will cost us at least $35 a person in bag storage and transportation fees and probably an hour or two checking in again with security, plus and hour each way to Manhattan, etc. So we haven’t left the airport!! Sounds unbelievably boring you say…?
We figured that we should check out the boardroom (Admiral’s Club) and if it wasn’t much more than $35 a person, it would be an enjoyable place to be. Well, up the elevator we went, we asked the agent was was included in the boardroom and she explained free wifi, computers, showers, snacks, showers, free spirits, wine, and beer, and showers, and was $50 a person. We looked at each other, said, “Why not?” and she asked for our boarding passes.
Five minutes later, after a couple apologies that it was taking too long, she said that the system wasn’t cooperating and that we would be her guests, free of charge, today. Shortly thereafter, I walked by and handed her a $10 and thanked her. She seemed genuinely appreciative. That was at 8:30 am, and we are still in a quiet, comfortable, air-conditioned boardroom, on reclining leather lounge chairs with footrests, awaiting our 6:45pm flight (3 hours from now). The showers were great, and there’s also a great view outside.
To conclude this adventure, there are severe thunderstorms expected here in 30 minutes, and they should last an hour. It will undoubtedly delay our flight, but we should have quite a lightning show very soon. It is 4pm and getting very dark. JFK is already in a ground delay, meaning that flights headed to JFK are severely delayed, several hours in some cases. I spoke to the ticketing agent here in the boardroom, and she said that the plane we will be on has already arrived from San Francisco, so that’s very promising — we won’t have to wait for a delayed plane to arrive. And the agents here apparently have the capability to double-book. If our flight was to be under the threat of cancellation, they can book us on the next available flight, without cancelling our current reservation, just in case – another perk of being up in the boardroom. We wouldn’t have to do what everyone in the terminal has to do and wait for the cancellation to be announced, then figure out what to do.
More to follow…