Actually I do have a couple bars where I’m known like that, but it has been a long, long time since I’ve had that experience in an airport. Back when I was commuting regularly to Austin or Washington, DC for work I’d become friendly like that with the Presidents Club representatives; there is something nice about walking in and having your beer poured before you have time to drop your bags off. This weekend, however, has seen a slightly different version of the recognition pattern develop over at least four different interactions.
When I arrived at the Presidents Club in Houston on Sunday morning I was greeted by an agent exclaiming, “I know you!” as I checked in. I’m sure that part of my shock was that I was mostly still asleep from the 3.5 hour redeye flight in from Seattle, but a good deal of it was certainly that he remembered me from our brief chat the previous morning when I checked in at a different club. My travel plans for this weekend were apparently crazy enough that he committed my face to memory as “that crazy guy doing all that flying” which is actually pretty accurate; no complaints there.
The second was with the Presidents Club representative in Seattle. They are a great group up there and B was incredibly helpful on Saturday evening when I arrived at the club in terms of printing out boarding passes and otherwise being friendly. When I walked back in on Sunday evening she was ready for me, knowing that I was passing back through, and was more than willing to poke a bit of fun and see just how loopy I was after 40 hours of flying. I expect to see her again on Friday evening as I pass through Seattle one last time on this trip and fully expect that she’ll remember me then, too.
The third person who recognized me this weekend was actually a flight attendant. The same crew works the evening flight Houston – Seattle and then the redeye Seattle – Houston a couple hours later. Coincidentally those were the flights that I was on, both Sunday and Monday. I recognized the crew on my return flight Sunday night as the same group, but I was very surprised to walk on to the flight on Monday and have the same crew again. “You were on my flight yesterday, weren’t you?” was asked of me by the lead flight attendant, with a quiver of confusion and surprise in her voice. When I responded, “Yes, actually both of them,” the confusion actually grew. We spent most of the boarding time talking about my crazy trip, as well as my new Kindle, which she had also remembered from the previous day. I actually gave demos of it to three of the four flight attendants on the plane and think that I managed to sell one. I wonder if I can get a commission on that.
Finally there was another Presidents Club representative in Houston that remembered me this morning as I passed through. I was looking for a notary and had heard that a bunch of Continental employees could help out with that. Sadly, finding one of them was a bit more work than I had expected. Fortunately J worked with me for about 15 minutes yesterday and for another 30 today calling everyone she could find in their system until we finally located someone who was a notary and actually had their gear with them to stamp a document for me. Sure, I had to trek to the other side of the airport to get it taken care of, but I have time this morning and a bit of a walk did me good.
Plus, the walk meant passing by the Shipley’s Do-Nuts branch in the airport. Having never had a Shipley’s donut but hearing good things I was compelled to finally have one. I grew up on Krispy Kreme’s and that’s what I judge against, and I actually think that Shipley’s might win the battle. They are a bit heavier with a better mouth-feel than Krispy Kreme donuts, in my opinion, but they don’t have a custard filled, chocolate frosted option (my favorite), so they lose points there.
And now, at about the 60 hour mark inside security, it is time to start wrapping things up to head over to the gate and board my flight to Tokyo. Woo-hoo!
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