Every now and then maybe I should take the hint that “today” is just going to be one of those days. The morning started reasonably enough – on the schedule was a quick turn to Las Vegas, including a couple new routes for me – but things got quirky quite quickly.
First up, at the Presidents Club in LaGuardia, I was told that it wasn’t possible to make a same day change on my ticket because my fare was too cheap. Then because it had an advance purchase requirement. Uh, no on both accounts. The agent assured me that the woman she was talking to was an “expert” and that I must be wrong. A short 15 minutes later – “I just want to keep playing with it if you don’t mind” – I heard a Eureka! moment from across the lounge and I knew it was time to go collect my new boarding pass.
With that out of the way I settled in to do a couple hours’ of work in the lounge before my flight. The Presidents Club at LaGuardia certainly isn’t anything special, other than its heritage as an old Eastern Airlines Ionosphere club. It is actually somewhat surprising that the Port Authority doesn’t still have it labeled as such given that there are signs directing folks to the TWA lounge there. At least there are windows to watch the planes come and go, along with the typical free WiFi, snacks and booze to pass the time. And also the awesome overheard conversations of folks talking too loud into their cell phones.
Today’s ridiculous overheard other passenger call was a guy on his way to Cleveland from New Jersey for a court appearance. Over a traffic violation. I’m generally of the mind to just pay the fine – odds are I am guilty anyways – but this guy was going to fight it. And no better time to start preparing the case then shortly before getting on the plane, right? Of course, his general plan was simply to start searching on Google for details that might help him. None of this would be so bad if I didn’t hear him on the phone asking someone else how to search on Google. Yeah, that’s bad.
Finally, I decided to pull the trigger on one of my more crazy itineraries ever. I’m headed to Johannesburg, South Africa and Mauritius in February. The fare is pretty darn good (<$800 all in) and it includes stops in both places and some neat lines to go on my “places traveled” map. The 20K+ EQMs early in the year don’t hurt either. Sadly, however, the booking site rejected my purchase. This is the second time in as many weeks that I’ve been declined for an airline ticket purchase in Africa. The good news is that the lady from American Express cleared up the block pretty quickly, but not before noting that I was probably crazy for all my travels.
Finally on board the first flight of the day – an EJR-145 from LaGuardia to Cleveland – and we have W&B issues. They need three folks from the front to move to the back so we can get off the ground. Two folks moved without much fuss but it took an announcement from the pilot to get a third taker. I can understand why at least one of them was unwilling to move, however. He had a nice footrest in place. Yes, that is his shoe on the bulkhead wall up above his head. Stay classy.
Yeah, sometimes it is just one of those days.
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The CO Lounge matron at LGA makes up the rules as they go along. At one point I was refused entry into the club with a RCC membership card, stating that “I should use the RCC down the terminal”. I replied that I have 3 other ways to enter the club (int’l business class on CO downstream, *G, and Amex Plat) so let’s try again. She eventually relented.
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