William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson


We made it into Denver and I've got some time to kill, so here are some thoughts that are too many to fit into a micro-update:

- United Airlines' take on the Boeing 757-200 might be my new least-favourite jet. There are numerous problems, especially if you're the least bit tall: If you're sitting in the window seat, not only is the window itself too low to comfortably see through (this is probably the case with all carriers using this plane) but sitting in the window seat also means that the overhead bins block the upper corner of the video screens. (Civilized airlines already have in-seat video in economy class on longish domestic flights. In my opinion, its absence is only tolerable on flights less than, oh, I don't know, 90 minutes, unless they make up for it some other way, like serving free beer.

- The video screens are not only hard to see, but awkward in and of themselves: I banged my head on one of them when leaving the plane. After being stuck in a blue prison for four hours and having to pee, I didn't remember the little red "LOW CLEARANCE" signs that I noticed when I got on.

- United Airlines charges $25 to check a bag. I'm getting away with one for free since I checked in with Air Canada. But on the way back I'll have to pay $25 if I want to check it again, though I probably won't since it's carry-on size. I packed very lightly because I need to be able to take the TTC to and from Pearson, and unlike Portland's light rail, there are absolutely no provisions for heavy luggage, and you need to be able to hump your things up and over turnstiles and onto standard busses.

- A predictable consequence of UA's charge is that you have all kinds of people carrying-on things that they'd ordinarily check. The overhead bins on my flight were full of all kinds of overstuffed items, and we were appreciably delayed just getting all the refugees settled. It must be really frustrating for the UA employees who are trying their best to stay on schedule. UA, you must ditch that fee.

- When you're coming into a new airport, turn your phone on as you're getting your bearings. My phone was still on Eastern Time when I looked at my boarding pass for Portland, and naturally my addled little brain jumped to the conclusion that I was in the process of missing my flight. I went to an agent and I was informed that I was in fact quite early, and so I quickly realized my error.

- Had Dunkin' Donuts at Logan and McDonald's here. It's really weird getting ONE-dollar bills as change. It's all about the Washingtons. Another thing: Is it just me, or is the airport fast food industry dominated by people of colour? It's not at all that they're there - it's that more-towards-bleachy-type people are conspicuous by their absence. I will say no more. And it's not like Canada is free of race inequalities. I just notice them more here, though this is only my third time in the USA since childhood, and fourth time total.

- The guy driving the "taxi" for the elderly and disabled was tweeting a bird song to let people know he was coming through. I wonder if he argued that he should be allowed to do that instead of let a buzzer or beeper go by default. I could see how that would get annoying, and good on him - his tweets are much less grating than a buzzer or beeper would be.
Tags: travel

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