William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson
nova_one

7. Home

Newark. After a not-brief-enough wait on the runway, and a very slow opening-up and deplaning, we emerged into Terminal C running about an hour behind. I wasn’t fearful of missing my connection, and so I headed over to the gate where United maintains a shuttle to Terminal A, where my flight to Halifax was to be flying from.

I waited about 5 minutes in a special waiting room, and finally a stream of passengers emerged indicating the bus had arrived. They cleared and we boarded. And then we were off to Terminal A.

At Terminal A, I discovered three things:

1. None of the departure gates were saying “HALIFAX”.
2. My flight was going to be delayed by 70 minutes.
3. The flight changed gates – to a gate in Terminal C.

And so there I was riding the shuttle bus again. (If I had a smartphone with US data access, I might have gotten United’s e-mails, although as it pertains to the Halifax flight right now I only have a notice of the delay and not the gate change. But the website reflects the gate change, so I’m pretty confident I wasn’t just seeing things.)

I reached my assigned concourse in Terminal C, searched hither and yon for a free power outlet, and set up shop when I found one. Then I discovered that I probably left my $30 fit-over sunglasses on my first flight today. So I’ll be buying my third pair of those. Grumble grumble.

* * *

Ahh... nothing like a late night flight to keep people nice and quiet. We’re now aboard an Embraer EMB-145. It’s small but civilized. Bin space is at a premium because there are only bins on one side (starboard). On the other hand, I’m one of the lucky ones who sits on the port side, where there’s only one seat per row that’s a window and an aisle seat at the same time. It’s pretty sweet.

I’ve been thinking lately that it seems like it’s always the in-between services that are the worst. Short hauls on small planes usually go well and the crowds are manageable. The huge widebody jets that carry hundreds of people across the oceans are fit for their task. It’s the 2-6 hour domestic flights on narrow-body airliners that grind my gears. I don’t fly enough to have a weighty opinion, though.

Ha-ha, now I’m drinking a can of spicy “Bloody Mary mix” with no vodka in it and snacking on mini pretzels (free!). With class tomorrow morning at 8:30, I can’t justify the expense of buying drinks. I almost went into a bar at Newark, but I decided against it when I saw there weren’t any power outlets.

When I feel like I’ve done enough blogging and schoolwork, I’m playing a free console-style RPG called KQ. A package may already be available for your favourite Linux distro. It’s pretty good. The music is superb and the enemies are merciless.

Wait, I forgot – customs form. Hope the customs folks are friendly this time. :-)

* * *

Finally home. Exhausted. Here’s how ParkN’Ride works when you leave. You pick up their phone in the arrivals area and it plays a recording that says “By picking up this phone, you are stating that you are ready to be picked up.” They tell you to wait inside until you see it pull up. Then the bus driver takes you to your car according to the card the driver gave you way back when you first parked. Then you drive yourself out to the gate, where you’ll pay an attendant. (That part is kind of low-tech.) And then you’re back on your way again, probably wondering when there’ll be affordable transit options that serve the airport.
Tags: air travel, airplanes, airports
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