Airlines Articles

Now I Just Need an Extra $200,000

11.26.12

When Steven asked me if I wanted to go flying with him I didn’t ask where we were going. I didn’t care.

The last time I was in a small plane a truly small plane, smaller than commercial, was September 17, 1995. One of the men I worked with had a small plane and he took his wife, a friend of mine and me to Nevada for the weekend. It was an old plane and a slow plane but he loved it and we all fit comfortably, had a decadent weekend and then flew home. On the way back I got to hold the control wheel for a minute or so and it was exhilarating.

I loved the feeling it gave me and hope one day to feel that again. Well actually I hope to have an extra two hundred thousand dollars laying around so I can get the plane I want along with some lessons (I’d totally forego ever having a butler if Mr. G would buy me a plane).

Of course after I hopped off that airplane more than 17 years ago I went to go meet some friends and have a drink. It was my first date with Mr. G. It’s possible that all those good feelings are completely intertwined for me and I have no idea which part of it made me feel so joyful. I just know that it was a very happy day.

On Sunday morning there was fog at the Santa Monica Airport. In fact there was so much fog that no planes were taking off and since the original plan was to fly to San Diego we had to decide on a new place to go. Somewhere closer since we weren’t going to be taking off at 10am as planned. So we sat in the car to wait and eat warm potato tacos from a ham tin.

We even talked about maybe not going at all because it was so foggy but my hair came to the rescue. I am absolutely convinced that my perfectly blow dried hair singlehandedly captured all the humidity in the air so that the clouds would part and we could take off.

We got a look at the planes and were relieved to find out we weren’t going in this one

 

We did finally get up and go and found ourselves in a Cherokee that was just right. In fact my yellow pants matched it’s yellow stripe and my spiky shoes were just perfect with the rudder pedals.

 

I never thought to be nervous because Steven (who can be ridiculous) is deadly serious when he talks about flying. In fact I even got a lecture about how the FAA was worse than the TSA and there would be no Instagramming at 6,000 feet. The term “social media bullshit” may or may not have been bandied about. William and I dutifully nodded and promised to behave. I was only shusshed a few times, we were as good as two fools could be.

Flying low is beautiful. I spent an hour with my head craning down over the city that I love looking for homes I used to live in (found and photographed), parks I ran around and boulevards I drive daily. I loved flying over a wind farm and the Mojave Desert. Apparently the Mojave Airport serves a parking lot of sorts for aircraft not being used at LAX.

When we got to Kern County the airport is sort of tucked away in a corner beyond a lake and in a valley. I was happy that Steven didn’t tell us that the landing made him nervous until we were safely there and eating lunch.

Here’s the airport.

No, really, that’s the whole airport. The lady who runs the snack bar is sweet as can be and is also from Manhattan Beach. Her son is younger than I am by two years (okay four… shut up) so we just missed each other growing up there.

 

And no trip would be complete without a picture of our fearless captain.

If you want to see all 254 pictures, they’re here.

Delta Airlines Flight Attendants: Gambling Shakedown

10.15.12

Flying from Jacksonville to Los Angeles meant leaving Florida at 7am to have a 25 minute layover/plane change in Memphis and then a straight shot home. Of course there was about a 5 minute delay getting off the first flight which would not have been a big deal if the other flight wasn’t about a half mile away. I swear I started at Gate A4 and had to run to B43 with an oversized purse, camera bag and computer bag. Yes, I routinely take an extra item on board, the computer bag is flat… I’m not taking up extra space it’s just an extra number.

In any event after running through the airport with a few other folks I got to my Memphis to LA flight just as they were closing the doors and promptly collapsed into my seat. I passed out cold for about two hours and awoke to the following over the PA system:

Delta airlines is raising money in October for breast cancer awareness and research. If you would all take out a bill; it can be $1, $5 or $20 and write your seat number on it we’ll be around to collect it and have a 50/50 raffle. We’ll put the money in bags and a winning bill will be drawn. We’ll then count the money and half of it will go to breast cancer charity and the other half will go to the winning seat. The only requirement is that the winner give some amount to charity.

I took notice that no particular charity was named. I was incredibly cranky about being woken up and unsure if I was irritated that flight attendants were asking people to blindly give cash to a charity that they didn’t know the name of or if I was irritated that an airplane full of people would just flip open their wallets without knowing where their money was going.

I was just irritated so I pulled out my iPhone and took a little video for proof because it was so bizarre that I didn’t think anyone would believe me otherwise.

After the ladies in pink collected $258 they announced that the charity is actually the Breast Cancer Research Foundation which is a top rated charity and should not be besmirched by gambling flight attendants who apparently do this on every flight in October.

I’m all pinked out. Breast cancer doesn’t need more awareness. We’re all aware, it just needs fewer jerks.

 

 

 

I Dropped My Daughter off at the Airport and it was like… Nothing

07.17.12

Jane had a 6.30am flight this morning. She’s just arrived in the midwest for a week of rockclimbing, canoeing and camping with Outward Bound. She went last year and to say that it changed her life would be a gross understatement. The combination of sports and mountaineering has given Jane the ability to walk away from massive amounts of peer pressure to keep outside the fray when it comes to girl drama.

So this morning I set my alarm clock for 4.15. I wanted to be up before Jane, have breakfast for her and be out the door by 4.45 so that we could arrive at LAX by 5.30. Don’t get me started on how absolutely bugged I am that I had to pay $200 in unaccompanied minor fees for a child who doesn’t need to be accompanied. Unfortunately I woke up at 3.30 because someone was pushing me off the bed.

I tried to get back to sleep but sleep never came. He looks sweet and innocent but he’s five pounds of bed hogging trouble.

We made it to the airport and wound our way through security lines and frazzled early morning travelers. Jane had a spring in her step and I said to her, “You’re happy when you’re about to get on a plane, aren’t you?”

She smiled wider and nodded her head.

She kissed me goodbye and boarded the plane without looking back. She wants to travel, she wants to see the world and have new experiences and she wants to experience it all with strangers. With new friends.

I thought I’d feel weird leaving the airport without her but it was like nothing. Maybe because it’s the right thing at the right time and Jane’s in the air while I’m on the ground and that’s exactly as we’re meant to be.