Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is the third time the charm?

I do not get along with the Albany airport. Two Christmases ago, our flight out of Albany was so delayed that we would have had to spend five days including new years in Cleveland. We ended up renting a car and driving to NYC, spending the night, flying to San Fran, spending the night, and driving down to la in order to be home before new years. Last night, my flight from Albany was so delayed that I was going to miss my connecting flight from dc to LA. I spent another night in Albany and am now sitting at the Albany airport waiting for my flight to Cleveland. The negative is that I have a five hour layover. The positive is that even if my Albany flight is extremely delayed, I should have enough time to make my connection. It's not bad insurance, the flight before my flight is already delayed an hour; had I had a normal layover time like an hour, I probably would have missed my flight. The other positive is that I get to spend time exploring Cleveland with my brother who just moved there and bought a place there. Overall, not a bad outcome.

A couple lessons learned however. When possible, avoid connecting flights and try to fly direct. If possible, try to leave early in the morning. There's less likelihood of the incoming aircraft being delayed (which was my issue last night). Finally, leave ample connection time. For some reason, these smaller airports just seem more prone to delays. I was debating taking a flight with a 35 min connection in Newark, a busy airport. I'm glad I didn't take the risk as the flight before mine delayed by an hour is to Newark.

Anyway, hopefully I haven't jinxed myself and will make it safely back to la today.

Update: I probably jinxed myself slightly.  I ended up getting into Cleveland 40 minutes late as we had to return to the gate due to a "mechanical issue."  Good thing I didn't have a close connection like many on my flight.  My flight to LA left on time and we even got in early, but then had to spend a ridiculous almost 1 hour waiting for our gate to open up.  I've never had this happen to me at LAX, but it may be a more common occurrence as I noticed that only 3 of the gates in the Continental terminal 6 were occupied by Continental planes; every other spot was taken up by Allegiance / Jet Blue / United / Delta.  We had to wait for about 5 planes to pull away from various gates at various terminals before we could even get to our gate.  Then, we sat for another 5 minutes waiting for a jetway controller to arrive.  The other plane just pulled out of the gate and they retracted the jetway; why didn't they stick around to control the jetway as we pulled in right away?? That would be too logical I suppose.  Airport traffic was a mess, LAX was a zoo.

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