Friday, August 15, 2008

Every other Friday-ish

Today is Friday (at long last!) and I have a seat on my usual flight to North Carolina (did I mention my Husband-to-be lives there for the time being?). I take the same early evening flight at least once a month, sometimes more often, averaging every other week, I’d say. Not only have I developed a keen sense of what time to leave work to quickly drop by home to pick up the mail and grab whatever it is that I forgot to pack Thursday night/Friday morning, but I’m a frequent enough flyer that there’s a group of business travelers who now recognize me. More on that in another post.

Preparing to go to the airport takes almost 24 hours. Of course there’s the customary online check-in precisely 23 hours and 59 minutes before the flight time, as most Southwest passengers now have done to a science, I’m sure. This week, I’m A54 (I was about 20 minutes late, a little out of practice since it’s been about a month since my last trip). Throughout the day at work, I check the weather. Baltimore, of course, is the first zip code I check, hourly forecast. Today, we have “isolated thunderstorms” all afternoon and into the night. Not as bad as “scattered thunderstorms,” so far I predict a delay of 30 minutes (I should add that this flight is almost never on time, when it is, I do a happy dance in my head). Next, I check the zip code of the NC airport. Hmm, depending on how long we’re delayed in Baltimore, could be isolated or scattered thunderstorms. I shift my prediction to an hour delay. Just for my own information, I check the radar map for NC, because H2B lives over an hour away from the airport, so I want to see how the weather might affect the length of our drive. This step is least important, since I don’t much care once we’re together.

Now, the less seasoned traveler might stop here. I, however, next checked the weather for the airport in New York where my flight will originate later this afternoon. Ouch, scattered thunderstorms there too. Major bummer. I should add that part of the reason I schedule myself on this particular flight, requiring that I leave work early and race against the clock to park and get through security with just enough time to line up with my boarding group, is that Baltimore is only the second stop for this flight. The later flight originates in California and Baltimore is its fifth stop. Much smaller chance for a delay for me, thank you.

Looks like tonight I’ll be spending some extra time with my friend Al. More on Al later...

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