Marco's Blog

All content strictly personal opinions.
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Record time

2006-02-28 3 min read marco

The Hawaiian flight from Honolulu to San Francisco made it in record time: 4h 19m! This was due to a generous jet stream that gave us an excellent tail wind.

How unfortunate that said tail wind and jet stream were causing a major storm in San Francisco that forced a shutdown of the airport… In the end, the whole flight took 5 hours, as usual, and I made it home in time to be deprived of sleep by the wind.

But let me tell you this funny story about my getting to the airport…

I left early to catch an 8:40a flight. I had a conference call at 7a, and there was plenty to prepare before departure (including a side trip to the supermarket for cat food). As I get to Oakland, I park the car, take the shuttle and have about ten minutes to kill before the flight. I wander around and wonder where the Hawaiian counter is. I wonder more and more loudly, and realize there is no Hawaiian in Oakland. I check the schedule, and indeed it says SFO.

I run to the bus stop and pick up the next bus to parking. It arrives seven minutes later, and makes it to the lot just in time. I run into the car, throw on the engine and zip to the exit. The clerk there is slower than pain, but I am on the highway ready to dial. I get in, and from there on I am on a totally confrontational conference call with a customer, while I am trying to decide which bridge to cross (San Mateo) and then to steer through morning rush hour traffic.

No sooner is the bridge crossed that the orange gas tank light goes on. Darn! I have no time to refuel (meanwhile I am still on the phone) and keep to the right, to be able to slow down and not impede others. I inch closer to the airport, turn right, and find out what short term parking costs. I turn around, the light ever more orange, and turn into the long-term parking lot.

I drop off the car at the first spot available, take the next bus and zip to the Hawaiian counter. The machine tells me it can’t check me in, but a friendly lady will print my boarding pass. I make it to security quickly (notice: to, not through). Again, the TSA staff, friendly as ever, pull me to the side because they are surprised by the Digital Rebel.

They take me carry-on apart like I am full of dynamite. When they are happy that I am not a terrorist, they chat with me about the camera. I mention that the zoom lens is killer, and they realize they haven’t checked that one out, so they grab it in one hand and put it down, satisfied it couldn’t possibly hold a weapon. Now that I know how easy it would be to smuggle weapons on board, I feel safer – if a terrorist actually wanted to blow my flight and me up, they would have had lots of time to do that.

I lost the stylus to the MobilePro, and they managed to destroy the lid pin (the one that turns off the screen when you close the computer). I am even less fond of added security now.

I made it to the gate just in time, actually they were waiting for me. And the only thing I can say: “Mahalo, Hawaiian! This was not easy for me or for you, but your customer service shines!”