Saturday, February 25, 2017

Flipping Backward, Flipping Forward...Flipping Forget It


Last seen in Hamburg...
Let’s be real here. How much crazy, zany fun can actually be had flying from Japan to New Jersey and back? Enough for one blog post? Two, maybe, if the kids or the wife or the person in the next seat really goes off the deep end? Three if everyone goes long?

Besides one record-setting vomit exhibition there was little on either of our flights that would strike the passive passenger. BUT… to the ultra-observant there was enough for five blog posts. Yes, I am that perceptive.

I would have stopped at four, but United Airlines had to, on December 29th, put a copy of the January issue of Hemispheres, their in-flight magazine, in the seat pocket in front of me for my thirteen-hour journey back to Japan. Why can’t they just quit it with the fodder? Don’t they understand I can’t keep my derisive mouth shut?

In other words, this is all United’s fault.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Buds, Socks & Violence

In-Flight Sensorial Entertainment

The best thing to ever happen to an overseas flight.
I like flying. I always have. Despite the occasional and inevitable stresses, the idea-come-to-life of getting into a metal tube, taking off into the air and landing somewhere usually far away and sometimes worlds apart has never failed to stir something visceral and pleasing in me.

This morning, however, has been something else altogether. (If you read my last post you know what I’m talking about.) So as I sit restlessly in my seat in the waiting area outside Dulles Airport’s Gate 29, waiting for United Flight 803 to Tokyo to begin boarding, I look over at my family with the kind of pride that can only come from the fact that I haven’t strangled anyone today.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How NOT to Plan Your Flight Overseas

Yet Another Air Travel Tragicomedy 

 ACT ONE 

December 29, 2016 – 3:30am  I’ve been curled up on the floor since quarter to two, in the makeshift futon my mom always puts out for my family when we visit. It’s comfortable. It’s warm. It’s not helping my pre-flight insomnia.

I can never sleep the night before flying overseas. It used to be excitement that kept me awake – a single guy, off to explore yet another foreign land, no responsibilities except for himself and even that was debatable. It’s different now. Now I fly with four other people, meaning five airplane tickets, meaning boo-koo bucks meaning I have to find the cheapest flight out there. Which leads the to unenviable prospect of another low-priced, high-tension Chinese airline experience.
 
The Plan: Limo from home (A) to Newark Airport (B). Fly to Raleigh-Durham (C). Fly to Washington Dulles (D). Fly to Tokyo-Narita. Total flight time: 17 hours. Total layover time: About 4 seconds. This should be interesting.

I’m excited to get back to Japan. I always am. But tonight it’s that unenviable potential for disaster that’s keeping me awake.

And this time I can’t even blame China.