Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time and again....

Well…. It’s been almost a full week since I was at LAX. It’s good to be back (sort of). This weekend I’m not traveling just for the miles at least. I’m going home, or at least, to my original home. I grew up on an island north of Seattle, the type with 5 acre zoning, big trees and very small towns. It’s one of those places that’s paradise if you’re under 12 or over 30. Since leaving such a peaceful setting I’ve been in major cities long enough to appreciate my hometown’s quiet and safely, but not long enough to feel ready to go back full time. Though still I don’t think there are many more beautiful things than a sunset reflecting on the water and mountains over Puget Sound.

In other news, today I had the good luck to plan my flight so I could arrive to LAX via helicopter (a small…or large… job perk). Further, my pilot was indulgent and took a bit of time to go the scenic route over the beach so I could take some photos of the coast, as well as over LAX. I’m always struck by how the airport looks like a child’s toy train set from 1,500ft, with all the taxiways you can’t see when you’re moving between them. Today it was pleasantly clear in the LA basin, as we had a rare windstorm this morning that cleared the usually hazy skies over the city. The mountains (yes with snow) were in view, as were the hills all the way out to Malibu.

But enough about the quite short flight to the airport. I’m currently waiting for my 6:30 flight to Seattle/Tacoma in terminal 3. I usually balk at being sent away from the American terminal where I have all the usual amenities. However, when flying to Seattle there’s no choice. American codeshares on Alaska, and there’s no two ways about it. However this didn’t stop me from putting up a valiant, and I thought perfectly logical, fight last time I was here with the check-in counter at the Alaska Air “board room.” Its Alaska’s version of the Admiral’s Club, and I thought that it seemed perfectly obvious that when I booked a ticket on American and got “stuck” over in terminal 3 they should gladly welcome me. They did not agree. The woman behind the desk smiled calmly asked if I had Delta’s “Crown Club.” I explained that I booked American and got put on Alaska, but they didn’t buy what I was selling. I ended up slinking away and eating a California Pizza Kitchen salad on the floor of the terminal. Well, not really “on the floor”….but they were short of seats.

Long story short- live and learn. Today I didn’t even try, and am happily seated at the Northwest themed seafood restaurant, where the waitress has nicely convinced me to try the Cosmo. It’s good, but a little sweeter than my usual vodka before flying. Speaking of drinking and flying, I have a little-known travel secret to share. I’d usually withhold this tidbit, but since I’m confident not too many people will read this I’ll go recklessly ahead. Here it is: Alaska has the easiest upgrade policy of any airline I know. For shorter flights, all you have to do is go to the desk upon your arrival and ask for it. Seriously. There is a small charge based on length of flight, but if there’s a seat and you want it it’s yours. This policy is quite unlike most of the major airlines who basically want your firstborn child for a seat in the front of the plane. So I’m just tossing that out there, please use the information wisely.

Well… the restaurant is filling up, and my flight’s about to start boarding so I’m off. I’ll hopefully be posting this, and pictures from my flight to LAX when I’m safely on my island enjoying the clean air, and some peace and quiet.

1 comment:

  1. Air Tran will do the same thing. If there are upgrades avalible when you check in, the kiosk will ask you automatically if you'd like one and they just put the fee on your card.