Travel Update

An update on this wonderful trip. Right now I’m in Gathersburg MD, with meetings nearby tomorrow morning. As for yesterday and today…

The flights from CID to EWR were on time, but on small regional jets where I had to cabin check a bag. I’m not that crazy about the Embraier 145. I had that from CID to ORD, and again today from EWR to IAD, and it is just too tiny! The flight from ORD to EWR was on an Canadair Regional, which was better, but not by much. I remember the days when these were all 737s. I’m not sure aviation is moving forward.

In any case, after the cattle car flights (the terminal at ORD is just like a bus terminal), I got into EWR about 12:15am this morning. Went to Avis. I reserved Intermediate, and when I got to the car found a minivan. I walked aback to the counter and said, “try again.. I want small car, covered trunk”. So they offered me a Towncar… they only car they supposedly had. Truged upstairs to find it had a broken glove box. Trudged back to the counter and said “try again.” This time, the nice attendant found my a Hundai Sonata. That worked, and I got out of EWR around 1:15am. The person giving directions at the Avis gate told me to get on US 1-9 N for my hotel (the Hilton). Turned out this was wrong, and I ended up wandering Port Newark. Called the hotel and finally got back there. Got to bed around 2am, and got up at 6am. Yes, I did drowse out during the meeting (as did others on the team), even though I tried not to. I’m still pissed at myself for doing that.

Going to the meeting, about half-way there, I suddenly realized I couldn’t find my DL or credit card. Thinking I left them at the hotel, I got off I-80 in Hackensack. Luckily, I found them in my luggage, but then I had to deal with finding my way *back* to I-80 W. This isn’t that easy in New Jersey.

Returning the car, I thought I would be good and fill the tank. However, the only gas station approaching EWR is before the bridge, and Avis considers that too far to consider the tank full. So they charged me for gas anyway. I’m not sure if I can retroactively fight the charge.

Flying from EWR to IAD was on another puddle jumper. They were doing a shift change or something at EWR, so we sat on the ground an extra 30 minutes on a plane that had no AC before taking off. We did arrive in IAD a little early, but at the far end of the A concourse. It’s quite a walk from there to ground transportation. Of course, when I got to my Avis Preferred car, what do I find? An SUV! Needless to say, I got the car changed — I now have a Chevy Malibu.

As you can guess, I’m looking forward to flying back to LAX tomorrow, and replacing my car keys on Friday. Of course, I’m not on a non-stop going back, so with the way this week has been going, I’ll get into DEN and find out that all flights into LAX are cancelled!