Friendly skies, not so much... Let's face it, Christmas and new years are the best time to be with our family and friends but it is also the busiest travel time of the year. The family part was delightful and I was pleasantly pleased to see Olivia, Parker, Sophia, Chloe, and Elena as well as their dogs so well behaved and I must give credit to Natasha and Sabrina for this.
But since today is the last of the peak travel days during what was most certainly the busiest year ever for air travel in the US and I am finally back home, I have decided to share some of my observations.
First of all the hard the data, 45.2 million passengers traveled from December 16th through January 5th at out nation's airports. The madness was intensified after Monday night’s temporary computer shutdown of US Customs and Border Protection systems at airports across the country which resulted in long lines, short and triggered tempers, as well as horrendous headaches.
Back to my personal story. We traveled from New York to California, with connections in Colorado to enjoy a long-planned visit my family and that part was delightful. However, I was quickly reacquainted with the shortfalls of a cramped airplane full of rude passengers sneezing and coughing without covering themselves, and a flight full of crying children and barking dogs. These are definitely not the sights and sounds of the season. The takeaway is that unlike my permanently obnoxious neighbors' barking dogs, which regardless of the time and day may only stop after NYC fines the inconsiderate woman who owns them, or as her husband prays, she and her dogs will one day run away. I can prove this because he said this in front of witnesses and it was all recorded on camera, but I digress. The airplane passengers were a temporary inconvenience, which lasted only a few hours.
As if this was not enough, while preparing to fly home, from Denver to NYC aboard a new airplane, which boasts the friendly skies, an A320 offering a premium travel experience, the pilot reported serious navigation problems, which took 4 mechanics, two men and two women and nearly two hours to resolve. When we finally took off, it was not only a bumpy ride, but our delay meant that once arriving in NYC, we had to circle several times until a gate was assigned.
Anyway, it is nice to be back home in City Island again, albeit my bad cold in the midst of this winter weather, which has brought us an arctic air blast, that will soon bring us snow!