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May 25, 2007


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plane hit bldg go boom...nuff said

If loosing bags is for amateurs please tell me how to prevent it. We never check bags when we fly within the US but when we fly to Europe they force us and I am terrified-I am very attached to my clothes and my accessories are the sum of a lifetime of collecting.

And what if my signed by Manolo Blahnik MB shoes were lost??? At least my Chanel "classic" is replaceable. Oh and not taking those pieces is not an option-I am who I am and I will reflect that. :)

Sorry J, I don't agree. If one lives life allowing fear to rule it one could make an excuse for not doing anything. There are plenty of car crashes-do we not ride in cars? Houses burn down-are we planning to go live in the woods hidden from everything and everyone? Well...there are forest fires too. Life is more fun, fulfilling, and yes, challenging if we live to the fullest. As for me I don't do nature and the terrorists will have achieve their objectives if we stop living because of them which is something I would never allow.
I don't love flying but I love being in Paris, until my husband lets me live there-flying is the ends justifying the means.

Yes, by "amateurs," I hope you mean the airlines and not the passengers. Jennifer is right. On long trips it's difficult to take such few toiletries that you can not check your bag. I almost always carry my bag on - especially in the U.S. Indeed, when I was commuting b/w NOLA and Boston and had a house in both places, travel was a wonderful breeze given I had to carry very little with me b/w the two places. Yet, on my 18 day trip to South America, for a wedding and all, I had to check my bag, and TAM Air, the developing-country-bus-in-the-sky, lost my bag for 2 days. I bristle at the word amateurs because I consider myself a) to be a very seasoned traveler, and b) occasionally still at the mercy of the transportation system, no matter how well I navigate it.

Also, consider yourself fortunate that your biz travel has been limited. I also love to travel, and love airports and air travel in theory. The sense of glamor is not lost on me. However, I find the best way to have that sense of privileged, elegant mobility dashed is to travel regularly for work. Suddenly you realize you're outnumbered in a sea of sales reps having the most boring conversations everywhere around you, and the desire to get from point A to point B as quickly and as painlessly as possible makes the layouts, likely delays and crowds at the major transfer points (e.g., Atlanta, Philly) much more of a nightmare that far outweighs the few benefits that you point out.

That said, I HATE Logan - 9/11 anyone (2 planes took off from there; Massport has a legendary corrupt reputation up here)? And mainly because their baggage claim is among the SLOWEST. Do everything to avoid checking bags if you are flying into Logan. The best thing about Logan - and yes, this does deserve points - is its accessibility from both the downtown and the burbs. It is remarkably easy to reach by train and commuter bus, and within an hour, even from my apartment way out here in the outer boroughs. :) But just as your childhood has left you with fondness for Logan, I was raised to disparage it.

I really like LaGuardia; living on the UES and "commuting" b/w NYC and Boston through my 20s, I came to appreciate its proximity to my house that made flying a much quicker and often cheaper process than the train (even though Amtrak long to convince me otherwise; don't get me started on Amtrak!). Being able to buy discount Delta Shuttle tix in packs until age 25 sealed my affection for LaGuardia in my first few years in the city. I'm not at LAG too often anymore, but it feels like an old friend when I pass through.

I don't have too much of a relationship with JFK, but the few times I've flown through it have been en route to major destinations (Africa, Hungary) so it makes me feel quite important. Plus, it's relevance as our 21st century Ellis Island (a conversation the M.A.S. and I were having yesterday at lunch) makes me think it's the coolest. (I feel similarly about Heathrow, though I'm more of a Gatwick "regular" as it seems to have the better deals from Logan. The Amsterdam airport is another one with this mystique.)

I hate Atlanta and Philly - see biz travel complaints above - especially the latter. Philly is where commuter time tables go to die. It's too small to handle its volume, and everything is always delayed. I'm a US Air loyalist after 18 months of commuting to NOLA, and I go out of my way to avoid flying through PHL whenever possible. DCA (National) and Charlotte are much preferred.

National is one of my favorites; if I'm there it means I'm either attending an important policy meeting ( ;) ), or visiting friends. It's as convenient as Logan, especially compared to BWI and Dulles. Charlotte is a handy little airport to transfer through; my dad loves the food court in the middle of all the terminals, but I'm ambivalent about it - the lines are always too long for me at just about every food option. But it's not big, not overly crowded, and US Air manages its flights pretty well through it.

The NOLA airport is terrible, mainly because of the lack of amenities and the prices. The taxes on food are also off the charts, though I am well aware of why they might need the revenues. ;)

Another airport to avoid is the Sarasota airport. Actually, it's great to arrive at if you're visiting the old timers on the Gulf Coast, but flying out of it is terrible, as it's staffed by said elderly and the people passing through security are again, old people, or families with children under 5 visiting them. It takes forever because everyone's moving at a glacial pace, unless they're trying to round up the three year old twins who are zooming around the security area in a frenzy. (The Tampa airport is cool only for the commute from there down the Gulf Coast involves some pretty modern and intriguing looking bridges over the waterways.)

As you can see, I'm mostly hopping around the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast. I've traveled quite a bit around the U.S. for work and pleasure, but that makes for a few trips to many of our airports, which I can't remember in comparison to trying to dash through those I've just listed.

PS: Fun post.

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