24 Hours to Paris
Can you imagine being a Napa Valley resident and winning USA Today’s “Pick a Trip Sweepstakes”—a two-night/three-day vacation to New York—and spending 24 hours in transit from San Francisco to New York, the result of a busted temperature gauge in the left engine?
Gaga with jet lag, your three halcyon days in the Sour Apple would be two dismal daze before boarding a big jet for the return three-hour assault on your internal clock.
Thank goodness my wife, Peggy, and I had planned 10 days in France, not just three or four.
I applaud the safety consciousness of US Airways, but what a horrendous two days!
If you’re flying long distances, it pays to think through your itinerary for possible mishaps.
Flying with the Enemy
Let me say at the outset that I despise US Airways, which went into bankruptcy twice. In 2003, in order to avoid going out of business, it liquidated the pensions of 6,000 pilots and sent them over to the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. We taxpayers assumed the obligation of their woefully under-funded plan.
Following that federal bailout, in June 2007 the traitorous bastards stuck a spike in the eye of their benefactors—the federal government and the American people—by placing a $10 billion order for 92 European Airbus jets, yet another screwing the of American economy. It was on one of those Airbuses that we were scheduled to fly to France on May 1.
Why fly US Airways? It is the major carrier out of Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Peggy travels a lot for business and is a Dividend Miles preferred member, which means she (we) can bypass the long, long economy class lines and check in quickly.
Getting There Early
I am a nut about getting to the airport early. Suffice it to say we got to PHL two hours before scheduled takeoff, only to find that the flight was delayed an hour because of a malfunctioning temperature gauge in the left engine. OK, if you’re flying over the Atlantic Ocean and the left engine heats up—and the pilot does not know it—the result could be ugly.