Red Eyes On a Daytime Flight

San Francisco Airport Fairfield Hotel

We were up at 5:30 am and took the hotel shuttle to the airport with a driver who was a tall, good looking black man.  He had a very deep resonant voice and, in-between making his announcements, he sang along with some classic Barry White type songs.  Nice way to make an otherwise mundane activity into something interesting.

The SFO airport was a ghost town, check-in went smoothly since I am lifetime Platinum so we get to use the First Class check-in even when we travel coach. But, let’s not talk about this because Margaret likes to travel Business Class and I just couldn’t get my head around paying about $8,000 more for this trip and upgrades just don’t happen in 2015 regardless of your status. One interesting milestone that will happen on this trip is Margaret will become lifetime Platinum on American with our return trip. That means that she will eclipse 2 million miles on American. I probably have 3 million on American and well over 5 million on all carriers. Hard to believe that we put our bodies through that grief but we did.

We boarded our flight to Charlotte on-time after getting our latte’s.  The plane was an American-USAir A310 and we had aisle seats sort of across from each other for the 4+ hour flight.  We ate what we could of the standard airplane food…gluten free or not and I read Dana Perino’s new book and Margaret played her 3’s game on her iPad mini.

Upon arrival in Charlotte we had a long-ish walk from B Terminal to D Terminal later and, with the limited time we had we bought a bunch (meaning probably too much) of s0-so sushi near our gate and boarded our flight to Barcelona on-time. Another former USAir plane, this time a wide-body A320. This time we sat side-by-side on the 2 seat side in coach.  The flight was only about 80% full but we decided to forego taking an entire center row that we could lay down and sleep on. Margaret’s not too big on that but I used to spend what seems like half my life taking red-eyes back East doing that, complete with minor league hockey teams once in a while.  Margaret had purchased two foam neck pillows just before boarding (two for the price of one of course) so she figured we could just sleep in our coach seats.  I had purple, she had black and white leopard style.  Very stylish!  But a pain in the butt carrying them around the airport.

After boarding they had a problem with the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) and had to move fuel around to different tanks for weight balancing so we ending up leaving an hour late. While we both took ½ an ambien so we would sleep it didn’t do much for either of us. When we ended up landing on time in Barcelona after a 9 hour flight both had about 2 hours of sleep but I finished my book and we had both watched a couple movies. We had red eyes but it was our own fault.

Along the way we got very familiar with a woman who had (probably inappropriately) dressed in a tennis outfit of sorts.  She kept forgetting something that she had put in the center overhead compartment so about 5 times she climbed on a guy’s seat and pulled out something.  I got a picture of it about halfway through her exploits.  Pretty crazy.

We’ll cover the arrival into Barcelona in the next post.

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