Saturday, December 29, 2012

When You Fly Too Much

This was my original flight plan, some of the times changed, but the route stayed the same
View more of my Instagram photos here:
Two weeks ago I looked at my United MileagePlus account to see I was sitting at 80 segments -- ten shy of hitting Premier Platinum.  So I did what every other self-respecting human being would do.  I booked a ten-segment trip... between Christmas and New Years... like an idiot.

Ironically, as I'm writing this, I'm still not home.  I'm sitting in the United Club East at DEN.  (as a side note, this is my first time in a United Club... why have I never done this before?)  I'm about to head out on my final flight home -- the tenth segment of my ridiculous mileage run.

The time card on the picture has changed, for the sake of the rest of the story, here is the updated time card:

to from date depart arrive type seat notes
OKC IAH 12/26 13:24 14:51 EMB145 2A I was sick on the 25th, so moved OKC-IAH-AUS to the 26th
IAH AUS 12/26 15:28 16:25 737-600 4F --
IAH LAX 12/26 21:19 23:05 757-200 6F --
LAX DEN 12/27 06:00 09:19 757-200 4F Switched to 3D
DEN PHL 12/27 20:24 01:58 +1 737 2F --
PHL EWR 12/28 05:57 07:00 Q200 dash 8 4A --
EWR OMA 12/28 07:51 10:15 EMB145 2A Delayed 2 hours due to pilot not being there.
OMA DEN 12/28 18:35 19:15 CRJ700 5D --
DEN OKC 12/29 08:10 10:41 EMB145 12A Flight on 12/28 was cancelled due to lack of crew.
So, it was crazy week.  One thing you'll notice is the lack of sleep time not on planes.  I'm a firm believer of working during the day traveling at night.

Sleeping in LAX
I had a room booked at the LAX Marriott.  By the time I arrived at the airport I was exhausted.  So the entire experience of getting to the airport was made farcical.  It felt like I had arrived at a 3rd world country.  Any who, I ended up with three hours of sleep, and back to it.

Sleeping in PHL
I had not planned on getting a hotel in PHL.  But, I was only able to sleep about two hours on the flight from DEN, and reality was starting to slip from my grasp.  I noticed there was an onsite Marriott, and I went to there.  I paid $209 for an hour's nap and a hot shower.  And it was just enough of a boost to get me going.

By the time I got back through security I had received notice that my DEN -> OKC flight was Cancelled.  So I started getting a hotel ready in DEN.

Needless to say, it was nice to get a "full night's sleep" in Denver.  Okay, so what's the point.

I feel like I have no connection to reality.  I wonder how flight crews survive the constant change of location, time, and environment.

TSA Pre✓
I want to take a moment and give praise to the TSA (sorry Fish), but I love TSA Pre✓.  I have used it in every airport.   In LAX I had moved from the bus to the gate in three minutes, without taking off my shoes.  I'm glad the TSA is taking initiatives like Pre✓.  They really are making a world of difference.

Final Thoughts
This blog had no point.  I'm bragging about my trip, and gave no constructive anything.  It could be because I'm tired and ready to be home... yep, that's probably it.  I was just notified that my DEN -OKC flight was just delayed another two hours.

So, yeah, I took this just now:

But, hey, I'm just some guy who likes to look at airplanes, so what do I know?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012: A Look Back

Every year I set goals for myself.  Last year I posted those goals in these tweets:

Of the five goals I set, none of them happened.  I missed out on coffee with Jeff, Sitting in a 747 at all, I don't even have my single VFR yet, I never graced a Taco Bueno commercial, and Tom Delonge never responded to any of my tweets.  

But, I don't just set goals to achieve them.

I know, that doesn't make a lot of sense.  But here's what I'd like to propose: Without a dream, one lacks motivation.  I took steps in everyone of the goals above... and they haven't happened... yet.  Setting goals doesn't mean that if they don't happen I have failed.  Instead, setting goals helps keep me motivated.  

Because of the effort I put forth in the above things, a number of other things happened.
  • My wife and I got pregnant
  • I will have flown 90 flight segments on United by the end of this year
  • I got to meet several new friends across the country
  • I got to introduce many people to Taco Bueno (I may not be in a TV Ad, but I'm a walking Ad!)
  • I've increased my clients, and created new work opportunities for myself
I even made it on a video produced by United:

So, I'm going to keep setting goals, and keep achieving great things!  And I suggest that you set goals as well!

But, hey, I'm just some guy who likes to look at airplanes, so what do I know?