Buffalo, NY 13 Sep. 2009. I had fallen asleep late last night, just plain exhausted. It was 5:12a when I awoke. I had not even set an alarm clock or requested a wake up call, so I lucked out.
I called the front desk to check on the time for the shuttle and found out it was on demand. Good deal. I then got ready and went downstairs picking up three mini muffins at the complimentary breakfast bar. In about 10 minutes or less I was at the airport arriving at about 5:50a. The airport is literally right across the street. I could have walked.
I checked in at the kiosk and got my boarding pass for the the flight to Orlando; a middle seat :-(. All other seats were taken or cost extra for the legroom. I noticed that I did not get a boarding pass for the flight from Orlando, FL (MCO) to Syracuse, NY (SYR), but figured I’d just get one in Orlando later.
I went to the security lines and had a pleasant experience with the initial ID checker. Once through the metal detectors, my bag was stopped for further scrutiny. I had forgotten that I had a bottle of water from last night’s flight in it. I asked the guy if I could drink it and he said, yes, but I’d have to go back through security. So I asked why, I’m sanding right here you can see me drink it, I continued. He said no and quoted rules/procedures, saying I could spit it on him, geez… I know that I’ve drank the water before the agent before so I don’t know what gives with BUF’s TSA. Anyway, he threw it in the thrash as I did not feel like going back outside security – too much hassle.
I gathered my belongings and headed to the gate area. As I milled around, I was able to get a picture of my plane from last night, “Bippity Boppity Blue” as it was doing the JFK run at 8:00a or so. I also took a picture of the closed Anchor Bar and our plane for today “I Got Blue Babe.”
After a few minutes of checking e-mail, etc. I went up to the counter and asked the agent if there were any non-middle seats available. She indicated no, but they had premium seats available that I could pay for if I wanted. I told her that I would keep my middle seat. I then told her that I had no seat for my next flight and that when I checked-in, the kiosk never gave me an opportunity to pick one, no print my boarding pass. She scolded me for not going to an agent and asking them to do it. Saying that she is busy at the gate. Strange she did not seem busy when I approached her. She then gave me an aisle seat at the front of the plane and printed a boarding pass; I think this is one of the premium seats.
When it was time to board, I did so, said hello to the flight attendant and took my middle seat. There was this guy in front of me who was arguing with his girlfriend, sometimes loudly.
I greeted my seatmates, to my left was a lady with an infant and to my right the father of the two kids behind me who were sitting with their mother. The guy who was on the phone sat at the window in front of me at the window and continued talking.
I made small talk with the folks in my row as we waited for departure time. The guy kept on his phone even while the boarding door was closed and the safety demo was going on. After the demo one flight attendant passed him and did not see that he was on the phone.
The next one was more vigilant and asked the guy to hang up and turn off the phone. Reluctantly, he hang up but did not turn off the phone. The flight attendant requested once more for him to turn off the phone and acknowledge that he understood. He refused to acknowledge that after a few tries on her part. She noted his seat number and left. I just knew that he was not going to Orlando today.
Sure enough, the airplane stopped after pushback, and the Captain announced that we were going back to the gate to take a passenger off. The cabin was silent, but everyone in that area knew who it was. We pulled back to the gate, a gate agent came onboard and beckoned him to follow her. He did peacefully, the door closed, we pushed back and departed only 15 minutes late. This was my first time seeing a passenger ejected.
It was a nice flight down with the usually jetBlue offerings of drinks and snacks. As I was tired, I managed to get some zees. The guy at the window went to sit with his family, so I moved over to the window for landing.
We actually landed early, but due to a long taxi made it to the gate two minutes behind schedule. Not to worry, the next flight is not until 12:45p and it was now 9:47a.