Orlando, FL 03 Oct. 2009. Like clockwork, my alarm clock went off at 5:40a. The phone rang at 5:45a and my phone went off at 5:45a. I did not want to oversleep this morning at all. That would just ruin the day’s plan all together.
I checked twitter and e-mail and then got dressed via the noise of airplane engines climbing out of Orlando Airport right on cue at 6:00a. This hotel needs soundproof walls. I enjoy the noise, but I’m sure others do not. So no “10” rating for you La Quinta. Another point deduction is for false advertising. You said, you have Hi-speed Wireless Internet, but you neglected to say it was only in the Lobby. You need a cable for the rooms. The devil is in the details. Other than that, it was a great stay.
I checked out and had a quick complimentary breakfast of a bagel, a muffin and grabbed a small tub of yogurt. It was time to go to the airport via the 6:30a shuttle. We pulled out making our first stop five minutes later at Alaska Airlines. A couple was heading to Idaho on Alaska, the lady mentioned via Washington D.C. Cheap fare I guess. There is no easy way to get to Idaho really.
I chose to check-in via a person and was ushered to the much shorter Bag Drop line. The agent, Robert greeted me, asked my destination, checked my driver’s license and then produced a boarding pass. I told him that I did not get the return (as you remember, this happened in Austin last weekend as well). I guess something is amuck with jetBlue’s system as the agents have to do something extra for connecting flights to be checked in in one entry.
He took back the boarding pass, checked it for the confirmation number and a few seconds later produced the two other passes for the return journey as well as the Orlando to Buffalo portion. I then went off happily to the gate.
Security was not too bad and I breezed through it without incident then taking the waiting train to the 100s gates where I plugged in and connected and to the Internet. It is time to start blogging.
As I waited at the airport for my flight, the David Letterman news is all over the TV. How many different aspects can there be? There is even a twitter reference, geez.
Boarding started about 7:42a. I was almost the last to board and as I did, the gate agent noticed my #AYCJ button and gave me a woohoo! Onboard, I said hello to Joe the flight attendant at the door. It took a while to get to my seat as people were getting their acts together. Just a note, don’t put your seatbelt on if the window seat is empty and boarding is not yet complete. More than likely someone is coming for that seat. This was the case in a few rows including mine.
We soon pushed back early at 8:06a and headed out to runway 17R-35L. We were #3 for takeoff behind a jetBlue Embraer 190 and a Southwest Boeing 737-700. A8:16a, we were off for Aguadilla, PR (BQN).
The folks next to me never said a word to me the entire flight, they just watched TV the whole time. As a matter of fact, they never said anything to each other and they were traveling together.
Speaking of TV, they showed three free movies, well two Ice Age was shown in Spanish and English plus Year One. Breakfast came soon after takeoff; the usual animal crackers, potato chips, cashew, etc. and drink of choice. There were also offerings for a pillow and a blanket for 7 USD and headsets for those who did not get them outside for 2 USD.
I was checking out the flap positions on the wings and took some pictures. Yes, that kind of stuff is fascinating. It was interesting to see all the positions and imagine the pilots initiating the command in the cockpit.
It was great to see the first sight of Aguadilla, PR (BQN) perched atop the cliff off in the distance. We negotiated our way in and landed nice and sweet at 10:45a. I did notice the jetBlue Airbus A320 that came in from New York-JFK waiting for take off at the threshold to the runway. I think it was a little delayed leaving.
Aguadilla, PR 03Oct., 2009. We pulled up to the jetway-less terminal building which is basically just a hangar at 10:46a; but a beautiful hangar though that is 212′ above sea level. I deplaned and asked permission to take pictures from the Officer nearby. It was granted happily. I thought I could just go to the gate, but alas the two areas were separate. So I went outside. I figured since I was already outside of security I should just say hello to the ticket counter agents. They were very pleasant and even agreed to take the picture you see here.
They printed my boarding pass after which I ran outside to take a picture of the airport. This airport is really small. Actually, it is an old hangar which is 212′ above sea level. I then came back inside and cleared security which was a breeze since I was the last person to come through. After the TSA, I went through Immigration who asked me where I’m from. I told him and he said go ahead. Puerto Rico is kind of odd with that. You don’t need a proof of citizenship to travel there, but they ensure that when you are going to the U.S. mainland you have the legal rights to do so.
I then went and sat in the departure gate area which is just this huge room. Off to one side is a tax free shop serving mostly alcohol; another odd thing about traveling to Puerto Rico.
Boarding started in a few minutes and was split between the front and the rear stairs. I had a chance to take the rear stairs, which was really cool. As I walked out I saw the jetBlue Airbus A320 that was heading to New York-JFK take off. I’m not sure why it was waiting so long for takeoff clearance as I had seen it on landing.
I boarded through the rear stairs and the two flight attendants there recognized me from before and asked if I had a good time and where was I headed next. I said yes and advised I was heading to Buffalo, NY. I made my way to my seat as the cold air condensed throughout the aircraft. People were really fascinated by all that and took lots of pictures.
The door closed at 11:27a and we pushed back at 11:30a. Hector, Luis and Joe took care of the safety demonstrations as we took a short taxi out to runway 8 then taking off at 11:38a. It was beautiful you could clearly see that the airport was at the top of a cliff with the beautiful beaches below.
After takeoff, the flight attendants announced that headsets were 2.00 USD and pillow and blankets was 7.00 USD. The movies were again free since we were out of range of the entertainment satellite. The movies today were Ice Age – Dawn of the Dinosaurs, State of Play with Ben Afleck and Year One with Michael Cera and Jack Black. I chose to watch Year One.
Our service was a bit delayed due to some turbulence, but once it started I was ready for the animal cookies and cashew nuts, my all time favorite.
The descent started a while later and I could get a good view of the airport and downtown Orlando on the way in. The Orlando area is like Houston is goes forever and a day.
N505JB, “Blue Skies” landed at 2:07p and taxied into our gate by 2:11p. Fantastic. I guess I could have caught the other flights I was thinking of such as the 2:40p to Newark, NJ (EWR). But I did not want any anxiety today so I just took the easy way out, Buffalo, NY (BUF) for wings.
How have your Saturday been going? Did I mention how much I loved the Aguadilla, PR area? I have to go back and soon.
You can always follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mskonfa1990 as I continue to fly the world one weekend at a time. Also, you read what others are saying about All you can jet on twitter at http://twitter.com/#search?q=aycj.