Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The day started early as I needed to finish packing and doing laundry. As with most travel days, I tend to get behind and leave everything to the last minute. I did manage to squeeze in a final trip to In-N-Out before we left for the airport. With the smoke in the air and every news station on Disaster Watch for the fires, there was not many traffic reports on the regular roads. I was worried this might get us and we would be stuck in traffic. Thankfully, we made it to LAX in just over 30 minutes.
American check-in procedures are limited to kiosks now and if you happen to be traveling internationally some poor lady has to come out and verify your documents. I would hate to be a check in agent at a major airline as it seems to be going the way of the dodo. After checking in, we were sent to the baggage check where the fun began. I discovered that my suitcase was 59 pounds – 9 pounds over the legal limit. This is after I already ditched some of my travel books in the car and to Daniel’s bag. The agent threatened me with a $25 fine, but I managed to put my heavy coat, pharmacy bag (Emergen-C, Excedrin, etc.) and my other pair of shoes in Daniel’s checked bag and he let me slide at 51 pounds. Of course I am glad I have my extra shoulder bag so that I can actually buy something and bring it home.
Daniel was using his vintage Pan-Am bag and as we were checking in I noticed that his zipper seemed amiss. Sure enough the entire zipper had failed leaving his stuff to spill out. I decided to give him my spare bag (since I had my entire suitcase open for the world to see anyways). He then tossed his Pan-Am bag and we decided that would be the first souvenir he buys a new carry-on bag. After barely making it past this guy, we had to take our bags to the X-Ray screening machine. As we made our way to the front of that line, the TSA agent told me he was now closed and I had to take my bag to the other end of the terminal. We walked all the way down to the other end of the check-in hall and gave our bags to the other screener. Hopefully my bag won’t end up in Sydney.
It was then off to the other end of the terminal to access the security checkpoint. Thankfully everything went smoothly and we made it into the gate area without further delay. We decided to eat at the World Famous Terminal 4 Burger King. It was interesting how outrageously high the prices are – they are practically the same as if we were paying UK prices! At this point, we realized that we did not book our Norway in a Nutshell tour. After calling a few people we discovered it was too late to book online and we would have to try and book via mobile once we reach Norway. We meandered back to the gate area and discovered they had started boarding 15 minutes early – good thing it is not Southwest. Onboard the aircraft we were pleasantly surprised how empty the flight was. There were lots of empty seats all over, but primarily in the middle. People took advantage during the light and were sprawled around all over the place.
For the most part the flight was uneventful – save for the area over Wisconsin when we hit a rough patch of turbulence and the pilot made the “All flight attendants take the nearest available seat” announcement. Watching the travel map on the seat back in front of me, I noticed that we dropped 5000 ft. in a matter of minutes. It certainly kept things interesting, but was not good for my Tetris game.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007