December 21st, 2003

Enterprise Bridge

Travel oddities

Apparently, volume between San Diego and Los Angeles (or perhaps volume into and out of LAX alone?) has led United to move its SAN <-> LAX milk runs from turboprops to Bombardier regional jets. Today was the first time I ever used a truck-mounted air stair. It wasn't to get out of the plane--it has its own stairway built into its door. No, it was to get to the jetway into the terminal.

I'm getting near the end of a 3 1/2-hour layover in LA. I tried to slip onto an earlier flight to O'Hare, but they're all full. Mine leaves in about an hour, and it's on a 747-400. I haven't flown a 747 domestically since my family went to Disney World in 1981. My dad and sisters were on a 777 between O'Hare and Denver when we went to Breckinridge for Easter '97. I've not been on anything larger than a 767.

Interestingly, most of the stores in the far concourse where United's regional jets come into LAX are "temporarily closed". One sign cites "diminished air travel". That terminal was pretty dead... I'd heard of such closings before, but had never seen them. Everything at O'Hare has been open and busy every time I've been there.

Dad says the word on the news is that there's delays at O'Hare today because United and American scheduled too many flights. I would not at all be surprised if this was a strategic move to wave in front of the state legislature to get moving with the O'Hare expansion plans. "It's only going to get worse as the economy improves!" Which really is the God's-honest-truth.