On the road again

I’m sitting (actually, standing) in the San Jose Admirals’ Club, ready to start my first business trip since mid-July. I got up an hour early to be sure of getting to the airport early enough to get through security in time for my 9:26am flight — I got here at 7:26, right on the FAA-mandated two-hour deadline. And I was through security at 7:35, with nearly two hours left before flight time.

I must admit that I cheated a little bit — instead of standing in the very long check-in line, or even the long First Class check-in line, I walked up to the self-serve check-in kiosk. I had to wait ten seconds for the person in front of me to finish her transaction, but that was it. The actual check-in process took about a minute — it would have been slightly longer if I’d had luggage to check, but still much less time than it would have if I’d waited in the line to talk to a human being.

Security was noticably different than it used to be — I had to take my laptop out of my briefcase so it could be x-rayed (but I was allowed to leave my digital camera in the briefcase…you figure it out, I can’t). And when I set off the metal detector, I wasn’t asked to be sure I’d emptied my pockets and given a second chance…instead, I was wanded (my belt was the culprit). Still, the entire process took less than three minutes.

I was hoping to get an earlier flight, but I’d’ve had to stand by, both here and in Dallas. I decided to stick with my original plans rather than wind up stuck in Dallas for five hours (2.5 hours is plenty, thanks) if the flight there didn’t clear.

The Admirals’ Club is pretty empty, though I’m not usually here at this hour, so I guess I can’t really compare it with pre-9/11. The short-term parking at Terminal C was really empty compared to the old days, and my taxi driver said business has been really slow.

I’m doing my part — but I am still somewhat nervous.

Oh, why am I standing? I’m using the free computer here, and it’s been put on a pedestal at a height that’s remarkably uncomfortable if you sit. I guess it’s to keep people from hogging it and doing their e-mail or composing web pages.

Now coming to you from DFW Airport

Boy, I’d forgotten how slow a dial-up connection is. And how tedious travel can be.

Congratulations, Audrey and Hal! (I know which of you did more of the work!)

Atlanta

I made it. Uneventful flights. But the hotel shuttle setup at Atlanta Airport is more confusing than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. And there weren’t any warm nuts. And if that’s my biggest complaint in this post-9/11 world, I am a very lucky person.

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