My string of avoiding business travel came to an end today; I’m at the Hilton Pearl River, near IBM Palisades, where I have a two-day meeting beginning tomorrow.
So far, the trip has been pretty smooth, though I took my chances this morning — my flight from SFO was at noon, which didn’t give me enough time to go to the office. But instead of staying home, I worked out at the JCC after dropping Jeff off — then, when I came home, I did a bit too much e-mail. So I didn’t leave the house until 10:15am…and it was raining hard. Luckily, there weren’t any accidents or delays on my way to the airport, and I got to the gate almost five minutes before they started boarding the flight.
I hadn’t flown American on business for close to a year (since they dropped the SJC-JFK non-stop and JetBlue came to town), but I’m Platinum for Life, so I was still able to request an upgrade, and it cleared, somewhat to my surprise. Transcontinental Business Class isn’t what it used to be — the meal choices were a warm roast beef sandwich or a salad with chicken. I went for the roast beef, and it was OK (I had brought a turkey sandwich with me in case I didn’t get the upgrade — it would have been just as good). At least they still have the warm nuts. And I didn’t have a seatmate (which astonished the flight attendant — she said there were many people in coach unhappy because their upgrades didn’t clear). And we arrived at JFK about 30 minutes early — though we had to wait for our gate.
The drive to the hotel wasn’t bad, either. As soon as I arrived, I saw one of my colleagues sitting in the lobby — she had thought she was staying at this hotel, but her admin had booked her into a different hotel. She was waiting for a taxi. I commiserated with her a bit until her taxi arrived.
I had a quick bite from the bar — if I’d read the room service menu, I probably would have had it in my room, instead. Unlike most hotels, this one doesn’t rip you off if you order room service — the items are the same price as in the restaurant or bar. They do add a 19% tip and a $2 service charge, but that’s not unreasonable for the convenience.
Tomorrow is going to come early — I plan to take the shuttle to IBM Palisades, and it leaves here at 7am. So it’s time to call it a night.