Sunday, August 21, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane (again) (again)

Despite having four huge bags of stuff (and a brace of umbrellas) checking in this morning was pretty pain free. Apart from the five dollar fee to use a luggage trolley, which rankles every time. Perhaps JFK has a big problem with people stealing luggage trolleys. Perhaps JFK has a big problem with not charging people for absolutely everything it can think of.

Our process was eased by having Marco Polo club membership. Instead of standing in an enormous queue for half an hour or more, we wandered over to the business class desk and checked in there. The staff are more chilled and there weren't any questions asked about the huge volume of stuff we were flying back with. It's 50 US dollars to have membership, but this morning, bleary-eyed and non-bushy tailed, it was good to have it, and better to have it knowing that I hadn't had to pay 50 dollars for it. Hooray for credit cards and complimentary membership.

Every time I fly through an American airport, it seems slightly worse than before. JFK terminal 8, where Cathay fly from, is worse than the JetBlue terminal; there's almost nothing there, besides a depressing Hudson News and some uninspired food options (what looks like a reconstituted muffin, or pre-masticated, anyhow). The carpet's knackered, the leather on the seats is torn, you begin to suspect it's an elaborate scheme to make you pay for lounge access.

Actually, not a very elaborate scheme. Oh well.

So it's a shame to be leaving America like this, after two weeks of enjoyment to have the stain of a grim airport smeared across your memories. Not that I'm going to remember much of this in a few hours, once the melatonin kicks in and my eyes roll back in my head and I'm spat out on the other side of the world.


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