Reminiscing over Up in the Air…

travelChecked out the new Clooney flick last night. Great movie – worth seeing for sure. Clooney at the top of his game and lots of cameos from some great people.

It brought back so many memories for me during my 4 years of pretty much non-stop domestic travel – back before 9/11. Domestic US travel is horrible now and I would not wish it on my enemies but prior to 9/11, if you had some status, it was not too bad. Priority check-in, no nutty security and the staff from the various airlines was actually nice. Gone are those days.

The movie captured the experience so well – the hotel bars, the airports, and the various little scenarios at the rental car place to the on the road hook-ups. Just nailed it.

It reminded me of an incident I had once since the movie centered somewhat on Omaha, NE. I was due to be in Omaha for some meetings and needed to fly from SFO to Denver to Omaha. I had a travel assistant so I would book stuff via email and then just show up at the airport with my United card. Check in, check bag (I always checked bags for ease of use and lack of back injuries for loading bags into the overhead) and then proceed to lounge for breakfast. Upgrade comes through – sit in business and eat again. During this phase I noticed some guy bitching about not getting his upgrade. Of course I was the one who bumped him and I felt some satisfaction in that – all frequent flyers secretly do.

After stopping in Denver I went to the lounge and checked in on my upgrade to Omaha. Turns out I did not have it yet and it looked like I had not even a confirmed seat yet which was strange. So the good lady at the counter is looking at the debacle and then asks for my ID – at that time one did not need to draw blood but simply show their driver’s license. So I did. Then she laughed and said that I was suppose to be on the plane Tuesday – not Monday. I looked through my emails on my 2 ton crackberry and noticed she was right. It was Monday. I was suppose to be in San Francisco. Turned out the dude who I had bumped had my same name so the first attendant in SF booked me in his seat. Shows you how laxed security used to be. 🙂

I felt so stupid – I said any flights back to SF? I got back on the plane I came on and headed back to SF. Went home and back to bed. Got up on Tuesday and did it again. This is when I started to ask for an international transfer.

Check the movie out to get a sense of road life. It is not too far off the mark. Funny, that it is, sometimes life on the road is more fun than normal life. Clean hotel rooms, big beds, room service, random hook ups, and just the road culture coupled with all the interesting people. Sometimes returning home was the letdown – not the travel.


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