I woke early in the morning to accompany some friends to the airport. For this particular trip, I ended up getting a different flight from my colleagues. I couldn’t afford their trip, so although I was leaving before 5 am, my flight wasn’t until noon. Leaving with them, I was hoping to spend some travel time with them since we had different flights.
I’m glad that I went. Our ride was a smooth, sleek, black limo glistening and clean, not littered with toys or crumbs. Soft music played in the background without the squeals and screams from little people, complaining about my selection. The leather was comfy and smooth and I could easily stretch out my legs without restriction, and no requirement to focus on anything in particular.
We did not pop any bottles this time, but we did talk, laugh and enjoy the hour ride to the airport.
My colleagues and I exited the limo and went our separate ways: them to US Airways and me to JetBlue. Besides cost, my last trip on US Airways was not a pleasant one, so I was happy to go alone on a better (IMO) flight.
I was so happy I did.
Walking down the aisle, I saw my seat. As I always choose the window seat, I had to ask an older woman and this striking beautiful blond woman to stand. As many flights as I have taken, I don’t recall sitting next to anyone quite so breathtaking.
She and the older woman carried on a conversation as I drifted off to sleep.
An hour or so later, I awoke to the offering of food and drinks. After asking for water and a bag of PopChips – Kettle flavored, I turned my attention to the women seated next to me.
The older woman was talking to her husband across the aisle, whereas the blond was reading National Geographic while watching the NatGeo channel on television. Beautiful and smart? I have to say that I’ve never been intimidated by a seat mate.
Chris, our JetBlue attendant, returned to ask us whether we needed anything else, while Karen, another attendant, collected our trash.
I found out that older woman was a retired IRS agent, but the blond was a wealth of intrigue.
This flight was the final leg of her two and a half month trip to the Americas, after having spent time in South America, including Bolivia and Peru. She was born and raised in Germany. We didn’t get into specifics because our conversation really did venture all over the place.
The blond was taking her last summer break before entering her final year of medical school. She hadn’t yet chosen a specialty because she wanted one that had flexibility for her social life. Her social life: competitive cheerleader and triathlete.
Her reason for being in California? To spend time with her friend who just had a newborn and wouldn’t be returning to Germany until the following year.
She read National Geographic because it was a challenging but inspiring read as she tried to strengthen her English.
I don’t know what it was, but I was in awe. She was the nice, beautiful, kind-hearted, well-rounded and hard-working. (Interestingly enough, I flew back next to a blonde, and I was not at all intrigued.)
During this time, Chris kept us fed and hydrated and Karen kept our areas clean.
For myself, I managed to read through a small but powerful book, Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson.
This was one of the most enjoyable flights I have been on. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, smiles all around, laughter and chatter filled the air. The attendants were attentive and on the ball. The flight closed with a warm towel and a bottle of mouthwash to take home.
After five hours stuck in a seat, I actually felt pretty good, a little cramped up, but good.
After getting off of the plane, we were told our carousel would be A. After the carousel started, off loaded a lot of luggage, it stopped abruptly leaving half of the plane without their bags. After some confusion, we realized that the remainder were dropped off on another carousel. Confusing but we all left with our belongings.
Overall, the flight was great.
My choice for transportation was recommended by the hotel: Super Shuttle. While I waited for my flight, I decided to reserve my seat. Although I knew Super Shuttle was fairly reliable through LAX, I didn’t want to wait any longer for a van than I needed to. I wanted to get to the hotel.
Their website was super easy to use. They needed some basic information:
Number of passengers
Time of arrival
I booked my trip within less than five minutes. Although good, in this day and age, not remarkable.
What stood out was a text that I received as soon as we touched down and I turned on my phone:
By the way, we were 20 minutes early.
A few seconds later, I received a second text letting me know that I could try their new system pick-up system
Of course I had to try it.
I apologize for not grabbing screenshots.
When you click the link, it asks you if you’ve landed. When you have, you can click the I’ve landed box.
The next “check-in” is after you grab your bags and on your way outside. I checked the box after I got my luggage. Immediately, I was given a guest number and a few seconds later, a van number.
They provided a map to their stop location. I’m not sure who’s at fault, but it was hard to find the stop. It basically said go out the door, and make a left. I couldn’t clearly tell whether it was on the sidewalk or on the median where I saw other buses and vans. I asked an airport employee who directed me to the right place.
As I walked to the stop, I checked out the app again. The map showed me the location of the van with respect to the stop.
As soon as I reached the stop, I told the attendee my guest number and a few seconds later the van pulled up. The driver jumped out of the van, asked me if I was April headed to Long Beach and proceeded to load my belongings.
After talking to my van mates, im told that this system to be like Uber. Since I haven’t been in an Uber, I appreciate that the competition has gotten Super Shuttle to up its game.
Even though I wasn’t clear where the stop was, having the van number helpful to my sanity. I could tell that the van hadn’t passed me.
The app was great and I really enjoyed it and the ride thereafter.