Up in the Air

Trip Start Nov 10, 2010
Trip End Nov 26, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Portswood Hotel

Flag of South Africa  ,
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

At Kansas City International Airport two hours early--a good international traveler knows that this is completely silly but shows up early anyway to minimize the wrath of an airline employee who might be having a rough day--I checked in and made my way to the gate only to find an earlier Atlanta flight just leaving. Traveling with carry-on luggage only, I was able to jump on. Never pass up an opportunity to leave early, say I. There is a nice Crown Room (club) at Terminal E at Hartsfield Airport so I holed up there for a few hours before boarding my Delta 777 to Johannesburg. The 6:45pm flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg lands at 5:05pm the next day...gate to gate it is fifteen hours and twenty minutes. Not a problem when you've got a seat like mine: 7A. It is almost as big as my condo and just as comfortable. It is a Business Elite Suite seat, has a small closet and a bit of extra table space compared to the rest of Business Class--which is why I chose it. The closet provides privacy from the aisle and shields light and noise from the galley. It is one of forty-three 76" long fully flat bed seats and has a work station and a television. There are 233 coach seats behind me. This is the way to fly over the ocean for fifteen hours; believe me.

At Jo-Burg, I have just under two hours between flights to clear customs and immigration, I keep going to Cape Town, a flight of two hours and ten minutes more. British Airways does a nice job. they, unlike American carriers, serve a hot meal and smile while they are doing it.

Kathy Sudeikis, world's greatest travel agent, member of the Travel Agents Hall of Fame, past presented of just about every travel agent professional organization there is, cover girl of Travel Agent Magazine and all around great person has an agent waiting for me to help get me to The Portswood Hotel. This is all very smooth. She put the whole thing together for me...something most travel agents couldn't do.

Southern Africa is eight hours ahead of Kansas City. Think of it this way: When the Kansas City workday is beginning, the South African work day has just ended. When Kansas Citians are headed to bed, South Africans are getting up. For a traveler, the trick is to get on local time as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are tired when you're supposed to be energized and energized when you are supposed to be sleeping. Usually, I am very good at these transitions. We shall see. A successful travel day means I head to bed and sleep soundly for eight hours or so and wake up ready to get down to business. I will turn off the light at the PortsWood Hotel momentarily and see if sleep comes easily. It is rainy here; we'll see if that persists into tomorrow morning. It is 11:00pm on 11/11 here; 3:00pm on 11/11 in Kansas City.

I have a lot of beverage operations to observe while I am here...let's see if DPS Campus, Pepsi Campus or BeerCampus subscribers can learn anything from these guys.
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Caryn Firebaugh on

Sounds like the trip is going well. Since Doug and I couldn't join you in Africa, we had to settle on the Jungle Safari Cruise at Disneyland. Safe travels! xoxo

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