Trip Start Jun 03, 2009
23Trip End Sep 18, 2009
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So let me tell you about the woes of flying out of a tiny airport. I took US Airways because there apparently is no direct flight from Charlottesville to Atlanta (although someone said Delta has one). The plane took off north to Philadelphia, where I waited 3 hours for the second plane down to Atlanta. I purchased internet for $7.99 only to hear an announcement a few minutes later that college students can get free internet. Ay me. Time passed by fast enough as I facebooked and watched Korean drama. When the US Airways lady called zone 2, I was in line (with a zone 4 ticket).
You have got to be strategic about your seatings and zone numbers. The trick is to get on board early. I fly at least 6 times a year, and I have been noticing that the new baggage check-in fees are forcing many people to carry on their luggage to save money. The problem with that is, often there is not enough room for everyone's luggage onboard. You need to get on board before others around you in order to secure room overhead. US Airways especially has small overhead compartments, compared to AirTran and Delta. I could not even fit my backpack in the overhead comparment in the first plane, so I ended up having to stuff all my luggage under my seat. Thankfully, US Airways emptied some of the seats because of extra fuelage issues, and I was one of the two lucky people to sit alone.
Despite my preference for aisle seats, I now try to get window seats. They tend to board window seaters first, so you are more likely than an aisle seater to get the overhead bin. Also, I try to get seats in the back, so that I can stuff my carry-on luggage in any of the empty overhead bins BEFORE my seat. Long ago, I naively sat in a front, aisle seat and had to store my luggage in the back due to lack of room. Then when we were getting off the plane, I had to wait for everyone to get off before I could retrieve my bag. Never again.
Another way to get on board first is to just get in line regardless of your zone number. As a coach, window seater, I am usually zone 3-4. I get in line when they call zone 2 or 3. I have been called upon only once. I just had to step aside until they called my zone number, but whatever, I think it's worth sneaking in with earlier zone numbers.
Anyway, that was my whole spiel about how to secure an overhead compartment. 70% of the time, you will not have a problem, but for a frequent flier with 2 carry-on bags like me, it's important to strategize! There is nothing worse than having to check in a bag after you have boarded the plane.
I finally arrived in Atlanta at 2pm! My brother picked me up, and I headed home. I could feel the thick humidity in the air. Oh yes, this is Atlanta!
My house is everything I expected: clean, spacious, full of delicious food, and oh so comfortable! I will relax for 2 full days, and then my friend from college is coming to visit me! She was my roommate in Istanbul and has become one of my best friends ever since. I will update some entries about doing touristy things around Atlanta.