Monday, September 08, 2008

Orange County September 2008: Arriving at Houtston-Intercontinental, Houston, TX (IAH) from downtown Houston, TX

Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

It was 2:01p when the parking lot bus pulled into Terminal C. I noticed the new 500 bus service waiting to my left. This is the new Metro bus service that costs $15 each way. I went over to the driver and asked him where would I pay for the service. He motioned me to go inside and look by the Super Shuttle sign.

Sure enough, inside there was a Metro Direct sign right under the Super Shuttle sign. The place was devoid of people, so I said hello into the open door. A lady came out with food over her hands, apparently it was lunch time as I noticed some others within the room eating as well.

I asked how do I get a Metro card and how much was the bus and she said that it was $15 and I would get a Metro card. I said, well I really just wanted a Metro card for the cheaper $1.00 bus and she said hold on. She then went in the back and came back with another lady who was whispering that they are not supposed to sell a Metro card if the traveler Is not taking the #500. The first lady then said to me that she can issue a Metro card, but the minimum she would put on it is $15. I said thank you and left.

This is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard as there is no other place in the airport where you can buy a Metro card so you can use the #102. It is ridiculous that they are doing this just so they can promote the #500. I think I’ll have a talk with the Metro CEO about my experience. Only two weeks ago, I had to give two visitors $1 each as they had no change to get on the bus and no place at the airport to bus a Q card. The Q card allows you get a free transfer otherwise you have to pay $1 each time you board the bus or rail.

Annoyed, I went upstairs, cleared security and made my way to my gate. I stopped in the presidents club briefly, picked up a copy of the Financial Times, some crackers, checked e-mail, then headed for the gate at about 2:45p; boarding should have started at 2:30p.

When I got there, I noticed that there was no airplane and heard the tail end of the announcement mentioning that the airplane was in another location and a tug had gone to retrieve it. The departure time still showed at 3:05p, which was laughable at best.

I started to head back towards the Club, where if I sat close enough to it, I could use the WiFi, then I saw my boss with whom I’m traveling sitting at the gate so I joined him.

The airplane showed up at about 3:00p and at that point, we were showing a departure time of 3:10p. boarding of First Class customers started at about 3:15p and at that point we were posting a 3:40p departure.

My row was called at about 3:25p so I boarded.

No comments: