Friday, January 25, 2008

San Jose, CA: Norma Y. Mineta International, San Jose, CA (SJC)

We pulled up to gate C1 and then had to disembark into the elements. The weather was just as bad as Houston was :-(; rain and cold.

We walked along the long covered area to the terminal. Once there I realized how much it had changed in two years. The TSA had taken over and oops. I walked out and called the hotel for a pickup. They came in about 10 minutes.

This airport needs work and has gotten worst since I was last here.

I did check for WiFi and they had Wayport for 6.95 USD for the day, there were no free connections.

San Jose, CA: Houston-Intercontinental. Houston TX (IAH) to San Jose, CA (SJC)

CO421 25JAN08 Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to San Jose, CA (SJC) 6:30p 8:55p 733 N??310

Flying Time: 3:57

As I boarded, I noticed a few meals on the counter in front of me, I think I spotted pizza in one of the trays and also a metallic tray with a cardboard cover, which I think was the First Class meal. I said hello to the flight attendant as I made a right turn and walked through First class, stopping as we waited for a passenger to get settler.

On board this twelve leather seat First Class cabin in a 2-2 configuration and 112 cloth Economy seats in a 3-3 configuration aircraft, I made my way to the back to my seat; it was full and only a few overheads were open which were all full or just had room for a small bag. My roller board would not make it; this is one of the reasons I hate to travel with this bag, but I did not feel like stuffing my stuff in my back pack on this trip. I put my computer and magazines down on my middle seat as did another passenger and started making my way back to the front so I could check my bag. The flight attendant intercepted me and opened the First class overhead bin. I placed my bag in it and there was also room for the other passenger’s bag. This was a nice touch and I was very impressed and thanked him profusely as he just saved me quite a bit of time having to wait for my bag in San Jose.

I went back to my seat and settled. There were a few seat changes to make a passenger more comfortable and then the doors were closed and the safety demonstration began. It was hard to tell if we were moving as the guy next to me had the windows closed, but I could see out the ones on the right and determined that we were indeed moving. I also noticed that it was still raining.

This airplane has no video monitors so the demo was done the old fashion way, live and in person. This is a rare treat these days. This meant no movies or any kind of entertainment; a little tough on a 3:57 minutes flight, but I had my computer and lots of magazines to keep me occupied. Besides, I was tired having gone to bed at 2:15a and gotten up at 8:00a this morning. The lady behind me was playing “Go Spiderman,” a knock off of the popular card game “Go Fish.” I found it odd that she would not have him listen to the safety announcement instead…

We had quite a long taxi out and the flight attendant did mention that they had to remain seated after takeoff as it would be bumpy. I think I fell asleep before we took off after talking to the guy next to me a bit. He too was up early and had flown from Dallas that morning and was heading back home to San Jose. We yapped a bit about technology and travel. As we talked, I realized that it’s been two years since I’ve been out to San Jose.

After takeoff, I awoke as I was served the in-flight meal. For dinner today, we were served a hot pizza, with a KiKat, baby carrots and Ranch dressing. I did not really have the appetite for the pizza as I would spend too much time trying to get the cheese and the dough out of my teeth and braces :-). I had some crackers and cheese with me, so I ate that with the baby carrots and had some Ginger Ale (they were out of Apple juice) and water. As it was, my mouth ached from eating the crackers. The flight attendant actually gave me a can which was cool.

Later as they were picking up the trash, another flight attendant asks me if I fly a lot and I said yes as he recognized me. I did not recognize him though, oh well.

At 9:04p local Houston time, the flight attendants came around with water. They had done the same about 30 minutes or so earlier after the meal service. I thought they were going to do a second drink service, but that never occurred. It was strange as I had heard one of the flight attendants say that he was out of Diet Coke for the second service, oh well…

The lady in front of the guy next to me was getting comfortable and her sweater’s sleeve showed to the left of her seat; the guy did not know what it was and moved his hand really quickly and almost dumped his water in his lap. For some strange reason he was able to avoid disaster.

I was awoken so that I could get ready for landing. The landing was interesting as there was a lot of turbulence.

We landed without incident and taxied to the gate.

San Jose, CA: Houston-Intercontinental. Houston TX (IAH)

Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

As fate would have it, she went to Terminal C first since there were three passengers going there and only me to Terminal E. We verified our gates, entered the ever so slow security lines and cleared security eventually. They had just one x-ray machine open so it was really slow going. Not sure why that was the case at 6:00p on a Friday.

My colleague wanted to go check out the new Boeing 737-900ER that was making the Las Vegas NV (LAS) flight at about 9:00p that night. He thinks it was at gate 40 something. First we made a stop in the Presidents Club for some eats; not time for any drinks as I had to jet. He had some time, but he was focused on seeing the plane, so he left the Club when I did. He had verified that the flight would leave from gate 39. We had discussed earlier that we should have taken it to Las Vegas and then taken a flight to our final destination from there. We could have easily taken Southwest Airlines (WN) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX) and to San Jose, CA (SJC) respectively, it was very tempting. I mean, this was the inaugural flight of the -900ER for Continental. We are such geeks I thought.

We parted ways at the intersection; my voice echoing as I stood under the center and said “see you later.” That is always a fun thing to do.

During the time in the airport and on my way to the airport terminal, I got multiple texts from other friends who were going to Chicago-O’Hare, IL (ORD) and New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA). The one to Chicago had some trouble getting on his flight, but the one to New York, was seated on his flight and was leaving ontime at 5:50p.

I rushed to my gate which was at E14, quite a walk from gate C43 where I was. When I got there at 6:13p, it was empty; wow, I thought that was efficient. I got my middle seat boarding pass from the agent and made my way down the jetway. Alas, I stopped shortly, the jetway was backed up without explanation. This lasted for about 6 minutes and then it started moving, inching forward.

San Jose, CA: On my way

Jan 25, 2007 at 5:00p

At 5:00p, we left the office, with me dilly dallying a bit so I could get my computer shut down. My colleague who was driving had to stop by his house to pick up his camera and then we could go. Once we got on the highway, traffic was a bit snarled on this wet, cold and foggy afternoon. Houston had looked like this all week unfortunately, but tomorrow we would get a break as it was forecasted to warm up and the fog would burn off.

We took I-45 to US59 and then onto the HOV lane and headed north for the airport. The traffic on the road was light, but stared to crawl as we progressed, so we were happy that we were on the HOV lane. By about 5:44p, we exited at the airport exit and parked at the parking Spot 2. We found an uncovered parking spot and took the waiting bus to the terminal. I told the lady that I was going to Terminal E, but if she went to Terminal C, I would get off. The airport is really built badly as if the shuttle buses go to Terminal E or C first, getting back to either terminal requires that the buses leave the airport and then return. This wastes valuable time if you are running late as we were.