Posts Tagged ‘air travel’

Incidents and accidents: Holy land tourism, part 2

December 11, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 11, 2018

Some of the glitches on the Israel trip that Lady X and I took in 2009 involved airports. I’ve already recounted my possible (likely?) anxiety about not having booked a rental car in advance, but there were two further incidents that had some potential to go badly.

The first one was a discrete incident that occurred as we were waiting in line to be screened at Ben Gurion before flying back to the U.S., I suddenly became fixated on some knotted leather strings on X’s backpack that weren’t fastened to my satisfaction. It was a small thing, but I must have looked like a bit nutty. When the screener started quizzing us, X quite sensibly told me to cut it out and help her answer the questions like a normal person.

The other hiccup — which, like everything else on our trip, worked out fine in the end — occurred at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where we needed to clear customs and immigration before we could catch our flight back to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. However, this problem stemmed from a decision X and I had made, at my urging, upon our arrival in Israel.

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Dining on the fly: A terminal experience

August 1, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 1, 2017

I arrived at RDU in plenty of time to make my flight on July 19. According to my parking ticket, I got to the long-term lot two hours and one minute before my plane’s scheduled departure. Despite this, and despite the fact that my flight was delayed, I wound up having to run to catch my plane.

Originally, I was prepared to wait at the gate until it was time to board. However, our departure was pushed back by about half an hour, until 8:44 p.m., and my stomach began demanding to be fed. The gate agent made an announcement that made it seem as if we might not leave until 9 p.m. or possibly later.

That meant that we probably wouldn’t land until 10:30. I wanted to meet my car service as soon as possible, and that trip would take another 45 minutes at least. Also, my flight wouldn’t offer any meal service. While I wasn’t exactly facing the prospect of starvation, it seemed important that I eat something.

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A short monograph on Triangle traffic; or, my Wednesday-afternoon trip to the airport

July 31, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
July 31, 2017

I’d planned on taking a trip the week that ended on Saturday, July 22. But I hadn’t planned on leaving on Wednesday the 19th, and I hadn’t planned on flying. However, an urgent situation arose, and it seemed best that I book an evening flight.

That afternoon, I went to a barcade in downtown Raleigh. I did this partly to help myself unwind for a bit before my flight, but I also did this because evening rush-hour in the Research Triangle tends to be heaviest going east from Durham to Raleigh, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport is located about halfway between the two cities.

(Sidebar: A significant disparity between housing and jobs helps fuel traffic holdups in the region, as does a lack of rail-based mass transit. The city of Raleigh, which forms the Triangle’s eastern vertex, is the most populous in the region. But a significant proportion of Raleigh residents work either in Chapel Hill, the site of the University of North Carolina and its major teaching hospital facility, or in Durham, which is home to Duke University, to Duke’s major teaching hospital facility and to North Carolina Central University, a large historically black state university.

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