Tuesday, January 24, 2006

At LAX, waiting for the redeye 

Every couple of years I take the "redeye" back from the West Coast, and then swear an oath that I will never do it again. Then the memory of the agony fades, and -- being a glutton for punishment -- I decide "that wasn't so bad" and I do it again. Sitting here waiting for my 9:55 flight, which will land in Newark at 5:50 Tuesday morning, Allah willing, I can't quite extinguish the idea that I'm too old for this shit. To make matters worse, I am coming down with a fairly severe cold, which will probably get in the way of any sleep.

Of course, I have a strategy: a flagon of India pale ale followed by a couple of Nyquil LiquiCaps. If you hear tomorrow that there's a dead guy in seat 12D, Continental flight 1803, somebody tell Glenn Reynolds. And my family.

On the bright side, it seems as if the average traveler is a lot more civil at this hour. People happily share their table at the crowded airport bar, and everybody is very courteous and deferential. Perhaps, like soldiers the night before a big battle, redeye passengers do not want to leave this world with a serious karma deficit. Or maybe we're simply too tired not to be courteous.


By Blogger John Fisher, at Tue Jan 24, 06:32:00 AM:

I gave up on redeyes after one a few years ago that featured several screaming babies.  

By Blogger Cassandra, at Tue Jan 24, 10:13:00 AM:

Ugh. I hate that particular time slot.

But I'm a confirmed JetBlue fan - I took them whenever possible from Cali - don't know if you've tried them yet, but I can't say enough good things about them.

Plus the nice thing is that you can fly out of Long Beach, which is a *much* nicer airport (and far less crowded than LAX or Oakland).  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Tue Jan 24, 02:24:00 PM:

You can also fly them out of San Jose, Burbank, San Diego or Ontario, for those committed transcon flyers...just fyi...  

By Anonymous IndispensableDestiny, at Tue Jan 24, 02:52:00 PM:

I last took a redeye while in my twenties. The idea of getting home early but near death no longer appeals to me. However, the last one I took was on a near empty DC-10 so I could stretch over across the center seats.

Whats worse is the Friday Frankfurt to Dulles flight that gets you in at 4 pm. A long flight, jet lag setting in, and dealing with the DC beltway traffic at rush hour is too much to take.  

By Blogger viking kaj, at Tue Jan 24, 03:05:00 PM:

Speaking of blue and jets, the only thing that's worse than screaming babies on the West Coast red-eye is a late night flight to Europe in the back of a crowded coach section where everyone seems to have death-rattle bronchitis from a combination of too many Gitanes and an indeterminate, but potentially lethal, viral infection. Then they are out of the beef by the time the get to you so you have to take the, by now barely luke-warm-to-cold, fish entree (poisson as poison). And then, just when you start to get to sleep because the incessant waterfall-like roar of the wc starts to subside, you find out that the cessation is due to an encroaching "blue tide of death" (similar to, but not to be confused with, the MS Windows "blue screen of death"). The "blue tide of death" starts to roll down the aisle because someone has thrown their Gitane into the lavatory thereby clogging it irrepairably until you hit CDG. Finally, just as the 'tide reaches your seat and you realize that the lavatory may no longer be an option, you begin to have seriously queasy sensation confirming that the fish entree was not entirely a wise choice.

We sincerely hope the 'hawk had a better flight and landed safely without any accompanying SARS-like symptoms.


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