Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Flight Review: POS-MIA-ORD

After a few days in Trinidad on vacation it was time to go home.  This time I flew from POS-MIA-ORD (MIA in lieu of SJU).  The flight was in the afternoon, so we had plenty of time for a quick lunch before we headed to the Airport. We had doubles, which were delicious. I have no idea where we ate, it was just a little inconspicuous restaurant on a sleepy side street.  Only locals were eating at this place, the exact place we should be eating at every time we travel.

I got to the airport about 2 hours before departure - as I didn't know how backed up ticketing and security would be.  It was light - no one was there and I managed to get my boarding passes and make it through security within 20 minutes - which is amazing fast compared to the arrival process.

I had enough time to swing by duty free and pick up some great Trinidad rum - Angostura 1824 Rum.  I did make sure to double check with the US Customs folks to make sure I wasn't buying too much (or not enough).

I head over to the gate to find that boarding was well underway - I arrived at the gate 40 minutes before departure and we were already boarding my area (and since I had no status I was at the very end of boarding spectrum).  I boarded American's 767 and sat in an aisle seat on the far right side.  I approached my seat and found all the overhead bins full and to my surprise the under seat storage in front of my seat was taken.  I asked my seatmate if she had stowed her items in my storage area as well as hers -- she had. I asked her to move them, she said no.  How perplexing.  What is that smell? Ah, yes, a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken between her feet. Lovely.

I ended up calling the Stew to assist me in negotiating with this stubborn woman from Trinidad.  After she told him she wouldn't move her items he grabbed the items from under my seat and asked her which items were hers in the overhead bin. Once she pointed them out, he yanked them from the bin and handed them off to a colleague. He then grabbed my duty free bag and put it in the now vacated overhead bin. He then proceeded to grab her bucket of chicken and cram it in the overhead bin.

I wish every stew was as efficient and logical as this guy. Kudos to American for this guy.

This is going to be a lovely flight, eh?  After take off she got up and pulled down her bucket of chicken. She was nice enough to offer me a piece of chicken too. I passed. The only other interaction I had with this woman was when she asked me if I had a spork for her side of mashed potatoes. Alas, I did not.  She was quite resourceful -- she stripped the meat, skin and tendons from a drumstick, leaving just the bone. She then proceeded to use it to dip out the potatoes.  She's the Trinidad Macgyver.

We landed a bit late in Miami and as I was running through customs and immigration I ran into an unscrupulous agent. He informed me that I was only allowed to bring in two liters of booze -- he proceeded to throw 3 of my bottles NEXT to the trash. I know he was stealing them, but I was running to catch the last flight to Chicago.  I didn't have the energy to fight with this crook.  What a water cooler dictator.

My next flight was outrageously uneventful.  I made the flight right before the door closed.  The 3 hour flight to Chicago was over almost instantaneously - I slept the entire time. No snack, no movie, no cocktail.  I was home before I knew it.

Have you ever brought a bucket of chicken on a plane? Have you ever eaten a piece of KFC offered by a stranger on a plane or elsewhere?  Do you find yourself Macgyvering a bone into a spork?  Why do the crazies sit next to me?

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