A job at the airlines can be intimidating. Jet aircraft are complicated beasts and there’s a ton of training that comes with the position. Thankfully, for those who are thinking of going down that career path but want to dip their toe in the lake before diving in headfirst (or for those, like me, who have resigned themselves to the fact that airlines will never be an option but want to have a weekend long experience) the ATOP or Airline Training Orientation Program is a great option to get the feeling of what jet training at the airlines is really like.
I was all excited for my first flight since being approved for the TSA’s Pre-Check program. I was looking forward to breezing through security without all the usual hassle, but alas my dream was not to be. When I printed out my boarding pass, the Pre-Check logo was sadly missing. I had done everything right — entered my “known traveler” number in the system, flying from a Pre-Check airport, everything that was on the website — but there was the boarding pass, logo-free. After some digging, I figured out why.
The San Antonio International Airport (KSAT) looks great from the air and has some great approaches into the city, but getting a picture of the action on the runways is difficult at best. There really aren’t any good places around the airport to sit and watch the planes go by, but I found an excellent spot if you’re willing to spend a few dollars.
I wanted to hate American’s new look. The boring grey. The arial font. The apparent lack of imagination on the part of the designers, lazily draping the word “American” across the fuselage instead of stylizing it. But despite a style that might be more at home with other stellar designs such as the Yahoo! home page, I find that I hate it less and less every time I see a plane all dolled up in the new colors. It’s clean, modern, and hopefully over the years the scuff marks from the apron of the jetway won’t be as apparent as it is on the current fleet.
I still think they should have gone all retro and gone back to the 1930’s design . . .
As I was checking in for my flight to Tulsa this morning, the computerized terminal spat out an extra slip of paper. There were the customary two boarding passes (one to Dallas, one to Tulsa), but where normally I would expect a receipt for checking my guns and gear (except there wasn’t one, because I was traveling sans firearms for once), there was a voucher for a “premium beverage” on my flight today — and expiring as soon as I stepped off my flight in Tulsa. There’s just one slight problem: neither of my flights today serve “premium beverages.”
There’s a reason that I prefer American Airlines. Several actually, including the nicer terminal in San Antonio and the Dallas hub being only a 40 minute fight away. But when other people are footing the bill, I don’t have much control over which airline I’m flying. Which is why I recently found myself on a Delta flight, feeling a little like a cheating lover . . .