Leaving in the Morning

I have everything ready for my trip except for a few things that have to wait until I go to bed or, in a few cases, just before I leave the house in the morning. My flight leaves Phoenix just before 7 am, which means that I should be at the check-in counter not much after 4 am, given that I’m flying internationally. There will be no buses running that early, so I will walk to the airport’s Skytrain terminal, a walk of just under two miles. Once I reach the Skytrain, it will still take me 15 to 20 minutes to reach Terminal Two. The Skytrain stops at Terminal Three, so after  leaving the Skytrain, it probably takes another 10 minutes to reach check-in in Terminal Two on foot. To allow for problems, I should probably leave the house at 3 am.

The last two times I flew to Europe, my United flight leaving Phoenix was delayed. The first time I had the brains to ask to be re-routed, which delayed my departure until the next day on Delta. However, I had the luck to be upgraded from economy to business class on the leg from Atlanta to Barcelona. Then on the return flight, the check-in clerk was very friendly and moved my seat. I ended up having three  economy plus seats to myself.

The second time, I ended up spending the night in Chicago due to a connection missed by about 10 minutes and then most of a day walking around Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris in a daze caused by lack of sleep while waiting for my next flight. As was to be expected,  the nine hours or so I was in that airport was not long enough for the baggage handlers to transfer my baggage from United to my Air France flight.

The rare upgrade on an overseas flight makes an enormous difference in how one feels when one arrives in Europe. As any flier knows, economy class is so jammed these days that a long flight is pure torture, and it is even worse if the person sitting next to you is so large that he or she doesn’t fit in one seat and spills over into yours.

Beginning Monday, there should be some pictures of Paris in this blog. In the meantime, there are 240 color pictures in my ebook A Senior Citizen Walks the Camino de Santiago about my last summer’s 400+-mile backing pilgrimage. Click on the book cover in the left sidebar for more information. Kindle Unlimited customers can read the book for free.