Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Losing, and Finding, Your Car

JetBlue on Twitter (www.twitter.com/jetblue ) has a really useful travel tip for those of you (well, us) who have "lost" a car at airport parking: http://twitter.com/JetBlue/statuses/852759910 .

I actually managed to lose my car in the parking garage at Hartford Bradley Airport. I knew its general location but what I didn't realize is that the Hartford parking garage effectively has two symmetrical ramp structures under the one building. While I was going up and down one set of ramps, there was a complementary set of ramps further back doing the exact same angling. Of course, I didn't find this out until after calling security for help finding the car. When I finally went around a corner, I realized three things:
  1. There was this other set of ramps that I hadn't been searching.
  2. My car was precisely where I left it and where I thought it would be...only on the other side of the wall.
  3. I was going to have fun explaining this one to the security guard. He actually laughed and said this happened about once an hour. I guess it was my hour.

This of course was in a car that did not have one of those key fob door openers. How many of you have gone around clicking that, listening for your car's horn? Let's just say I've done that more than once. Very effective.

Monday, July 07, 2008

JetBlue on the Phone

For some reason, my JetBlue TrueBlue number is associated with my full name, with middle initial, so that when a ticket is issued in my name without initial, JetBlue assumes I must be someone else and doesn't associate my number with the reservation. I have to call JetBlue to fi the situation each time. When I did so today, JetBlue's recorded greeting was all too happy to point out that my call was being connected to Salt Lake City. Good start. And the agent was great. Just did his job quickly and efficiently. Even upsold me on the premium seating; for $30 on the transcon, you get 38" pitch instead of the standard 34". Even 34 is good; most carriers' standard coach is 31". 3" and 4" doesn't sound like much but it's huge. 31 is cozy, 34 is comfortable, 38 is spacious. And I didn't even feel bad about that upcharge; $30 for 5 hours of improved comfort seemed like a reasonable trade-off. Like first class without the alcohol. :)

I'm not looking forward to the JetBlue JFK experience until the new terminal is open in the fall. I could park off-premises but it's an early enough morning flight that I'll take a car service (even if my round-trip car service isn't much different than my round-trip airfare; is it any wonder the airline business is in a world of hurt?).

Even when they're bad...

I was going to take the 8:35 Amtrak to Boston last night. It was listed as on time...but getting there early (7:50) as is my wont, I noticed that the 6:35 was just pulling in. I dashed out to the platform, asked the conductor if I could get on this train and after a moment's hesitation -- she said my train was going to be there in half an hour; I said "yours is here now" -- she said c'mon. Full train but comfortable seat and trying to make up for lost time, they were a few minutes faster than the regular train.

The only drawback to not having my car here in Boston is for grocery shopping. I can either take the T (or a long walk, not fun in the heat) and carry what I can carry or I can get delivery via Peapod (www.peapod.com ). Peapod has a $50 minimum, so it's not for my every shopping excursion but I think that'll be OK for most situations.