city at night

city at night

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Smooth Sailing

Actually, I should say "smooth flying".  Unlike my last trip to Mexico when my flights both going and returning were a bit of a nightmare, everything went smoothly with yesterday's travel.  .

As I mentioned earlier, the taxi to take me to the airport was picking me up so early in the morning, that I decided not to bother going to bed at all.  I did manage to take a nap for a couple of hours earlier that day.  I had ordered a taxi for 4 AM, but it showed up about fifteen minutes early.  When I got to the airport, I could not believe how many people there were at that hour.  Fortunately, even though I was flying economy, I have "premiere" status.  I didn't have to wait in a long line to check my luggage at the United desk.  The line waiting to pass through security was ridiculous long.  But there was a much shorter line for the "premiere" customers.  Perhaps because of the long line, TSA was not requiring anyone to take off their shoes or to take out their laptops.  That made security a bit less stressful.  

I was also surprised that most of the restaurants were open at that hour.  I had plenty of time to before my 6:40 departure, so I went to the Michael Symon (Cleveland's most famous chef) restaurant on the concourse.  I had a very good breakfast there... avocado toast... and the portion was quite large.  I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I had two cups of much needed eye-opener.  I started reading one of my books while I nursed my coffee.

I arrived at the gate for my flight to Houston with plenty of time before they started boarding.  

Our plane had arrived the night before, so it was already at the gate waiting for us in the pre-dawn light.

It was a full flight, but I never have to worry about finding bin space for my carry-on.  Even when I am flying economy, I am in boarding group 2 because of my United credit card.  I used my frequent flyer miles to book this flight, and this time I did not bother to upgrade to first class or economy plus.  When I fly regular economy, I always choose an aisle seat.  Thus, I do not have any photos looking out the window to share with you.  In fact, most of the passengers had their shades pulled down.  I didn't see much of anything.

The flight to Houston arrived about twenty minutes early, so my three-hour layover was even longer.  I was thinking about having another breakfast (about five hours had passed since I had eaten).  I wanted to go to Ruby's Diner, a place where I have eaten several times when passing through Houston.  However, the airport is being completely renovated and I couldn't find it.  I thought perhaps it went out of business, but I later found it on the internet.  I wasn't in the right terminal, although in the past my route between gates always took me past it. 

The other sit-down restaurants in the airport are these places where you have to scan the menu onto your smart phone, order on your phone, and pay with your phone.  This dinosaur wants to have a menu in my hands instead of scrolling on the phone.  I want a waiter or waitress to take my order, and I want to be able to pay in cash if I so desire.  Sorry, but this old fart is not interested in patronizing these high-tech restaurants.

The plane I was taking to Mexico City arrived at the gate well ahead of the scheduled boarding time.

We would have arrived early on that flight also, but we had to circle a few minutes before we were cleared to land.

When I arrived at immigration, I did not have to wait in line at all.  Then I picked up my suitcase, and I was waved through customs.  I only waited a couple minutes before Alejandro showed up to drive me to the family's house.

The entire journey was hassle free.


  1. This 48-year-old fart also hates scanning menus on his phone, though I'll concede it was a more germ-free option during the COVID heyday.

    Glad your flights down there went without issue. I enjoy passing time at IAH Airport - at least on the US-to-MEX leg; the return tends to have some ridiculous bottlenecks at the security checkpoint once you've cleared customs...

  2. I guess I've been lucky with timing, because going through immigration and passing through security has been pretty painless at Houston. (Knock on wood!!!)