• Member Since 15th Jul, 2016
  • offline last seen 30 minutes ago

forbloodysummer


The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don.

More Blog Posts27

  • 21 weeks
    Come on Down to Ponyville and Meet Some Friends of Mine

    For about the last three years, the last line of my story ideas document has held five words. Right at the bottom, at the very end of the 'crossovers' section (I've never written a crossover, and have only enjoyed reading a single one, so you can see just how low-priority they are for me), it says:

    Twilight Sparkle in South Park

    Read More

    8 comments · 118 views
  • 31 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part IV

    Day One!

    Read More

    18 comments · 200 views
  • 32 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part III

    Costume!

    I wanted to do this whole blog thing in chronological order, but there was so much to say about making the costume I did, which I’m sure is quite the minority interest to people here mostly to hear of Aragon’s antics, that I thought it’d be better in a separate section.

    Read More

    20 comments · 231 views
  • 33 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part II

    Getting There!

    Travel insurance is a useful thing to have if anything bad happens to you. If your flights are messed up, if something goes wrong with the hotel, etc, it’s travel insurance that’ll get you your money back. Most importantly, it covers medical costs where you’d have to pay for that sort of thing.

    But I’d be fine. Nothing was going to go wrong.

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    12 comments · 184 views
  • 33 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part I

    I felt that the last Bronycon deserved remembering, recalling and recording in detail. To preserve for posterity as full a picture of it as I can manage. Because its like will not come again. That doesn’t mean the fandom is done, or that there’s any less love involved. I will be here for years to come. So will you. For all I know, the best days of FIM fanfiction are yet to come. And, after the

    Read More

    13 comments · 240 views
Aug
12th
2019

The Great Bronycon Blog - Part II · 8:46pm Aug 12th, 2019

Getting There!

Travel insurance is a useful thing to have if anything bad happens to you. If your flights are messed up, if something goes wrong with the hotel, etc, it’s travel insurance that’ll get you your money back. Most importantly, it covers medical costs where you’d have to pay for that sort of thing.

But I’d be fine. Nothing was going to go wrong.

A lot went wrong.

I was dropped at the coach stop around 5:50 in the morning. Plenty of time to spare for the coach at 6:10. I was in a sleeveless T-shirt and baggy combats, comfortable and cool for both a long flight and walking around DC. So the last few minutes in my home city involved huddling in the bus shelter.

A coach was there, already waiting. ‘Swansea,’ it said on the front, with a list of ‘calling at’ places, none of which involved the right airport. I figured the right coach hadn’t arrived yet. Only when everyone else was done loading did I go and ask the driver, just to be sure, and he said I was wrong and that that was definitely the bus I wanted for the airport. Even though it didn’t list the airport as a stop.

But I guess the way the National Express system works is that if someone turns up and asks to go to that stop, then it stops there. They just have to know that that particular stop is roughly on the same journey. I’d have thought that when you booked a ticket to a particular place online, they’d let the driver know, but…

I didn’t quite believe it for a while, as I sat there on potentially the wrong coach. At last the driver announced a revised list of stops, and my airport was on there, so everything was ok.

The next challenge was not falling asleep, because I’d been up all night and my stop was an hour away. And Swansea is on the far side of Wales, so I really didn’t want to sleep through the airport stop and wake up there.

So after half an hour, I totally fell asleep.

Huge rush of dread as I woke up and realised what had happened, but the coach was maneuvering around the airport, 30 seconds before it stopped there, so I was just in time. Off I hopped, suitcase in tow, thankful I hadn’t managed to fuck everything up already.

Shortly before leaving my house, I’d done the online check-in thing. Easy, finished in a couple of minutes, everything sorted. So at the airport, all I had to do for a while was drop off my suitcase.

Did that. Zero queue. Easy. Straight onto the escalator to the departure lounge, to find I had multiple hours to kill.

At least the wi-fi in the airport was a reasonable speed. Checked Discord, had a message from home saying travel insurance was all sorted and emailed through to me. Total was about £15. Cool, that reduced my chances of dying and stuff.

Sometimes, if I’m very tired (or drunk), I get a little nauseous when travelling. And I hadn’t slept at all, so I wasn’t feeling great.

The fried breakfast I went for perhaps wasn’t the wisest move, with its milky scrambled eggs. And, not for the last time on the trip, ‘cup of tea’ was misheard as ‘cappuccino.’ Ordinarily I’d grimace and bear the foul taste of drinking an ashtray, but I figured I couldn’t handle it that morning and sorted out getting tea instead.

Hung around there for a while. Bought a bottle of water, that sort of thing. Noticed that the time of my flight had slipped backwards half an hour.

But the people running things know what they’re doing, right? Passengers take connecting flights all the time, I’m sure the relative timings work out.

Then on to the gate, which had no wi-fi or bathrooms. That was less fun.

At 9:30ish, they let us onto the plane. The pilot mentioned over the speakers that the air conditioning and ceiling-mounted fans didn’t really work when the plane was on the ground. And it was really hot in there, and the air completely still.

Sat there trying not to feel unwell. Drank so much water to stay cool that I needed the bathroom before the plane even started moving. Inconvenient for everyone, when you have the window seat.

Then came taxiing around the airport tarmac for half an hour. By the time we took off, we were almost due to be landing.

I think if you had to distill ‘excitement’ down to a single event, it would be a plane taking off. Roller coasters and rock band intro tapes have nothing on that level of ‘hype hype hype!’ It kicks in hard right away, like you’ve gone from sitting at traffic lights to stamping on the accelerator. And it just keeps pushing harder, not letting up, finding a faster place every time you think it’s at full, until you tip back and leave the ground.

Can’t imagine why I chose to cosplay the character I did. Not a clue.

The flight itself to Dublin was fine. I think I even managed to sleep for an hour. But we landed over an hour later than we were meant to, and the stopover time was an hour and a half. So we were rushed onto a shuttle bus at the gate, taking us straight to the bit where the connecting flight was meant to be. Hurried into the terminal there…

...Where the airport staff shepherding the plane load of passengers flatly said there was no way we were making the connecting flight in time. A day later, I got to experience just how long US immigration checks take, and so can now vouch that that call was not incorrect.

Instead they directed us to the baggage carousel, where we all stood around not really knowing what was going on or what to do, and each hoping that our luggage didn’t come through last, where having to wait for it might separate us from the rest of the group.

I walked there next to a lady in her fifties who was clearly very middle-class and trying hard not to swear in front of her teenage daughter, but furious, and failing in that attempt.

That was a fairly universal sentiment. Flights have flight windows they need to stick to, sure. But both flights were from the same airline, and sold as a single journey package deal sort of thing. The Washington flight must have taken off half empty. No one could quite believe they hadn’t held it for us.

I grabbed my bags in a bit of a panic, not really knowing what the procedure was in a situation like this, one that I’d assumed just didn’t happen. Then I followed directions, staff, and passengers I recognised to the Aer Lingus help desk.

And there I waited in a stationary line for a fucking hour. Some of the twenty people ahead of me gave me some idea of what to expect as they walked off after being seen to, with talk of spare seats on tomorrow’s flight filling up fast. There was a rumour we’d be sent back to London for the night, as others had been offered.

The idea of taking a flight in the wrong direction was not an appealing one. But I finally got to the desk, and the guy there barely spoke a word to me, just asked the odd question and spent ten minutes tapping away at his computer.

After which I suddenly found myself booked on the last remaining seat on a United Airlines flight to Washington Dulles airport, leaving at 12:55 in the afternoon, which was 20 minutes later than planned.

12:55 in the afternoon tomorrow.

To that end, they’d also booked me into a nearby hotel, along with free lunch, dinner and breakfast, and a shuttle bus to take me (and most of the rest of the flight’s passengers) there and back again.

So, uh, I’d traded my day in DC for one in Dublin? Except the airport was 25 minutes’ drive from the city centre, and I had no euros, because I wasn’t expecting to be there for more than a couple of hours.

Basically I was stuck in a Dublin hotel for 24 hours, instead of getting the touristy sightseeing bit of my holiday.

Onto the shuttle bus, with all the familiar faces from the plane. A short ride to the hotel, which, I have to say, was really rather nice. By then it was 2:30 p.m., so after checking in I went straight to lunch while it was still available.

The airport staff hadn’t mentioned the restaurant there only had a set menu, but happily the food was great. The next table over on one side held the aforementioned woman and her teenage daughter, who was a dance student.

Aha! Out came my knowledge from researching Dancing in Melancholy to ask some questions on the subject to show interest, since she’d been nice enough to say she thought my cowboy hat was cool.

On the table to my other side sat an American woman in her thirties who told me she was flying home after her holiday to go for an interview for her dream job. She’d made it through rounds one and two; this interview would be three hours with the company’s directors.

The job was a $50k pay increase on her current role. And Aer Lingus’ incompetence had jeopardised it. Missing out on seeing Arlington Cemetery didn’t seem so bad, next to that.

After lunch I went back to my room. Stuck my laptop on charge, got on the wi-fi and started messaging people on Discord.

And then I stuck on my iPod and sewed more of my costume. The iPod soon died, and the laptop hard drive is too small for a music library, so I spent many hours using youtube to play Iron Maiden tracks.

I looked at my emails, and saw the United Airlines ticket. UA have a more convoluted check-in procedure than Aer Lingus, so you need either a camera phone to photograph your passport, or a special new passport with a chip in it or something. I had neither, so I’d have to queue up to check-in the next morning.

I also noticed they’d spelled my name wrong, which hadn’t been shown on the printout the guy at the tickets desk had given me. But there it was, with an M in it where there really shouldn’t be.

So I googled the Ireland helpline for United Airlines, and called them from the room. Sat on hold for five minutes, and then gave the lady my details. This was one of those times I was happy to appear a fool, when she laughed and explained that that was amending my title and my name into one word, and was completely normal.

Meaning that, if my name were Alexander (which it isn’t), they’d have printed it ALEXANDERMR.

Seems pretty obvious now, doesn’t it? I was running on no sleep. And my day had been a bit all over the place.

In fact I then fell asleep for a few hours. Completely missed dinner. But hot breakfast and lunch left me plenty full, so that was ok. I woke up around 10 or something, and sewed for several more hours until my usual bedtime.

Having said the hotel was nice, the room didn’t have any soap. Thank goodness for tales of con crud prompting me to pack hand sanitiser.

I set my alarm on the new phone (far less intuitive than it ought to be) and went to sleep on the hardest, most lifeless brick of a pillow known to man.


The alarm clock worked, and I got up at 8:15 and went for breakfast, feeling much better after a few hours’ sleep. As far as full English breakfasts go, it wasn’t great. But it was at least free. And, when I checked out, I noted the hotel hadn’t charged me for the call to the United Airlines helpline, so I guess Aer Lingus were picking up the tab for that.

Shuttle bus back to airport. Get there at 9:15.

And then stand in line.

I’d forgotten what it was like, not checking in online. I stood in that line for an hour, just hoping that the piece of paper containing flight details I’d been given yesterday would be enough.

It was! They checked me in, took my suitcase, and directed me upstairs to security screen, with the implication that I should hurry.

The security checkpoint was no worse or slower than normal, so I wasn’t quite sure what the rush was for. Both airport security checks so far had been more nervous than usual, since my bag contained a couple of sewing needles. The internet said it was ok to take them on flights, and both airlines implied it probably would be, but I remained dubious.

That all went fine, though, and then it was off to the next bit of the airport for a second set of security checks just for those flying to the US. A set that seemed much the same as the first, so I don’t really know what was going on there.

But then came US immigration control, and I understood why I’d been encouraged to rush, even though the flight was still hours away.

The line moved so very slowly. I stood in the queue and talked with an Irish guy who was a civil servant in London, and had an unhelpful habit of talking quietly while looking away. Coupled with the thick Dublin accent, I understood less than half what I nodded agreement with.

And this was kind of a scary place. There were flags everywhere, and pictures of the president on the wall. Dark-uniformed guards directed people where to go. When it came to my turn at last, the guy didn’t smile once. Just told me where to stand for photos, where to put my fingers for fingerprinting, the purpose of my visit, the address where I’d be staying, all that sort of thing.

I told him it was for a holiday to DC, and gave him the address for the hotel there, even though that was only booked for the previous night, and I’d actually cancelled the booking from the Dublin hotel once it became obvious I wouldn’t be making it. But I didn’t really fancy explaining I was going on to Baltimore to stay undocumented with a bunch of strangers and go to a pony convention.

He waved me through, still not smiling once. Imagine having to be that serious at work, for the several hours of your shift, every day.

Then to the gate, and then onto the plane. Sat next to two grandparents returning home. We took off on time, and I soon found that my in-flight entertainment screen wasn’t working. But that was ok, I wasn’t expecting one at all, figuring the Aer Lingus flight would’ve been too cheap to have them.

Instead I pulled out my cosplay and, with a nervous glance towards the rest of the aircraft, my needle and thread, and began to sew. The grandmother next to me was very impressed, and asked what I was making.

A costume for a convention, I told her. What kind of convention? Uh… cartoons?

I sewed for the whole flight, and found that an aircraft moved in an abstract enough fashion, with nothing whizzing past outside for reference, that I could look down at what I was doing without feeling sick.

The food on that United Airlines flight I have to particularly compliment. Best chicken korma I’ve ever had.

Mostly because it tasted nothing like chicken korma. Curry is the best food on Earth, but korma is the one horrid variety. And since it’s the mildest one, that’s what everyone tries first, and you really couldn’t ask for a worst first impression. Just go for the tikka masala.

Anyway, this chicken korma was great! And the woman next to me was given several free cups of wine! I stuck with tea, having still not slept as much as would be nice. Still, though, free alcohol. Something to bear in mind.

Seven hours later we landed, and I still wasn’t quite finished with the costume. It went back into my bag, and we filed off the aircraft.

There was a moment, on the enclosed walkway out of the aircraft, where a burst of outside air blew through. It couldn’t really be that hot outside. It must have been a hot exhaust vent or something.

Through some corridors following signs for baggage reclaim, which led to a pod-like room thirty feet long and ten across. And then revealed itself to be a shuttle bus of sorts, taking us a huge distance across the airport. I guess our luggage had already made that trip, and it was a little concerning to think how separated from it we now were.

Into the new terminal, off to find the baggage conveyor right at the end. Grabbed my bag, then stopped by a shop to buy something to get change for the bus. Then back again to ask for directions.

Down the ramp, out of the main doors and–

Shitting Hell! It could not be that hot outside. It had to be a mistake.

It wasn’t even sunny. Flat, grey, overcast. And the heat just pressed in on you from all sides. I drank a lot of water just sitting at the shaded bus stop for 20 minutes.

The bus driver helped me figure out the ticket machine, into which I stuffed my money, then I dragged my suitcase aboard and collapsed into the nearest seat. Which proved to be a really stupid thing to do, as that seat faced sideways.

I’ve never been on a bus travelling that fast before. A coach, sure, but a coach is smooth and basically a big car. A bus, though, is rickety and noisy and shakes a lot. And this one was being driven at 50mph or something, and I was going sideways.

That left me feeling pretty woozy for the rest of the day.

An hour later, I stumbled off the bus in central DC. Had to ask a passerby to get my bearings. Then I started walking.

The map made getting across the easy, visitor-friendly bits of DC look so quick and straightforward. I’d misjudged a few things, though.

Firstly, yes, that walking distance isn’t far compared to the scale of the buildings. But those buildings are gigantic. So yeah, it’s quite a long way. Secondly, the map never said the ground would be flat. ‘Capitol Hill’ is not just a name to me anymore.

And then there was the heat. By the time I reached the top of the hill, I’d rolled the legs up of my combats, improvising shorts. I must have looked ridiculous, but didn’t care.

My camera was buried at the bottom of my backpack, with lots of things on top of it, so I didn’t bother getting it out. Figured I’d take photos on my return trip after the con.

The Capitol Building was pretty damn cool, actually. Walking near it felt very cinematic. That was the one thing I really got to see in DC.

Aside from the heat, DC itself was kind of hit and miss? I liked the amount of trees and green spaces. But any time you were near a sewer cover, the whole place stank. And it seemed every street corner had a different ice cream van blaring out irritating nursery rhymes to attract suggestible children into buying its wiles, and that got really annoying.

Union Station was marvellous, though. I can only compare it to Grand Central in New York, a huge open space covered by an arched ceiling 96 feet above. British stations tend to be big Victorian things, curved ceilings of iron and glass, but tarred by centuries of soot from steam engines. This was much nicer.

Bought the ticket from the machine with minimal fuss, found that US stations worked a bit more like airports, with gates listed, and that that was simpler to follow. So then I was on the train, making sure I was facing the right direction, and finding there was no wi-fi on board.

The wi-fi had been too slow to use on the flight, too. And at Dulles airport. None on the shuttle bus. No time to find it at Union Station. So the last time I’d spoken to anyone was from the Dublin hotel, and checking in with people after it had all gone so badly so far would’ve been nice.

No such luck here. The train slowly wound its way North-East. I debated doing more sewing, but looking down for more than a few moments made me feel unwell, so the sewing stuff remained in my bag. I saw a deer from the train, amidst the lovely green countryside.

And the houses we passed were lovely, too. In Britain, houses near railways tend to be cheap and nasty, since no one with money wants to live near the noisy train line. But here they looked just like they do in pictures.

In the nicely air-conditioned train, I rolled my trouser legs back down, so I looked marginally less of an idiot.

Went through BWI station. Yeah, that would have been much easier to fly to. But also so much more costly, so I don’t regret the decision.

Then came the outskirts of Baltimore. The houses still looked nice! There were cars, and people, and everything was fine and the internet was wrong.

We came into West Baltimore train station, and it all changed. The Western District is where much of The Wire is set.

And, wow. Block after block after block of derelict terraced houses, barely standing. Street corners where clusters of teenaged drug dealers would actually have livened up the place.

In two minutes, the predicted experience of the con went from ‘This isn’t so bad’ to ‘Oh god we’re all going to die.’

The station itself looked clean and well-maintained, as did the roads and green spaces. The commuters wandered off in different directions without apparent fear. But the bits where people actually lived resembled shanty towns. Not quite the crude, homemade shacks you see in footage of Delhi, or the improvised buildings of Rio’s favelas, but kind of more depressing in its own way.

Those other places feel exotic and ‘other.’ The suffering there feels more removed, by how different it is to your familiar surroundings. Just as the soaring heights of Singapore do in the opposite direction.

But Baltimore looks like an average Western city, from a nightmare. The worst neighbourhood you’d ever avoid walking near. This is a Hell that ‘normal’ people live in.

The train rolled on, arriving at Baltimore Penn Station. A nice building, like Union Station on a much smaller scale. I hopped straight in a taxi; I wasn’t finding my way to the rail replacement bus in the failing light after what I’d just seen.

The taxi driver got the same line about a cartoon convention. Hopefully he ferried enough people about over the weekend to get a better answer from one of them. Baltimore grew progressively nicer the closer we got to the convention centre. Both literally and metaphorically.

I walked from there to the hotel, just to make sure the route between them was as straightforward as it looked. Then I sat down in the hotel lobby, found the wi-fi, and opened up Discord to see how everything was doing.

The guy organising the room share was in the convention centre getting his badge, and might not be back for hours. Naiad was on a plane, and so out of reach. Everyone at home was asleep. But I sent the necessary ‘I got here ok!’ messages, and then started sewing again.

I’d apparently spent so long travelling in the previous couple of days that my body thought I was still on the move. Sitting in the chair sewing felt much the same as sitting on the plane sewing, with my brain supplying the sensation of motion.

Clearly everyone in the hotel lobby was there for the con, but, unsurprisingly, there was no one I recognised. I looked the least ponyfan there, but I was obviously sewing a very distinctive flight suit. The guy sitting beside me was broadcasting opinion after opinion on whatever subject he went near like he was the only person who’d ever thought about anything. A forum lecturer brought into the real world.

He went away after a while, and things got better.

Then another person showed up, and mentioned waiting around for people meeting up from the writeoff. And he’d already queued up to get his badge, so I could identify him without asking. I recognised the name, too, from comment sections, but didn’t think I’d read anything he’d written.

It was Applejinx.

A guy who’d written over a million words about Trixie, and, I later found out, was probably the main reason Quills & Sofas existed. If I’d known that at the time, I’d have bought him a beer.

He also mentioned that his day job was designing audio plugins, which is definitely a subject of interest for me, so we discussed that for a while, and how he was funded entirely by Patreon now subscriptions and made all his products available for free. When writing this, I just now checked out his website, and there’re lots of plugins there I’m curious to take a closer look at.

Sometime around then my various roommates arrived, and we headed up to the suite together. I had sewing left to do and wasn’t in a sleeping place at that moment, so I think I dumped my suitcase in the room and then headed back down to the lobby after a few minutes.

The roomshare involved two casual pony fans (as in I have no idea what they did, within the community, or where they knew each other from), one youtuber, and myself. Since the other two already knew each other, it was the youtuber and I who ended up sharing the second double bed, and that went… absolutely as painlessly as possible, actually. Never caused an issue in the slightest, and was completely fine.

The other two didn’t talk much, but the youtuber was clearly used to broadcasting, so shared his thoughts aloud. His hobby was juggling. He did, a few days before the con, suggest that we could find him by looking for the guy with the ‘iconic’ beard. I sent him a photo of mine, and he didn’t make that claim again.

(...I’d never describe mine as ‘iconic,’ but I do know it’s unusual, and big enough to be distinctive, so I’m happy to use it to shoot down someone else’s boast).

He was nice enough, though, and not a bad person to share a room with.

I had some apprehension about how long the badge collection line would be in the morning, as there were rumours of it leaving the convention centre the night before, and being stuck outside in the Baltimore heat would be torturous. Naiad was still in the air and so unreachable, though, so rearranging our meeting wasn’t really an option. If we melted, then we melted.

At around 1 a.m., the sewing was all finished, and I went back up to my room, set my alarm, and went to bed.

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Comments ( 12 )

#so it might be the longest one

I'm going to be tremendously disappointed if these don't get longer and longer :trixieshiftright:

Union Station looks gorgeous! :raritystarry:

This was a fun one to read, since I hadn't heard all of these details until now--like the dance student and the woman trying and failing not to swear in front of her daughter. That plane trip sounds like quite the harrowing time!

Shitting Hell! It could not be that hot outside. It had to be a mistake.

Welcome to the States!

These are absolutely great. Keep ‘em coming! :pinkiehappy:

5104661

Union Station looks gorgeous! :raritystarry:

It absolutely was!

While they do look horrible when they become blackened by soot, I understand the practical purpose for a high ceiling where the trains are. Because then the ceiling gets blackened rather than the people. But in the entrance hall of the station, which is otherwise empty of things, it serves no practical purpose and seems to have been put there just to look impressive.

Which I am fine with!

Ok, I'll see if I can find enough things to say to make the next one longer :twilightsheepish: Without just repeating the chair-stealing ninja tale you already told so well :rainbowdetermined2:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Wait, you did... research for Dancing in Melancholy? O.o What did you research?

Hot damn, what a trip. D: At least your costume came out looking great!

5104672 I remember reading in a Bill Bryson book years and years ago (the only travel writer I've ever read, so he's my only reference for these blogs) that before the 60s or something, when air conditioning really became the norm, basically very little got done in the Deep South during the summer time. I think he suggested that was part of the reason for that area being poorer than most of the rest of the US.

And I think that trend mostly bears out, if you look at the countries around the globe near the equator. Generally, the hotter a place is (above a certain minimum level), the less economically successful it is. Not so much now, thanks to air conditioning, but with that as a historical basis.

Yeah, I did not get used to that, in the whole stay.

5104676 I have been working on them non-stop :twilightsheepish:

Really glad you're enjoying them, though - let me know when they get boring!

...Unless that was, like, 6,000 words ago :twilightoops:

5104683

Wait, you did... research for Dancing in Melancholy? O.o What did you research?

Uh... just about everything, really?

Glad you liked the costume, though, and I'm really glad I decided to wear it for a second day :pinkiehappy:

...I hope it wasn't too confusing? :twilightsheepish:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5104721
Wow, damn. o.O

I do like to fly with United, but I swear they have a fetish or something for in-person check-in. Hell, even if you do the online check-in thing, they will still make you wait in line if you have checked luggage.

5113989 Yeah, the line was nuts, and ten times the size of that for any other airline there - as you say, lots of people with cases. I noticed that United had a lot more upgradable 'priority customers' options than I've seen elsewhere, so I think the idea is that once you've stood in line for an hour, $200 to be listed as a priority check-in person doesn't sound so bad the next time you're booking a flight.

I was definitely impressed by their actual flight, though; the trolley seemed to come by every half hour, and everything from it was free and tasted great. I'd been wondering, in the months leading up to the flight, about flying drunk (expecting to having a stopover in Dublin airport, I thought I'd fill that hour with a Guinness), and United would have made that pleasant and easy. If only I had the constitution for it :facehoof:

5113992
Yeah, pretty much that. Almost lost a flight recently because of that, were it not for people allowing me to cut in line for the US immigration stuff. At least they tend to honor seat reservations, so I can get my window seat.

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