Monday, April 16, 2012

An Afternoon On The Road

Today I traveled from St. Louis to Rochester, MN for business meetings tomorrow. Here is the anatomy of the afternoon trip.

13:10: arrived at Lambert International Airport Terminal One

13:12: checked in with American Airlines for flights to Rochester, MN. The first leg to Chicago (AA 854) is delayed till 14:10. For the second leg, the original AA 5056 gives me only 40min in Chicago to connect. The check-in console provides an alternative for AA 5038, departing at 18:00. 

13:20: passing through TSA security checkpoint. 

13:25: walked into the just-renovated Concourse C. I was impressed by how bright and clean it looked. Still not as modern or chic as SFO but definitely much more improved. 

The newly renovated Lambert Airport C-concourse

14:00: got on board flight AA 854, seat 5F. The gentleman seated next to me was chatting another guy across the isle about new fashion design product opening in Hong Kong. He probably worked for a retailer such as Macy’s. 

14:20: wheels up 

14:22: I was so tired and felt asleep sitting

14:45: flight over mid-Illinois plain, white cloud dotted landscape outside the window. Drink service in first class and I got a Heineken and a complementary Summer Harvest Gourmet Snack Mix 

14:56: pilot announced landing in 15min. 

14:58: plane started to make a slight turn towards right (East). Cloud thickens in the sky. I had to turn off laptop and switched to paper-pencil mode for the travelogue

15:02: plane flew over Chicago suburb towards northwest direction. I took a photo outside the window

15:04: flight attendant announced arrival and departing gate. We’ll be landing at Gate H17 and my connecting flight to Rochester will be at gate L2A. (flight to Rome will depart gate K13)

15:05: read WSJ article “Numbers, Numbers and More Numbers”, about how healthcare players, including St. Louis-based Express Script, are finding that crunching the numbers (from patient care data) can pay off in both better care and lower costs

15:07: plane has reached over the top of Lake Michigan. The green surface of the lake reflects the sun light beautifully.

15:14: plane approached Chicago lake shoreline (took a photo)

15:18: plane started descending westward toward O’hare International Airport

15:20: wheels down

15:25: deplaned and dashed toward the next flight at Gate L2A 

...

15:33: despite the scheduled 15:50 departure, I was delighted to find out, after arriving at Gate L2A, that flight AA 5056 was still at the gate. As a matter of fact, passengers were just streaming off the plane. 

15:45: got on board flight AA5056, sea 3A. It’s an American Connect Embraer 135 plane with narrow isle, tight overhead space. A passenger pushed and squeezed his bag with wheels into the luggage bin. We could hardly open it later.

15:59: door closed

16:07: plane left the gate

16:20: wheels up, back into Chicago sky

16:31: drink service

16:58: pilot announced that we were 40 miles away from airport and ground temperature is 40 degree (vs about 70 degree where I originated)

17:07 wheel down. Welcome to Rochester!


by Frank 
at Doubletree Hotel in Rochester



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