From the Business Travel Log
Part IV – Another Puddle Jumper
I slept right through takeoff. I raise my window flap and peep out at the clouds. This little regional jet is flying at a rather high altitude. I squirm and I grunt. Single seats are mounted along the left side of the craft. I have the benefit of both an aisle and a window at the same time but this seat is tight. I squeezed myself into it when I sat down.
I’m reminded of a flight I took from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York to the Bangor Airport in Bangor, Maine.
I was beat that evening in early December, 1993. I’d been traveling all over the northeast corridor between Boston and New York. After check-in I was looking forward to taking a nap on the plane. It was another puddle jumper. Worse, it was a prop job. Far worse, my seat was right over the tire well. Not only did it seem like my knees were up to my chin but there was a constant rumble. The tires rumbled and shook while it taxied to the runway and the tires rumbled and shook while we were in the air.
I turned to my left, laid my head against the window, closed my eyes and after snoozing for 2 or 3 minutes my eyes popped wide open. I turned to my right, tried to sleep again but the same thing happened again.
I sat up, pulled a folder, a writing tablet and a pen out of my backpack. I started working. There was a lot of work to do. An hour and a half later I was still working. We landed.
My hotel was on the airport grounds and it was connected to the terminal. I just grabbed my bags from baggage claim, took an escalator upstairs and walked across the sky bridge to my hotel.
“Welcome back Mr. Johnson”, said the hotel manager as he greeted, “would you like your usual pot of coffee?”
“Tonight will be a long night”, I said, “may I have two pots?”
“Certainly”, said the manager smiling.
My mind returns to the current moment. That was some memory, I say to myself. I look out my window . The clouds look so still from the window of just another puddle jumper.