New travel experiences

Now that I am no longer in the lab 12+ hours a day frantically trying to make up data for the conference I’m leaving for tomorrow morning, I can finally update the website.  I’d like to begin the tale of our journey over to England with a few observations.  Both Chelsea and I had many new experiences, (not out of the ordinary traveling to a new country) but I had a few minutes to document those experiences mostly related to travel.  And here they are.

1.  You can have your luggage securely wrapped in cellophane.

I’m not sure I understand this concept in the light of new security measures.  People pay this dude some obscene amount of money (~20 per bag) to spin your luggage around and wrap it in plastic.  This is BEFORE you check in, and definitely before you go through security.  There is even a little sign that says “we will automatically re-wrap after security”.  I guess I don’t understand why you would pay this guy money to wrap up your bags, only to have them slashed open by security, to be wrapped up again.  Can you just have them wrapped once?

2.  The Airbus A380 is massive.

I remember when the first Airbus A380 made its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.  I never understood why that was such a big deal, until I saw the size of that plane.  It dwarfs other planes.  The only plane that is bigger in my mind is the C-5 Galaxy used by the military to transport just about everything.  I managed to take a picture of one with a semi-truck in the field of vision for context.  This so called “superjumbo” can fit 800+ passengers depending on seating arrangements.  Wow.

3.  On-demand entertainment on long flights make the flight go much much faster.

Here is a picture of the individual in-flight entertainment system we had.  I’m sure its a lack of experience on international flights for myself, but I was thoroughly impressed with the concept.  The handset pops out for easy navigation (or video game controls) and you can select from music, movies, TV shows, news, maps tracking the flight, etc.  I managed to watch 4 movies during our flights that I otherwise might not have had the chance to see (Chelsea might not like them).  We could also enjoy beer or wine during the flight and with our meal free of charge.  Much nicer than the domestic flights I’ve taken recently.

As I said before, we got to see and experience a suite of new things, some of which will come in the posts in the next few days.

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