Off to California Again
Posted on 2007/03/31 18:44:50 (March 2007).
[Monday 26th March]
So I flew London to San Francisco again today. Given how much I hate flying I was really not happy at the prospect, but it's just one of those things I suppose.
The flight was long and boring but just about bearable. Again owing to "issues" with the company travel policy I had to fly economy, which I was even less happy about. I did attempt at the airport to use my mileage to upgrade, but apparently I would have needed to pay out some cash first to adjust the booking class for my ticket before it would be eligible for a mileage upgrade. Apparently this would cost 400 quid on top of the 10,000 miles - one way. Slightly ironically a little later on I was approached by a member of airline staff, completely unrelated to my earlier enquiry as far as I could tell, and told there was a spare seat in premium economy which I could upgrade to, for cash alone, for about 400 quid. I am beginning to wonder if air miles aren't just a complete waste of time.
Having said that, apparently once I have an economy ticket in that fictional booking class which no-one would ever actually pay for up front, I could then upgrade all the way to Upper Class for 30,000 miles (on the way out I was just a few short) so I may consider that on the way back. Whilst on Virgin flights Premium Economy is better, it's not 400 quid of my own money better. I've never experienced Upper Class, but I have a feeling that might be a better use of the 400 quid.
Anyway, I landed in SF around 2, but was waylaid at immigration for a while owing to some problem with my fingerprints. Those little holding rooms at immigration are exactly as you'd expect them to be - a Russian guy who couldn't speak any English, an Indian guy who was being given a hard time because he wanted to visit his brother, etc etc. Anyway I just sat and waited for what seemed like ages and in the end was called up and handed my passport back without any awkward questions. I guess it was just a problem with their system or something.
Chie had arrived before me, and it was really nice to walk through those arrivals and see her. It's been a long running thing of mine - most of the time I fly it is by myself, and there's almost never anyone to meet me the other end which is always a bit sad.
From there we picked up our hire car and I drove straight to the office. By that time it was already the end of the working day, so I didn't really do much apart from a few emails, and a round of saying hello to people. Chie and I got a quick dinner at the office (one of the nice perks of the company) before heading back to our hotel where I basically just fell asleep as soon as we'd checked in.
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