Friday, December 29, 2006

Miracle on Flight 160

Last week early noon on Friday, I set off to the airport from work. This time, the destination was Miami, Florida. My colleague N dropped me off at the airport. As a part of my usual preparation for long flights, I bought food at the airport - a nice plain bagel sandwich filled with sun-dried tomato spread and veggies. I decided to eat it on the flight (to while away an extra fifteen minutes on my pretty long flight to Houston where the layover was).

Reading my book and observing other passengers helped me easily while away time till boarding. Soon after taking off and reaching cruising altitude, I pulled out my sandwich and smugly ate it even as they announced something about the complimentary beverage service on the flight. All satiated, I settled back into my economy-class seat while the beverage cart trundled past my row.

Then, up ahead, I could hear the stewardess say to a passenger "Would you like pizza?". Huh? Pizza? Oh, maybe we had to pay for it. But then, before my disbelieving eyes, the airhostess handed out hot pizza, a box of salad and a chocolate bar to all passengers!

Yes, they were serving actual food on the plane. My jaws dropped open. This is the first time this event is happening to me on a US-domestic flight since the meal I got on a flight in the summer of 2002. Miracles will never cease. In a daze, I took the pizza and salad my neighbor passed to me.

Of course at that point, I was already stuffed with my bagel sandwich. But then, you don't say no to miracles. So I dutifully finished half of the mini-pizza and most of the salad.

In case you are wondering which airlines performed this miracle, it is Continental Airlines. A word of caution though, it is quite possible that this miraculous event happens around Christmas time only. So don't blame me if your next Continental flight kindly offers you "a beverage of your choice" (and only a beverage of your choice) for your 4+ hour flight!

Anyways, my stop-over was in Houston. I continued my reading/observing activities at the Houston airport while waiting for D to turn up. D was flying in from Seattle and by happy coincidence we had got the same connecting flight from Houston to Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

D arrived and within the first few minutes of our meeting excitedly told me about how she had got an actual "meal" on her flight (she had flown on Continental too) - LOL - so I wasn't the only heathen disbeliever :-))! Anyways, we then had dinner (just to clarify, I might be a glutton but in this case, a significant amount of time had elapsed since the lunch miracle) and boarded our flight to FLL.

We had, of course, been chattering non-stop all the while till then. Boarding the flight changed nothing and we kept up a constant flow of conversation without wasting a single minute on the 2 hour flight :-)) - it was super fun catching up!

Our arrival at FLL happened past midnight. The first thing which struck me when we got off the flight was the blast of warm air which hit us. Warm air at midnight in winter? Uh-huh, maybe I should not have packed quite as many full-hand shirts as I had. Oh well, it was too late to start having those reflections.

We picked up D's checked-in baggage and then proceeded to pick up our rental car. From there to the hotel in Miami was a not bad 25 minute trip. Our hotel was bang in the middle of downtown Miami and we got a room right on the 22nd floor where the view of the downtown was super awesome :-D!

The beautifully lit up Bank of America (BoA) building. Note the golden snow flakes - the flakes alone were no longer lit-up after Christmas!
Another view of nighttime downtown Miami.

The same view in day time.

And, two of the three travelling musketeers had arrived :-).


Floridora said...

You landed not 40 miles from me and you didn 't call!Well, see if I forgive you that. You and your gang could have come up for a free meal and some sightseeing around Palm Beach. Wouldn't that have been a blast? OK, I am a little angry at you.

spark said...

hope you guys had fun in miami. happy 2007

rads said...

How do you manage to travel so much? I am so jealous. *pout, grumble*

Btw, what pic is there, half hidden? Camera shy? :P

iamvisheshur said...

happy newyear!!!

Archana Bahuguna said...

Good you got that surprise around new years :-). Wish you a very happy and joyous new year too! Tc.

smiley said...

wish u a happy new year :)

Biju said...

hi there! dropped in from deeps'. those are some lovely night shots. brilliant!

Archana said...

Floridora - I am sorry :-(! I feel terrible :-(! Nex time - for sure :-)!

Spark - oh yeah, we did :-)! Thank you!

Rads - hehehehehe :-)! Ah, the joys of having only limited responsibilities :-D! Did not want full face :-D!

iamvisheshur - thank you :-)!

Archana - I know - that was unbelievable! Thank you :-)!

Smiley - thanks a lot and wish you the same :-)!

Biju - welcome aboard! Thank you :-))!