Roger’s flight list is Roger directly stealing from Chuck Miller because, you know, I can. I am interested that he has flow to places I’ve been to, but I got there by other means: Cleveland and Detroit by train on the same 1998 trip; Toronto by car in 2011; and Baltimore by car in the late 1990s.
PREVIOUS FLIGHT DESTINATIONS: Albany, NY (from Binghamton); Atlanta, GA; Buffalo, NY; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Houston, TX (with a side trip to Durant, OK); Las Vegas, NV; Louisville, KY; Madison, WI; Miami, FL; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA (from San Diego); Savannah, GA; Barbados; and Paris, France. Oh, and, most often, San Diego, CA.
Every flight on the list, save for Buffalo, was routed through another airport: JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Detroit, or Chicago’s O’Hare. The first moving walkway I saw was in the airport in Pittsburgh. I recall that I hated the Detroit airport in the 1990s, but when I went through there traveling from Las Vegas to Albany in 2023, it was fine.
FIRST FLIGHT. Also, WORST FLIGHT: I was one of six high school students from the Binghamton, NY, area to attend The Governor’s Conference on Children and Youth in Albany in late August or early September 1970. We were on a 12-seater plane. There was rain and lightning and turbulence. I thought I was going to die.
FIRST FLIGHT ON A LARGE PLANE: It was 1987. It might have been to Madison, WI, with Mario Bruni to the Capital City Comics Distributor event – FantaCo was plugging its Mars Attacks! cards. Or it was to the San Diego Comic-Con; I also went there in 1988.
MOST NERVOUS FLIGHT: The New York Small Business Development Center held its 1994 annual conference near Jamestown. The folks from the Central office, where I worked, the Albany field office, and others flew from Albany to Buffalo, then took a charted bus from Buffalo to Jamestown, getting lost en route.
While we were at the conference: “On Thursday, September 8, 1994, USAir Flight 427 crashed in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania, killing all 132 passengers and crew. To this day, it remains the deadliest crash in the history of Pennsylvania aviation. USAir Flight 427 was a regularly scheduled flight between Chicago-O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), with a stop at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).”
People at the conference were FREAKING OUT. Most of them had taken US Air to get there and would return the same way. Some unhelpful folks said that after a plane crash, it would be doubtful there would be another.
After the conference ended, we took a charter bus back to Buffalo, discovering that our flight reservations back to Albany were canceled inexplicably. We had to rebook before going home.
MOST UGH EVENT: In 2009, the flight attendant from JFK to Charlotte panicked when I told her my daughter had a peanut allergy. The return flight was worse.
NICEST UPGRADE: On our return honeymoon flight from Barbados in 1999 – thank you, JEOPARDY! – my bride and I were upgraded to first class. I don’t know if it was JEOPARDY’s doing or whose, but it was a tremendous five-hour flight. Then I landed in JFK to experience the Worst Queue Ever at Customs. (Coming back from Paris in 2023 was MUCH better.)
THE FAMOUS PEOPLE I MET: Mark Lane is not particularly famous, but I knew who he was, and we talked at length.
FLIGHTS I FORGOT I TOOK: When I was pondering the list of destinations, I told my wife that we had only flown together to other countries, Barbados and France. No, she insisted, we flew to Atlanta in 1995.
I remember being in Atlanta with her a year before the Olympics (just like Paris in 2023), staying at a Doubletree Hotel and visiting her childhood friend. We MUST have flown, but I don’t specifically remember it.
Also, I was in San Francisco with my sister Leslie in 1987 or 1988. I didn’t fly from Albany, so we must have flown from San Diego.
To be revisited soon.